About traditional Mexican Cuisine

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About traditional Mexican Cuisine

In 2010, UNESCO added traditional Mexican Cuisine to World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity". (“Washoku” or Japanese traditional cuisine was added to the list in 2013.)

What is “traditional” Mexican cuisine?

Is it different from popular Mexican food like burrito or fajitas?

Traditional Mexican Cuisine, which is deeply connected with Mexican society, has a long history, wide diversity, and much more complex than Tex-Mex type of cuisine

Mexican Cuisine is a great fusion of indigenous Mesoamerican cooking and European, especially Spanish elements.

For the Mexican people, staple food remains native corn, beans, and chili pepper, which are eaten since BC era. Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in the 16th century brought many other foods, such as domesticated animals, dairy products, and herbs.

Mexican Cuisine evolved dramatically in the colonial era, owing much to the nuns of the convents. Mexican national dishes, such as mole poblano(complex sauce made from chili peppers, nuts, fruits, and chocolate) and chile en nogada(big green pepper stuffed with meat, fruit, and nuts, then covered with creamy walnut sauce) are both said to be creations of nuns in Puebla

Mexico has a wide variety of regional cookings

At the North, where the land is vast, but rather arid, cattle-breeding is prosperous. Steak is is very popular, so as soft jerky called “Cecina”, and scrambled eggs with it calld  “Machaca”. Unlike other parts of the country, flour tortillas are eaten here.

In the Central Mexico, where colonial culture prospered, European influenced dishes are common. Cheese and chorizo are abundant. Slowly cooked pork meat called “Carnita” is very popular, so as hearty soup with hominy called “Pozole”. “Barbacoa” is very popular party food, but unlike the North America’s BBQ, meat is steam-baked slowly wrapped in maguey or banana leaves often in underground pit. Tamales are one of Mexico’s soul foods, here they are wrapped in corn husks. (At the south, they are wrapped in banana leaves.)

In the South regions, indigenous people’s culture still dominates. At the Yucatan peninsula, there are many Mayan specialities like Cochinita Pibil, Salbutes, Panuchos, and Poc Chuc. Oaxaca boasts its colorful “7moles” and its famous street foods like “Molotes”, “Tlayudes”, and “Empanadas”. In Veracruz, local Jalapeño pepper adds distinct flavor to Mediterranean inspired “Veracruz style fish”.


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