Category:Mexican recipes

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Half Moon Bay, from Akumal in Quintana Roo

In this category you will find recipes from Mexico. The staples of Mexican cuisine are typically corn and beans. Corn, traditionally Mexico's staple grain, is eaten fresh, on the cob, and as a component of a number of dishes. Most corn, however, is used to make masa harina, a dough for tamales, tortillas, gorditas, and many other corn-based foods. Squash and peppers also play important roles in Mexican cuisine. The most important and frequently used spices in Mexican cuisine are chilli powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, epazote, cinnamon, and cocoa. Chipotle, a smoke-dried jalapeño chilli, is also common in Mexican cuisine. Many Mexican dishes also contain garlic and onions. Next to corn, rice is the most common grain in Mexican cuisine. According to food writer Karen Hursh Graber, the initial introduction of rice to Spain from North Africa in the 4th Century led to the Spanish introduction of rice into Mexico at the port of Veracruz in the 1520s. This, Graber says, created one of the earliest instances of the world's greatest fusion cuisines. The word "chocolate" originates in Mexico's Aztec cuisine, derived from the Nahuatl word xocolatl. Chocolate was first drunk rather than eaten.


When conquistadores arrived in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), they found that the people's diet consisted largely of corn-based dishes with chillies and herbs, usually complemented with beans and tomatoes or nopales. The diet of the indigenous peoples of Pre-Columbian Mexico also included chocolate, tomatillos, huitlacoche, vanilla, avocado, guava, papaya, sapote, mamey, pineapple, soursop, jicama, squash, sweet potato, peanuts, achiote, turkey and fish. In the 1520s, while Spanish conquistadors were invading Mexico, they introduced a variety of animals, including cattle, chickens, goats, sheep, and pigs. Rice, wheat, and barley were also introduced as were olive oil, almonds, wine, parsley, and many spices. The imported Spanish cuisine was eventually incorporated into the indigenous cuisine.


Chocolate played an important part in the history of Mexican cuisine. In the past, the Maya civilization grew cacao trees and used the cacao seeds it produced to make a frothy, bitter drink. The drink, called xocoatl, and was often flavoured with vanilla, chilli pepper, and achiote (also known as annatto). Chocolate was also an important luxury good throughout pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and cacao beans were often used as currency. For example, the Aztecs used a system in which one turkey cost one hundred cacao beans and one fresh avocado was worth three beans; and all of the areas that were conquered by the Aztecs that grew cacao beans were ordered to pay them as a tax, or as the Aztecs called it, a "tribute". Today chocolate is used in a wide array of Mexican foods, from savoury dishes such as chicken mole to traditional Mexican style hot chocolate and champurrados, both of which are prepared with a molinillo.

Regional food

Mexican food varies by region, because of local climate and geography and ethnic differences among the indigenous inhabitants and because these different populations were influenced by the Spaniards in varying degrees. The north of Mexico is known for its beef, goat and ostrich production and meat dishes, in particular the well-known arrachera cut. The six regions of Mexico differ greatly in their cuisines. In the Yucatan, for instance, a unique, natural sweetness (instead of spiciness) exists in the widely used local produce along with an unusual love for achiote seasoning. In contrast, the Oaxacan region is known for its savory tamales and celebratory moles, while the mountainous regions of the West (Jalisco, etc) are known for goat birria (goat in a spicy tomato-based sauce).

Central Mexico's cuisine is largely influenced by the rest of the country, but has unique dishes such as barbacoa, pozole, menudo and carnitas.

Chapulines, or roasted grasshoppers, for sale in a Oaxacan market. Southeastern Mexico, on the other hand, is known for its spicy vegetable and chicken-based dishes. The cuisine of Southeastern Mexico has a considerable Caribbean influence due to its location. Seafood is commonly prepared in states that border the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, the latter having a famous reputation for its fish dishes, a la veracruzana.

In the Yucatán, the Mayan people have practiced beekeeping for thousands of years. Honey is an important ingredient in many Mexican dishes, such as the rosca de miel, a bundt-like cake, and in beverages such as balché. In villages, there are also more exotic dishes, cooked in the Aztec or Mayan style (known as comida prehispánica) with ingredients ranging from iguana to rattlesnake, deer, spider monkey, chapulines, ant eggs, and other kinds of insects.

Recently other cuisines of the world have acquired popularity in Mexico, thus adopting a Mexican fusion. For example, sushi in Mexico is often made with a variety of sauces based on mango or tamarind, and very often served with serrano chilli-blended soy sauce, or complimented with habanero and chipotle peppers.

Mexican restaurants

We don't normally review restaurants on Cookipedia, but after a visit to Thomasina Miers' Wahaca in Covent Garden, UK, I felt the urge to write about it: Wahaca - Mexican Market Eating - Uk Restaurant chain



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Pages in category ‘Mexican recipes’

The following 97 pages are in this category, out of 97 total.