Mexico is an amazing place to visit, stretching from the United States in the north down to Central America’s Belize and Guatemala. Not only that, but the country has both a Caribbean coast and a Pacific coast. The landscape covers two million square kilometers, ranging from leafy jungles and tiny pueblos to giant cities and Mayan ruins. This diverse range of neighbours, landscape and history has led to a great range of culinary delights in Mexico. Whether you’re heading out for an all-inclusive holiday or planning your next big road trip, you should make time in your vacation schedule for the food of Mexico. Tour companies like First Choice are well established in Mexico, with everything from luxury resorts to affordable all-inclusive hotels, so no matter which option you chose, you should always find time to try some local delights.
Mexican cuisine historically has combined fresh fruits and vegetables with local wild game. The influence of other nations is ever-present in modern cuisine, but ingredients and cooking methods have developed as time has passed.
The staples of Mexican cuisine are white corn, squash, beans, tomatoes and chillies, which demonstrate the influence of the indigenous Mexican people and the use of naturally growing vegetables. When the Spaniards arrived they brought wheat, bread, olives and olive oil which are still a prevalent part of the cuisine today. Further influences arrived from Germanic and North African tribes, all combining together to create the zingy, spicy and rich Mexican foods of today.
Mexican Cuisine Today
Most people think of nachos, burritos, fajitas and salsa as traditional Mexican foods, but actually this is more of a Tex-Mex tradition, having developed in the USA near to the Mexican border.
Authentic Mexican food ranges from seafood dishes in the coastal areas, through to some foods you will recognise: the delicious avocado dish of guacamole, and the round, flat bread of tortilla. Frijoles (beans) are a very popular staple to many meals, with borlotti, red, black and pinto beans simmered until soft, and often served with rice.
Mexican cuisine can’t be mentioned without talking about the fact that the country is also famous for growing the cocoa bean. Champurrado is a great way to sample this: thick Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon and orange zest. Another sweet speciality is flan: a vanilla-flavoured dish similar to crème caramel.
With classic ingredients of chillies and lime prevalent in many dishes, along with a huge range of herbs and spices and fresh fruits and vegetables, Mexican cuisine is a great flavour experience. It’s important to experiment and try new dishes while you’re traveling here, as Mexican food is so much more than supermarket tacos!