Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. A good meal is a chance to savor wonderful ingredients that have been artfully prepared by loving hands. Over time, many countries have developed many worthy and fascinating culinary traditions. One such place is Mexico. One of the largest nations in North America, Mexico has a long history of culinary excellence. Many factors go into making this cuisine one of the world’s most adored. This includes the fact that is a highly diverse cuisine that spans varying regions. It also includes the fact that the cuisine makes use of fresh ingredients and varied types of spices. This is where the foods of Spain meet the techniques and ingredients of the New World and work together to create something to be savored from the first bite.
Mexico is a highly fertile place with lots of good soil. This makes this easy for people to harvest delicious items. Commonly seen ingredients in Mexican food include vegetables of fine quality such as tomatoes, avocados, corn, and squash. Many Mexican dishes are based on the use of healthy ingredients like these. Native ingredients that many cooks use include what is known as huitlacoche or corn fungus and the beloved nopal or luscious cactus leaves that have lots of liquid and can be pared down to create both main courses and served in other ways as well. Other popular vegetables that are widely used are plantains that are served fried and yuca as well as wild greens directly gathered from many gardens. This is why many Mexican dishes are not only tasty but also very healthy.
The influence of Spanish culture is very much in evidence in this part of the world. When Spaniards came to Mexico, they brought techniques and ingredients that are still in use today. They brought dairy products like sour cream and helped develop native forms of cheese. Queso, for example, is very much like feta and add plenty of flavors. The Spanish also brought in many additional forms of protein. Particularly popular were pork, goat, and chickens. Many Mexicans dishes combine pork or chicken in a rich sauce.
Complexity and Variation
Mexican cuisine is also noteworthy because of the cuisine’s subtle complexity. Chili peppers bring spice and heat that lights up the mouth. Both corn and wheat tortillas provide an easy way to wrap proteins, fill them with lots of types of beans and other ingredients and bring them anywhere. Different parts of Mexico have dozens of different types of tortillas. The same is true of places like Oaxacan cuisine. Here, the famous mole sauce comes in seven separate varieties. Items like tropical fruit such as papaya and pineapple are widely used in dishes both savory and sweet. Other commonly used ingredients with great complexity are many varieties of river fish, different stews and locally grown herbs. The result is a world-class cuisine that is widely appreciated all over the globe today.