The peculiarity of the national Mexican cuisine is that it is a UNESCO heritage site, its ancient recipes are carefully protected and some are kept in the strictest secrecy. In general, traditional Mexican cuisine is a mixture of ancient Aztec, Indian and Spanish cuisines.
The national dishes of Mexico include such products as meat, legumes, vegetables, crops, seafood and corn. Mexico’s most popular dishes are prepared using cornmeal. These include:
- Tacos – a corn tortilla with a variety of fillings
- Tortilla – Mexican flatbread made of corn flour
- Pozoles – meat in corn flour
- Tamales – corn tortillas with different sauces
- Nachos – flatbread with various fillings
The famous tortilla became the peculiar visiting card of the country. This tortilla is used not only as a separate dish, but also as a supplement to other dishes. Without tortilla one cannot imagine burrito, enchinadas, fajitas or papatzules.
Mexican cuisine is famous for its spice and use of various spices and seasonings. Chefs like to add various types of hot peppers, avocado leaves, onions, garlic, and cumin seeds to traditional dishes. Local salsa and guacamole sauces have long been world-famous.
Candy aficionados will also find dishes to their liking in Mexico. Fruit desserts and a variety of scones, puddings and cakes are especially popular here.
Tequila is considered the most popular alcoholic drink in Mexico. It is represented in 300 different kinds.
Among non-alcoholic drinks, cocoa, juices and hot chocolate are popular.
The most popular Mexican seasonings and spices:
- The country’s “calling card” is the chili pepper added to national dishes.
- Salsa sauce is made from tomatoes, chilies, garlic, onions, pepperoni, and black pepper.
- Guacamole is a sauce made from avocado fruit, tomatoes, onions, peppers.
- Serrano and jalaneo peppers.
- Caraway seeds.
- Avocado leaves.
- Sauces served with meat, fish, poultry, beans, eggs, and other dishes.
Main dishes of Mexican cuisine:
Tortilla, a popular dish, is a thin corn or wheat flatbread with various spices. It can be eaten alone or as part of many other dishes.
Burrito – a tortilla roll filled with ground meat, beans, rice, tomato, avocado, or cheese.
The national Mexican dish is tamale, a peculiar “stuffed cabbage rolls” of ground meat wrapped in corn cob leaves. There are more than five hundred kinds of this dish and an annual tamale festival is held in the country.
Chimichanga – an envelope of flatbread with meat and beans, topped with cheese.
Enchiladas are tortilla rolls filled with cheese, tomato, or meat.
The Mexican dish quesadilla is quite well known in different countries. It is made of two tortilla bread filled with fried cheese, meat (usually chicken), vegetables, and mushrooms. It is served with a spicy sauce (usually salsa) and sour cream.
As a first course, spicy tortilla soup has great success. It is a chicken broth with onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, chilies, and other spices. Served with grated cheese and fried slices of tortilla.
A very popular meat dish is fajita, a grilled beef roulade with vegetables wrapped in a tortilla.
Another roll prepared in the country is chicharron. It is prepared from slices of roasted pork skin.
A very common seafood dish is ceviche – fresh fish marinated in citrus juice.
Tacos – this dish is made from tortilla flatbreads folded in half with a filling of minced meat, chili, beans and herbs, as well as with seafood or fruit toppings.
Sauces, salads, and various dishes are served with corn chip nachos.
A salad with sliced peeled cacti will seem exotic to many tourists.
As a side dish, beans and rice are usually used.
The famous Mexican dessert is the Rosca de Reyes, a royal bread, sweet in taste, with dried fruit and a dollop in the core, which is a symbol of the baby Christ and the coming of the fiesta.
Traditional non-alcoholic beverages: hot chocolate and cocoa.
The national Mexican alcoholic beverage is tequila (made from blue agave fruit).
Mexican national food
A must-try dish in Mexico. It is a classic of the national cuisine.
A burrito is a delicious, hearty roll in a tortilla. The tortilla is thin and the filling is juicy. It is usually chopped meat, refried beans, rice, tomatoes, grated cheese, and guacamole.
Vegetarians should try the bean burrito. The appetizer is usually topped with crispy lettuce, thick sour cream, and spicy salsa.
Burritos are a staple street food in Mexico, available at small street stalls or markets as well as at the most expensive restaurants.
A similar tortilla roll, deep-fried to a golden crust, is called chimichanga.
One of the most recognizable dishes of Mexican cuisine, which is worth trying in several variations. Tacos are based on a corn or wheat tortilla.
The choice of toppings is always impressive: meat, seafood, beans, vegetables, even cactus pulp. Guacamole, salsa, onions, cilantro and grated cheese give the dish a unique flavor.
The best tacos in Mexico are made in taqueria. It is customary to eat the snack without cutlery by folding the tortilla in half. It’s helpful to remember a few of the most popular taco toppings:
- al pastor – “shepherd’s pie” with spicy pork and a slice of pineapple;
- de pollo, with chicken;
- de carne asada – with roast beef;
- al carbon – with meat cooked on coals;
- de guisado, with stew.
Bring home some corn tortillas to treat your friends to authentic Mexican tacos. Don’t forget the spicy salsa – you can’t go anywhere without it.
Do you like cheese? Then be sure to try this Mexican street food in a corn pita with a variety of toppings.
To make the quesadilla, the chef fills the tortilla to the brim with cheese and then grills or deep-fries it. The crispy crust and creamy topping work well together.
This is the classic Mexican quesadilla. Chopped beef, chicken, chorizo sausages, corn, mushrooms, potatoes, beans, and various vegetables can also be added to the dish.
A type of quesadilla that resembles a sandwich with a tortilla instead of bread is called a sincronizada. The best accompaniment to the dish is a vegetable salad, guacamole, salsa and a bottle of cool beer.
The most popular snack in Mexican cuisine. Nachos are crispy corn tortilla chips with a variety of additives.
They are often used in the preparation of certain national dishes. But most often eaten with salads or sauces. A classic is nachos with guacamole.
This snack is a must-try in Mexico. The guacamole sauce is made from avocados with tomatoes, onions, and serrano peppers. It’s quite oily, so the crunchy nachos complement it perfectly.
Bring back a couple of packs of supermarket nachos from Mexico – it’s a great treat for loved ones. Don’t forget to buy a jar of guacamole so your friends will especially enjoy the snack.
Lovers of spicy food should try chilaquiles in Mexico. Oddly enough, locals love to eat this “fiery” snack for breakfast.
It is nachos cooked in chili-based salsa. The dish can be topped with beef or chicken, chorizo sausages, scrambled eggs, and refried beans. Sour cream sauce or guacamole relieves the spice a bit.
The most popular chilaquiles are street food. Street food can be found in almost every Mexican city.
The soup in Mexico is a thick corn chowder called pozole.
It is most often made with chicken or pork, but there are also vegetarian versions with beans. The corn is boiled until the kernels break.
Therefore, this soup is very delicate. The meat is added in pieces and is not boiled.
Pozole is most often served with nachos, various sauces, cheese, spices, and lemon juice-all of which can be added to the chowder as desired. There are 3 types of Mexican pozole soup:
- White – classic.
- Red – with tomato paste and spicy salsa.
- Green – with guacamole.
Chilli con carne
When we say “chili” and we don’t mean hot peppers or chili-based sauce, we are talking about this particular Mexican dish.
It is quite simple and incredibly spicy. In Spanish, chilli con carne means “chili with meat. The classic version of this dish consists of these two ingredients.
However, the dish is especially spicy because of the additional ingredients: beans, sweet peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic and aromatic herbs. Cane sugar, honey, and a pinch of cocoa make it even more unforgettable.
Not every tourist in Mexico should try chili, but only true connoisseurs of “fiery” dishes.
Buy chili pepper flakes in Mexico as a great gift for friends who love hot dishes.
Almost all second courses in Mexican cuisine are spicy. If you wish, fajitas can be an exception.
A soft tortilla, grilled meat or seafood, fresh vegetables, beans, various sauces – all this splendor is served on one plate.
The main ingredients are necessarily sliced in strips and the flatbread is served whole.
This is done so that everyone can combine the ingredients to their liking. If you want to try a non-spicy dish in Mexico, just leave out the salsa and pico de gallo (tomato sauce with onions and chilies).
A simple Mexican steamed corn dough dish.
The filling can be anything: minced meat, beans with chili peppers, vegetables, potatoes, cheese, even fruit.
It is placed in corn flour dough. The snack is boiled in corn or banana leaves, always steamed.
Before eating, they must be removed. A juicy treat with a very pleasant taste awaits you inside. Be sure to try the cheese tamales – they are unparalleled!
Of the sweets in Mexico, one must try the famous “Three Milks” cake.
Incredibly delicate, with a porous, moist texture, and wonderfully creamy. The airy sponge is soaked with a mixture of three kinds of milk: melted, condensed and creamy. Just because of that the dessert literally melts in your mouth.
It is wonderfully complemented by buttercream and whipped cream. In Mexico, they like to serve this cake with fruit or jams. Be sure to try it with local coffee or hot chocolate.
Mexicans have a big sweet tooth, so the selection of desserts in supermarkets in Mexico City, Cancun and other cities is traditionally good. Bring home chili pepper chocolates as well as condensed milk-based sweets.