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Guacamole (US /ɡwɑːkəˈmoʊliː/; Spanish: [wakaˈmole] or [ɡwakaˈmole]), is an avocado-based sauce that originated with the Aztecs in Mexico. In addition to its use in modern Mexican cuisine it has also become part of American cuisine as a dip, condiment and salad ingredient. It is traditionally made by mashing ripe avocados with a molcajete (mortar and pestle) with sea salt. Some recipes call for tomato, onion, lime juice, chili, yogurt and/or additional seasonings.
Guacamole was made by the Aztecs as early as the 16th century. The name comes from an Aztec dialect via Nahuatl āhuacamolli [aːwaka'molːi], which literally translates to "avocado sauce", from āhuacatl [aː'wakat͡ɬ] ("avocado") + molli ['molːi] ("sauce"). In Mexican Spanish it is pronounced [wakaˈmole], in American English it is sometimes pronounced /ɡwɑːkəˈmoʊliː/, and in British English sometimes /ˌwækəˈmoʊliː/.
Early recipes from the California Avocado Advisory Board (Calavo), published in the 1940s, were accompanied with a pronunciation suggestion: "Say Huakamole". Later marketing tried to create a "luau" or Pacific Island image of the avocado in the 1960s, and a Spanish or Mediterranean image in the 1970s. Guacamole
Tlayuda (Spanish pronunciation: [tɬaˈʝuða]), sometimes erroneously spelled clayuda, is a handmade dish in traditional Mexican cuisine, consisting of a large, thin, crunchy, partially fried or toasted tortilla covered with a spread of refried beans, asiento (unrefined pork lard), lettuce or cabbage, avocado, meat (usually shredded chicken, beef tenderloin or pork), Oaxaca cheese, and salsa.
They are a popular antojito (snack food) originating from the state of Oaxaca, and can be found particularly around Oaxaca City. Tlayudas are also available in the center-south region of Mexico, such as Mexico City, Puebla, or Guadalajara, but by tradition, the tlayuda is considered a representative iconic dish of Oaxaca.
The dinner plate-sized tortilla is baked, not fried, either on a comal, a barbecue grill, or directly over coals. Once the tortilla has been cooked, refried beans are applied on its surface, along with lard and vegetables, to serve as a base on top of which the main ingredients will be placed. The rules for topping a tlayuda are not strict, and restaurants and street vendors often offer a variety of different toppings, including tasajo (cuts of meat typical of Central Valley of
Guavas (singular Guava, English pronunciation: /ˈgwɑː.və/) are plants in the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae) genus Psidium (meaning "pomegranate" in Latin), which contains about 100 species of tropical shrubs and small trees. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Guavas are now cultivated and naturalized throughout the tropics and subtropics in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, subtropical regions of North America, and Australia.
The most frequently encountered species, and the one often simply referred to as "the guava", is the Apple Guava (Psidium guajava).
Guavas are typical Myrtoideae, with tough dark leaves that are opposite, simple, elliptic to ovate and 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) long. The flowers are white, with five petals and numerous stamens.
The genera Accara and Feijoa (= Acca, Pineapple Guava) were formerly included in Psidium.
The term "guava" appears to derive from Arawak guayabo "guava tree", via the Spanish guayaba. It has been adapted in many European and Asian languages, having a similar form.
Another term for guavas is pera, derived from pear. It is common around the western Indian Ocean and probably derives from Spanish or
Corn smut (Ustilago maydis) is a pathogenic plant fungus that causes smut disease on maize and teosinte (Euchlena mexicana). The fungus forms galls on all above-ground parts of corn species, and is known in Mexico as huitlacoche; it is eaten, usually as a filling, in quesadillas and other tortilla-based foods, and soups.
In Mexico, corn smut is known as huitlacoche [wit͡ɬakot͡ʃe], sometimes spelled cuitlacoche). This word entered Spanish in Mexico from classical Nahuatl, though the Nahuatl words from which huitlacoche is derived is debated. In modern Nahuatl, the word for huitlacoche is cuitlacochin [kʷit͡ɬɑ'kot͡ʃin], and some sources deem cuitlacochi to be the classical form.
Some sources give the etymology as coming from the Nahuatl words cuitla ['kʷit͡ɬɑ] ("excrement" or "rear-end") and cochtli ['kot͡ʃt͡ɬi] ("sleeping", from cochi="to sleep"), thus giving a combined meaning of "sleeping/hibernating excrement".
A second group of sources deem the word to mean "raven's excrement". These sources appear to be combining the word cuitlacoche for "thrasher" with cuitla, meaning "excrement". However, the avian meaning of cuitlacoche derives from the Nahuatl word "song" cuīcatl
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), also known as cilantro, Chinese parsley or dhania, is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Coriander is native to regions spanning from southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia. It is a soft, hairless plant growing to 50 cm (20 in) tall. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the flowering stems. The flowers are borne in small umbels, white or very pale pink, asymmetrical, with the petals pointing away from the centre of the umbel longer (5–6 mm) than those pointing towards it (only 1–3 mm long). The fruit is a globular, dry schizocarp 3–5 mm (0.12–0.20 in) in diameter.
First attested in English late 14th century, the word coriander derives from the Old French coriandre, which comes from Latin coriandrum, in turn from Greek κορίαννον (koriannon). The earliest attested form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek ko-ri-ja-da-na (written in Linear B syllabic script, reconstructed as koriadnon), similar to the name of Minos' daughter Ariadne, and it is plain how this might later evolve to koriannon or koriandron.
Cilantro is the Spanish word for coriander, also deriving from
Nachos are a popular food based on nixtamalized corn, of Mexican origin associated with Tex-Mex cuisine that can be either made quickly to serve as a snack or prepared with more ingredients to make a full meal. In Mexico, they are rather called totopos. In their simplest form, nachos are tortilla chips (totopos) covered in nacho cheese or shredded cheese and/or salsa. Sometimes French fries, potato chips, or popcorn are used instead of tortilla chips. First created circa 1943 by Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya, the original nachos consisted of fried corn tortillas covered with melted cheddar cheese and sliced jalapeño peppers.
Nachos may have originated in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, just over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas,or in Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico, at a restaurant called the Victory Club, owned by Rodolfo De Los Santos. In 1943, the wives of ten to twelve U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan in nearby Eagle Pass were in Piedras Negras on a shopping trip, and arrived at the restaurant after it had closed for the day. The maître d'hôtel, Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya, invented a new snack for them with what little he had available in the kitchen: tortillas and
Picadillo (Spanish pronunciation: [pikaˈðiʎo], "mince") is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries and the Philippines (where it is known as giniling, and also Arroz a la Cubana) that is similar to hash. It is made with ground beef, tomatoes (tomato sauce may be used as a substitute), and other ingredients that vary by region.
It is often served with rice or used as a filling in dishes such as tacos, savoury pastries or croquettes. The name comes from the Spanish word "picar," which means "to mince" or "to chop".
Costa Rican versions always include the name of the vegetable which represents the main ingredient to the dish, (Potato Picadillo, Ayote Picadillo, etc.) and which is chopped and cooked with bell peppers, onions, stock, herbs and spices. It can include some type of protein but that is not essential. It is often served with tortillas or rice.
Cuban versions include peppers, onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, tomato sauce, stock, olives and on occasion raisins, potatoes, and capers, and is usually sauteed in olive oil and white wine, depending on the region. Cuban picadillo is served with black turtle beans and rice.
In the Dominican Republic it includes peppers,
The chile relleno, literally "stuffed pepper", is a dish of Mexican cuisine, consisting of a roasted fresh green Anaheim or poblano chili pepper stuffed with a melting cheese, such as queso Chihuahua or queso Oaxaca (traditionally), and/or picadillo meat made up of diced pork, raisins, and nuts, seasoned with canella meat, covered in an egg batter or simply corn masa flour, and fried. It is often served in a tomato sauce. The type of sauce varies widely.
There are also many versions in Mexico that use rehydrated dry chiles such as Anchos or Pasillas.
Lard is pig fat in both its rendered and unrendered forms. Lard was commonly used in many cuisines as a cooking fat or shortening, or as a spread similar to butter. Its use in contemporary cuisine has diminished; however, many contemporary cooks and bakers favor it over other fats for select uses. The culinary qualities of lard vary somewhat depending on the part of the pig from which the fat was taken and how the lard was processed.
Lard can be obtained from any part of the pig as long as there is a high concentration of fatty tissue. The highest grade of lard, known as leaf lard, is obtained from the "flare" visceral fat deposit surrounding the kidneys and inside the loin. Leaf lard has little pork flavor, making it ideal for use in baked goods, where it is valued for its ability to produce flaky, moist pie crusts. The next highest grade of lard is obtained from fatback, the hard subcutaneous fat between the back skin and muscle of the pig. The lowest grade (for purposes of rendering into lard) is obtained from the soft caul fat surrounding digestive organs, such as small intestines, though caul fat is often used directly as a wrapping for roasting lean meats or in the
Huevos rancheros (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈweβoz ranˈtʃeɾos], "rancher's eggs") is a popular breakfast dish consisting of eggs served in the style of the traditional large mid-morning fare on rural Mexican farms.
The basic dish consists of fried eggs served upon lightly fried corn tortillas topped with a tomato-chili sauce. Refried beans, Mexican-style rice, slices of avocado, or guacamole are common accompaniments.
As the popularity of the dish spread beyond Mexico, variations using wheat flour tortillas instead of corn and pureed chile or enchilada sauce instead of tomato-chile salsa have appeared. Non-Mexican additions such as cheese, sour cream, and lettuce also have become common beyond the dish's native range.
"Huevos divorciados", divorced eggs, are simply two eggs served in the usual style, but with a different sauce for each, usually a red and a green chile.
Another similar dish is Huevos motuleños of the Yucatan.
Huevos Rancheros Recipe
Champurrado is a chocolate-based atole, a warm and thick Mexican drink, based on masa (hominy flour), piloncillo, water or milk and occasionally containing cinnamon, anise seed and or vanilla bean. Ground nuts, orange zest, and egg can also be employed to thicken and enrich the drink. Atole drinks are whipped up using a wooden whisk called a molinillo (or, a blender). The whisk is rolled between the palms of the hands, then moved back and forth in the mixture until it is aerated and frothy.
Champurrado is traditionally served with churros in the morning as a simple breakfast or as a late afternoon snack. Champurrado is also very popular during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and at Las Posadas (the Christmas Season) where it is served alongside tamales. An instant mix for champurrado is available in Mexican grocery stores. Champurrado may also be made with alcohol. In the 2006 movie Quinceañera, Tomas, a kind old bachelor, sells champurrado to the chicanos and artists of the neighbourhood.
Moronga, rellena, or morcilla is a sausage made of pig's blood. It is found in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Central America and Mexican cuisine. Spices, herbs (such as ruda, oregano, and mint), onions and chile peppers are added and then boiled in the pig's intestines for several hours. It is served in a sauce, either "chile rojo" or "chile verde". Considered a delicacy, it is also served in Mexico as a filling in gorditas after it has been pan-fried with fresh onions and jalapeño peppers.
The avocado (Persea americana) is a tree native to Central Mexico, classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel. Avocado or alligator pear also refers to the fruit (botanically a large berry that contains a single seed) of the tree.
Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical, and ripens after harvesting. Trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.
P. americana, or the avocado, originated in the state of Puebla, Mexico. The native, undomesticated variety is known as a criollo, and is small, with dark black skin, and contains a large seed. The oldest evidence of avocado use was found in a cave located in Coxcatlán, Puebla, Mexico, that dates to around 10,000 BC. The avocado tree also has a long history of cultivation in Central and South America; a water jar shaped like an avocado, dating to AD 900, was discovered in the pre-Incan city of Chan Chan. The earliest known written
The chili pepper (also chile pepper or chilli pepper, from Nahuatl chīlli ['t͡ʃiːlːi]) is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.
Chili peppers originated in the Americas. After the Columbian Exchange, many cultivars of chili pepper spread across the world, used in both food and medicine.
Chili peppers have been a part of the human diet in the Americas since at least 7500 BC. There is archaeological evidence at sites located in southwestern Ecuador that chili peppers were domesticated more than 6000 years ago, and is one of the first cultivated crops in the Central and South Americas that is self-pollinating.
Christopher Columbus was one of the first Europeans to encounter them (in the Caribbean), and called them "peppers" because they, like black and white pepper of the Piper genus known in Europe, have a spicy hot taste unlike other foodstuffs. Upon their introduction into Europe chilis were grown as botanical curiosities in the gardens of Spanish and Portuguese monasteries. But the monks
A burrito (US English /bəˈritoʊ/, Spanish: [buˈrito]), or taco de harina ['tako ðe a'ɾina], is a type of Mexican food. It consists of a wheat flour tortilla wrapped or folded into a roughly cylindrical shape to completely enclose a filling. (In contrast, a taco is generally formed by simply folding a tortilla in half around a filling, leaving the semicircular perimeter open.) The flour tortilla is usually lightly grilled or steamed, to soften it and make it more pliable.
In Mexico, refried beans or meat are sometimes the only fillings. In the United States, however, fillings generally include a combination of ingredients such as Mexican-style rice or plain rice, refried beans or beans, lettuce, salsa, meat, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream, and the size varies, with some burritos considerably larger than their Mexican counterparts.
The word burrito means "little donkey" in Spanish, as a diminiuitive form of burro, or "donkey". The name burrito as applied to the food item possibly derives from the appearance of a rolled up wheat tortilla, which vaguely resembles the ear of its namesake animal, or from bedrolls and packs that donkeys carried. In some areas, such as the Lower Rio
Cajeta is a Mexican confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelised milk.
According to chef Rick Bayless, the name for cajeta came from the Spanish phrase al punto de cajeta, which means a liquid thickened to the point at which a spoon drawn through the liquid reveals the bottom of the pot in which it is being cooked. However, it is more popularly known it takes its name from the small wooden boxes in which it was traditionally packed. Mexican cajeta is considered a specialty of and popularly associated with the city of Celaya in the state of Guanajuato, although it is also produced with the traditional method in several towns of the state of Jalisco, such as Mazamitla, Sayula, and Atotonilco el Alto.
Cajeta is made by simmering goat's milk, or occasionally a sweetened liquid, stirring frequently, until it becomes very viscous due to evaporation of water, and caramelized. While goat milk is the most usual base, other liquids or juices may be used.
In Celaya, and eventually the rest of Mexico, the confection of half goat's milk and half cow's milk became known by the name cajeta, but elsewhere, the milk candy became known as leche quemada, dulce de leche, etc. It
Chiles en nogada is a dish from Mexican cuisine. The name comes from the Spanish word for the walnut tree, nogal. It consists of poblano chiles filled with picadillo (a mixture usually containing shredded meat, aromatics, fruits and spices) topped with a walnut-based cream sauce, called nogada, and pomegranate seeds, giving it the three colors of the Mexican flag: green for the chili, white for the nut sauce and red for the pomegranate. The walnut used to prepare nogada is a variety called Nuez de Castilla or Castilla Walnut (Juglans regia).
The traditional chile en nogada is from Puebla; it is tied to the independence of this country since it is said they were prepared for the first time to entertain the emperor Agustín de Iturbide when he came to the city after his naming as Agustín I. This dish is a source of pride for the inhabitants of the state of Puebla.
Some Mexican historians believe the inventors of this dish were the Monjas Clarisas, although others think they were the Madres Contemplativas Agustinas of the convent of Santa Monica, Puebla.
The picadillo usually contains panochera apple (manzana panochera), sweet-milk pear (pera de leche) and criollo peach (durazno
Jarritos (English: "Little Jars") is a popular brand of soft drink in Mexico. Jarritos was started by Don Francisco "El Güero" Hill in 1950. The Jarritos brand is currently owned by Novamex, a large independent-bottling conglomerate based in Guadalajara, Jalisco, property of the Hill & ac. Co. although it is also distributed in some areas of Mexico by the Pepsi Bottling Group or Cott.
Jarritos is made in fruit flavors and is more carbonated than popular soft drinks made in the United States or Canada. Many Jarritos varieties are naturally flavored. The word "jarrito" means "jug" in Spanish and refers to the Mexican tradition of drinking water and other drinks in clay pottery jugs. Jarritos comes in 13.5 and 20-ounce glass and plastic as well as 1.5 liter bottles.
Jarritos broke with Mexican soft drink standards by offering a larger 400 ml bottle with a coffee-flavored drink. Shortly after launching the first Jarritos in Mexico City, Francisco Hill developed a process to remove tamarind juice extract to create the first tamarind-flavored soft drink in Mexico: Jarritos Tamarindo. Hill quickly followed with Mandarin, Lemon, and Fruit Punch flavors gaining greater market share and
The habanero chili ( /ˌhɑːbəˈnɛroʊ/; Spanish: [aβaˈneɾo]) is a variety of chili pepper. The name is sometimes spelled (and pronounced) habañero—the diacritical mark being added as a hyperforeignism. Unripe habaneros are green, and they color as they mature. Common colors are orange and red, but white, brown, and pink are also seen. Typically a ripe habanero chili is 2–6 centimetres (0.8–2.4 in) long. Habanero chilis are intensely spicy, rated 100,000–350,000 on the Scoville scale.
The habanero chili comes from the Amazonas region, and from there it was spread in Mexico. One domesticated habanero, which was dated at 8,500 years old, was found at an archaeological dig in Mexico. An intact fruit of a small domesticated habanero was found in Pre-ceramic levels in Guitarrero Cave in the Mexican highlands, and was dated to 6500 B.C.E It migrated north to the Caribbean via Colombia.
Upon its discovery by Spaniards, it was rapidly disseminated to other adequate climate areas of the world, to the point that 18th-century taxonomists mistook China for its place of origin and called it "Capsicum chinense"—the Chinese pepper.
Today, the largest producer is Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Other
Pachyrhizus erosus, commonly known as Jícama ( /ˈhɪkəmə/; Spanish pronunciation: [ˈxikama]; from Nahuatl xicamatl, [ʃiˈkamatɬ]), Mexican Yam, or Mexican Turnip, is the name of a native Mexican vine, although the name most commonly refers to the plant's edible tuberous root. Jícama is a species in the genus Pachyrhizus in the bean family (Fabaceae). Plants in this genus are commonly referred to as yam bean, although the term "yam bean" can be another name for jícama. The other major species of yam beans are also indigenous within the Americas.
The jícama vine can reach a height of 4–5 metres given suitable support. Its root can attain lengths of up to 2 m and weigh up to 20 kilograms. The heaviest jícama root ever recorded weighed 23 kilograms and was found in 2010 in the Philippines (where they are called 'singkamas').
The root's exterior is yellow and papery, while its inside is creamy white with a crisp texture that resembles raw potato or pear. The flavor is sweet and starchy, reminiscent of some apples or raw green beans, and it is usually eaten raw, sometimes with salt, lemon, or lime juice and chili powder. It is also cooked in soups and stir-fried dishes.
Jícama is often
The milanesa is a common breaded cutlet dish, mostly found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela, as well as in Italy and other American countries to a lesser extent, where breaded meat fillet preparations are known as a milanesa (In Portuguese, the beef version is called bife à milanesa and the chicken version is called frango à milanesa).
The milanesa was brought to the Southern Cone of South America from Central European immigrants, its name probably reflecting an original Milanese preparation cotoletta alla milanese, which is similar to the Austrian Wiener Schnitzel.
A milanesa consists of a thin slice of beef, chicken, veal, or sometimes pork, and even eggplants or soy. Each slice is dipped into beaten eggs, seasoned with salt, and other condiments according to the cook's taste (like parsley and garlic). Each slice is then dipped in bread crumbs (or occasionally flour) and shallow-fried in oil, one at a time. Some people prefer to use very little oil and then bake them in the oven as a healthier alternative.
Also known as scallopine, escalope alla Milanese (in Italy), and escalope à la milanaise (in France), it
Agave tequilana, commonly called blue agave (agave azul), tequila agave, mezcal or maguey is an agave plant that is an important economic product of Jalisco, Mexico, due to its role as the base ingredient of tequila, a popular distilled spirit. The high production of sugars, mostly in the form of fructose, in the core of the plant is its most important characteristic, making it suitable for the preparation of alcoholic beverages.
The tequila agave is native to Jalisco, Mexico. The plant favors altitudes of more than 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) and grows in rich and sandy soils. Blue agave plants grow into large succulents, with spiky fleshy leaves, that can reach over 2 meters (6½ feet) in height. Agaves sprout a stalk (quiote) when about five years old that can grow an additional 5 meters (16 feet); they are topped with yellow flowers. This stalk is cut off from commercial plants so the plant will put more energy into the heart.
The flowers are pollinated by a native bat (Leptonycteris nivalis) and produce several thousand seeds per plant. The plant then dies. The shoots on commercial plants are removed when about a year old to allow the heart to grow larger. The plants are then
Pepita (from Mexican Spanish: pepita de calabaza, "little seed of squash") is a Spanish culinary term for the pumpkin seed, the edible seed of a pumpkin or other cultivar of squash (genus Cucurbita). The seeds are typically rather flat and asymmetrically oval, and light green in color inside a white hull. The word can refer either to the hulled kernel or unhulled whole seed, and most commonly refers to the roasted end product. The pressed oil of the roasted seeds of a specific pumpkin variety is also used in Central and Eastern European cuisine (see Pumpkin seed oil).
Pepitas are a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine and are also roasted and served as a snack. Marinated and roasted, they are an autumn seasonal favorite in the rural United States, as well as a commercially produced and distributed packaged snack, like sunflower seeds, available year-round. Pepitas are known by their Spanish name (usually shortened), and typically salted and sometimes spiced after roasting (and today also available as a packaged product), in Mexico and other Latin American countries, in the American Southwest, and in speciality and Mexican food stores. In the Americas, they have been eaten since at
A churro, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, is a fried-dough pastry—predominantly choux—based snack. Churros are popular in Spain, France, the Philippines, Portugal, Latin America (including Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands) and the United States. There are two types of churros in Spain, one which is thin (and sometimes knotted) and the other which is long and thick (porra). They are both normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate or café con leche.
History is divided on how exactly churros came to exist. One theory is they were brought to Europe by the Portuguese. The Portuguese sailed for the Orient and, as they returned from Ming Dynasty China to Portugal, they brought along with them new culinary techniques, including modifying the dough for You tiao also known as Youzagwei in Southern China, for Portugal. However, they modified it by introducing a star design because they did not learn the Chinese skill of "pulling" the dough (the Chinese Emperor made it a crime with capital punishment to share knowledge with foreigners). As a result, churros are not "pulled" but rather extruded out through a star-shaped die.
Another theory is that the churro was made by
Rajas con crema is the name given to a Mexican dish consisting of sliced Poblano pepper with cream (the name literally means "slices with cream" in Spanish). It is very popular in Mexico, particularly in the central and southern parts of the country. It is one of the dishes most commonly served during taquizas (taco parties), together with tinga, mole, chicharrón, and papas con chorizo.
Preparation of the dish involves roasting, peeling and slicing the peppers, sauteing them together with sliced onions, and simmering the mixture with cream. Sometimes chicken broth is added for flavor.
Annatto, sometimes called roucou or achiote, is derived from the seeds of the achiote trees of tropical and subtropical regions around the world. The seeds are sourced to produce a carotenoid-based yellow to orange food coloring and flavor. Its scent is described as "slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg" and flavor as "slightly nutty, sweet and peppery".
In commercial processing, annatto coloring is extracted from the reddish pericarp which surrounds the seed of the achiote (Bixa orellana L.). Historically, it has been used as coloring in many cheeses (e.g., Cheddar, Gloucester, Red Leicester), cheese products (e.g. American cheese, Velveeta), and dairy spreads (e.g. butter, margarine). Annatto can also be used to color a number of non-dairy foods such as rice, custard powder, baked goods, seasonings, processed potatoes, snack foods, breakfast cereals and smoked fish. It has been linked to cases of food-related allergies.
Annatto is commonly used in Latin American and Caribbean cuisines as both a coloring and flavoring agent. Central and South American natives use the seeds to make body paint and lipstick. For this reason, the achiote is sometimes called the "lipstick-tree".
The soup Menudo is a traditional Mexican dish, made with beef stomach in a clear broth or with a red chili base (this variation is called menudo colorado). Usually, lime, chopped onions, and chopped cilantro are added, as well as crushed oregano and crushed red chili peppers. Boiled tripe has a tough chewy texture somewhat similar to calamari, but with a unique flavor and smell.
Menudo is usually eaten with tortillas or other breads, such as bolillo. It is often chilled and reheated, which causes a more concentrated flavor. The popularity of menudo in Mexico is such that Mexico is a major export market for stomach tripe from US and Canadian beef producers.
Menudo is also a familial food, in the preparation of which the entire family participates, and even serves as an occasion for social interaction with others, since oftentimes throngs of people with pots in hand will wait at the butcher's shop to buy their menudo, if their families no longer make it themselves. Menudo is popular because it is believed to be the medicine for a hangover.
Given that menudo is time and labor intensive to prepare—the tripe takes hours to cook (or else it is extremely tough), and many ingredients and
Huevos divorciados, or "divorced eggs," is a Mexican breakfast featuring two fried eggs separated by a column of chilaquiles (although sometimes, refried beans with tortilla chips are substituted). Typically, one egg is covered in salsa roja, while the other is covered in salsa verde, giving them distinct and complementary flavors.
The tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) is a plant of the nightshade family, related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos originated in Mexico, and are a staple of that country's cuisine. Tomatillos are grown as annuals throughout the Western Hemisphere.
The tomatillo fruit is surrounded by an inedible, paper-like husk formed from the calyx. As the fruit matures, it fills the husk and can split it open by harvest. The husk turns brown, and the fruit can be several colors when ripe, including yellow, red, green, or even purple. Tomatillos are the key ingredient in fresh and cooked Latin American green sauces. The freshness and greenness of the husk are quality criteria. Fruit should be firm and bright green, as the green color and tart flavor are the main culinary contributions of the fruit. Purple and red-ripening cultivars often have a slight sweetness, unlike the green- and yellow-ripening cultivars, and are therefore somewhat more suitable for fruit-like uses like jams and preserves. Like their close relatives cape gooseberries, tomatillos have a high pectin content. Another characteristic is they tend to
Birria (pronounced bírria, accented on the first syllable) is a spicy Mexican meat stew usually made with goat meat, lamb or mutton, or beef is often served during festive periods, such as Christmas, New Year's Eve, Mother's Day, and birthday partys. Originally from Jalisco, it is a common dish in some Mexican food establishments. It is served with corn tortillas, onion, cilantro, and lime. There are variations using beef as well but has not been widely accepted as Birria.
Birria is made using a base of dried, roasted peppers. This gives birria both its characteristic savoriness as well as its variety, as different cooks choose different peppers to use for the broth base. Birria is served by combining a bowl of broth with freshly chopped roasted meat. One method of presentation is for the diner to fill a corn tortilla with meat, onions and cilantro, seasoning with fresh squeezed lime juice, then dip it into the broth before eating it. The broth itself may be eaten with a spoon or by drinking from the bowl.
A common icon in birria restaurants (birrierías) is a pair of goat horns. The icon is used as a symbol of the purported aphrodisiac powers of birria, presumably tied to the
In Mexico and Central America, a tortilla is a type of thin, unleavened flat bread, made from finely ground maize (usually called "corn" in the United States). In Mexico, there are three colors of maize dough for making tortillas: white maize, yellow maize and blue maize.
A similar bread from South America, called arepa (though arepas are typically much thicker than tortillas), predates the arrival of Europeans to America, and was called tortilla by the Spanish from its resemblance to the traditional Spanish round, unleavened cakes and omelettes (originally made without potatoes, which are native to South America). The Aztecs and other Nahuatl-speakers call tortillas tlaxcalli [t͡ɬaʃ'kalːi]; these have become the prototypical tortillas.
Maize kernels naturally occur in many colors, depending on the cultivar: from pale white, to yellow, to red and bluish purple. Likewise, corn meal and the tortillas made from it may be similarly colored. White and yellow tortillas are by far the most common, however.
Tortilla, from Spanish torta, cake, plus the diminutive -illa, literally means "little cake".
The corn tortilla, with many variants, has been a staple food in North American and
Chilaquiles (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃilaki'les]) from the Nahuatl word chīlāquilitl [t͡ʃiːlaː'kilit͡ɬ] is a traditional Mexican dish. Typically, corn tortillas cut in quarters and lightly fried are the basis of the dish. Green or red salsa or mole is poured over the crisp tortilla triangles, called totopos. The mixture is simmered until the tortilla starts softening. Eggs (scrambled or fried) and pulled chicken are sometimes added to the mix. The dish is topped with cheese (typically queso fresco) and/or sweet mexican cream (crema), and it is served with refried beans. Like many dishes, regional and familial variation are quite common.
In central Mexico it is common for the tortilla chips to remain crisp. To achieve this, all ingredients save the salsa are placed on a plate and the salsa is poured at the last moment, seconds before serving. It is commonly garnished with cream, shredded queso fresco, raw onion rings and avocado slices. The image on the right clearly shows chilaquiles prepared this way, as the chips are visibly firm and stiff, and the salsa does not completely cover them.
Usually, chilaquiles are eaten at breakfast or brunch. This makes them a popular recipe to use
A chipotle ( /tʃɨˈpoʊtleɪ/ chi-POHT-lay; Spanish: [tʃiˈpotle]), or chilpotle, which comes from the Nahuatl word chilpoctli meaning "smoked chili pepper" is a smoke-dried jalapeño. It is a chili used primarily in Mexican and Mexican-inspired cuisines, such as Mexican-American and Tex-Mex.
Varieties of jalapeño vary in size and heat. In Mexico, the jalapeño is also known as the cuaresmeño and gordo. Until recently, chipotles were largely found in the markets of central and southern Mexico. As Mexican food became more popular abroad, especially in the upper nations of North America, jalapeño production and processing began to expand into northern Mexico to serve the southwestern United States, and eventually processing occurred in the United States and other places such as China.
Typically, a grower passes through a jalapeño field multiple times, picking the un-ripe green jalapeños for market. At the end of the growing season jalapeños naturally ripen and turn bright red. There is an extensive fresh market for ripe red jalapeños in both Mexico and the United States. They are kept on the bush as long as possible. When the jalapeños are deep red and have lost much of their moisture,
A mollete (Spanish pronunciation: [moˈʎete]) is a typical food of Mexico and a kind of bread in Spain.
A mollete is a kind of bread roll from the Andalusian region, in southern Spain. It is a soft round white bread, usually served lightly toasted with olive oil and raw garlic or spread with lard (usually in the forms of manteca colorá or zurrapa de lomo) in an Andalusian breakfast. The most famous are the ones from Antequera, Málaga.
A mollete is made with bolillos sliced lengthwise, spread with frijoles, and topped with chihuahua cheese. It is then grilled in an oven until the cheese melts. The frijoles need to be on the sweeter side, not bitter or heavy.
Molletes in Mexico are usually served with salsa or pico de gallo. Molletes may also be topped with sliced ham, chorizo, bacon or mushrooms.
There is also a "sweet type" mollete. It is made by putting butter over the bolillo and then sprinkling sugar or honey over it and broiling until crisp.
Tlacoyo [t͡ɬa'koʝo] is an oval shaped fried or toasted cake made of masa. They are similar to fresh corn tortillas, but are somewhat torpedo-shaped and fatter. Tlacoyos are stuffed with refried beans, cheese, fava beans, chicharron or other ingredients. Tlacoyos are often served as an accompaniment to soups and stews. Most traditional tlacoyos do not have lard or salt in the masa, and if not eaten immediately after they are cooked, they become very tough and dry, even if reheated. This dish is similar to the Salvadoran pupusa.
The name tlacoyo is a variation of the Nahuatl word tlahtlaōyoh [t͡ɬɑʔt͡ɬɑ'oːjoʔ]), a name given to an antojito typical of central Mexico.
The tlacoyo is a completely different traditional Mexican dish which must not be confused with a sope or a huarache, but in some regions has started to be used in a similar way, as a base for the same ingredients used for sopes.
Since is similar in shape to a huarache (but smaller), and is made of the same corn as the sope and is even thicker (so it has more resistance to humid foods), Mexican street vendors sometimes sell it adding toppings on it, as an alternative to the sopes and huaraches. However, note the traditional
Chilorio is a pork dish from the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Chilorio is generally made from pork fried in chile sauce.
In making chilorio, pork is slow-simmered for hours until it falls apart. It is then broken into bite size pieces, fried in lard, and cooked in a chile sauce made from re-hydrated dried chiles. The sauce is usually flavored with onions, cumin and garlic.
Tripas, in Mexican cuisine are the small intestines of farm animals that have been cleaned, boiled and grilled. Tripas are used as filling for tacos, then dressed with condiments such as cilantro, chopped onions, and chile sauce. They are also served with Pico De Gallo and Guacamole.
Tripas as prepared Mexican style require care by the cook to avoid becoming rubbery. They are traditionally cooked in a "Disco" (dee-sko) which is constructed of two tilling discs (commonly used in the farming industry) welded to an iron pole in the center of the discs to form a wok like bowl on top of the pole with another disc about 8" - 10" below it. The tripas are placed in the top disc and filled with water while the lower disc is filled with wood or charcoal, thus creating the heat to cook the tripas. The tripas are boiled for several hours until tender, adding water as needed. Once they are tender the cook will allow the water to boil off and then finish the preparation by continuing to let them cook in their own fat.
Tripas are prepared to three levels. Soft preparation is attained shortly after the water boils off while the tripas are still tender with a velvet like texture. Properly prepared,
Arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) is a traditional dish of Latin America and the Caribbean, especially in Puerto Rico, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Cuba, Costa Rica, Honduras, the Dominican Republic where it is called locrio de pollo, and Saint Martin where it is called lokri or locreo. The dish, which originated in Spain as a form of pilaf, is a staple throughout Latin America.
Food writer Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz, while pointing to the international aspects of the dish, notes that its origin in Spain already reflected international influences: chicken was brought from India and rice from Asia; saffron was introduced by Phoenician traders; tomatoes and peppers are natives of the Americas. In some recipes, ingredients include rice, beer, stock, sofrito (a mix of vegetables and fresh herbs), chicken, and annatto. In some recipes, saffron is substituted for annatto.
Chapulines, plural for chapulín (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃapu'lin]), are grasshoppers of the genus Sphenarium, that are commonly eaten in certain areas of Mexico. The term is specific to Mexico and derives from the Nahuatl word chapolin [t͡ʃa'polin] (singular) or chapolimeh [t͡ʃapo'limeʔ] (plural). In Spain and most Spanish speaking countries, the word for grasshopper is saltamontes or saltón, this however is disputed due to the influence of El Chapulín Colorado (see below).
They are collected only at certain times of year (from their hatching in early May through the late summer/early autumn). After being thoroughly cleaned and washed, they are toasted on a comal (clay cooking surface) with garlic, lime juice and salt containing extract of agave worms, lending a sour-spicy-salty taste to the finished product. Sometimes the grasshopers are also toasted with chili, although it can be used to cover up for stale chapulines.
One of the regions of Mexico where chapulines are most widely consumed is Oaxaca, where they are sold as snacks at local sports events and are becoming a revival among foodies. It's debated how long Chapulines have been a food source in Oaxaca. There is one
Piloncillo is the name given in Mexico to small blocks or bricks of unrefined solid cane sugar. They are also often seen in the shape of small truncated cones.
In Central America and South America, piloncillo is called Panela or "tapa dulce" (in Costa Rica) because of its bottle-cap shape. In Panama it is called raspadura, thought to derive from the words "raspar" (to scrape) and "duro" (hard), a reference to the way the hard sugar brick is shaven to produce usable shards for cooking. The local dialect often drops the letter "s"; the word spoken is "ra'padura" or rapadura.
The color of piloncillo ranges from light tan to dark brown. Piloncillo was considered an inferior sweetener, used as a cheaper substitute for refined sugar in dishes and desserts which did not require a colorless sweetener.
Despite its inferior reputation, many Mexican desserts are made with piloncillo, such as atole, capirotada, sweet potatoes, flan, and more.
"Piloncillo" (in Spanish) (2006-12-17).
A tamale (Spanish: tamal [taˈmal], from Nahuatl: tamalli [taˈmalːi]) — also tamal — is a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa (a starchy dough, usually corn-based), which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating. Tamales can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, chilies or any preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned.
Tamales have been traced back to the Ancient Maya people, who prepared them for feasts as early as the Preclassic period (1200-250 BC). Maya people called their corn tortillas and tamales both uah [uah].
Tamales originated in Mesoamerica as early as 8000 to 5000 BC. Aztec and Maya civilizations, as well as the Olmeca and Tolteca before them, used tamales as portable food, often to support their armies, but also for hunters and travelers. Tamale use in the Inca Empire had been reported long before the Spanish visited the New World.
The diversity of native languages in Mesoamerica led to a number of local words for the tamale, many of which remain in use.
In Mexico, tamales begin with a dough made from nixtamalized corn (hominy), called masa, or a masa mix, such
Masa (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmasa]) is Spanish for dough. In the Americas it is often short for masa de maíz, a maize (corn) dough made from freshly prepared hominy. It is used for making corn tortillas, tamales, pupusas, arepas and many other Latin American dishes. The dried and powdered form is called masa harina, masa de harina, and sometimes maseca, the name of a leading commercial brand. It is reconstituted with water before use. Masa de trigo is Spanish for wheat flour dough. It is also used for making wheat tortillas and other breads and pastries.
To make hominy, field corn (maize) grain is dried and then treated by soaking and cooking the mature (hard) grain in a dilute solution of slaked lime (calcium hydroxide) or wood ash, a process termed nixtamalization. Lime and ash are highly alkaline: the alkalinity helps the dissolution of hemicellulose, the major glue-like component of the maize cell walls, and loosens the hulls from the kernels and softens the corn. Some of the corn oil is broken down into emulsifying agents (monoglycerides and diglycerides), while bonding of the corn proteins to each other is also facilitated. The divalent calcium in lime acts as a
Pork is the culinary name for meat from the domestic pig (Sus domesticus), which is eaten in many countries. It is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, with evidence of pig husbandry dating back to 5000 BC.
Pork is eaten in several forms, mostly cooked. Pork can also be processed into different forms, which may also extend the shelf life of the product, with the resultant products being cured (some hams, including the Italian prosciutto) or smoked or a combination of these methods (other hams, gammon, bacon or pancetta). It is also a common ingredient in sausages. Charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, many from pork. However, by some definitions, "pork" denotes only fresh pig meat.
The pig is one of the oldest forms of livestock, having been domesticated as early as 5000 BC. It is believed to have been domesticated either in the Near East or in China from the wild boar. The adaptable nature and omnivorous diet of this creature allowed early humans to domesticate it much earlier than many other forms of livestock, such as cattle. Pigs were mostly used for food, but people also used their hides for shields and shoes, their bones for
Cecina de León redirects here
In Spanish, cecina [se'sina] (Latin America) or [θe'θina] (Spain) means "meat that has been salted and dried by means of air, sun or smoke". The word comes either from the Latin siccus (dry) or from the Celtic ciercina related to modern Spanish cierzo or northern wind.
The best known cecina is Cecina de León, which is made of the hind legs of beef, salted, smoked and air-dried in the province of León in northwestern Spain, and has PGI status.
The word cecina is also used to name other kinds of dried or cured meat in Latin America. In Mexico, most cecina is of two kinds: sheets of marinated beef, and a pork cut that is pounded thin and coated with chili pepper (this type is called cecina enchilada or carne enchilada). The beef version is salted and marinated and laid to dry somewhat in the sun. The beef version can be consumed uncooked, similar to prosciutto. The "cecina enchilada" MUST be COOKED before consumption. The town of Yecapixtla is well known for its version of the dish, which varies from region to region.
Chicken is the most common type of poultry in the world, and is prepared as food in a wide variety of ways, varying by region and culture.
The modern chicken is a descendant of Red Junglefowl hybrids along with the Grey Junglefowl first raised thousands of years ago in the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent.
Chicken as a meat has been depicted in Babylonian carvings from around 600 BC. Chicken was one of the most common meats available in the Middle Ages. It was widely believed to be easily digested and considered to be one of the most neutral foodstuff. It was eaten over most of the Eastern hemisphere and a number of different kinds of chicken such as capons, pullets and hens were eaten. It was one of the basic ingredients in the so-called white dish, a stew usually consisting of chicken and fried onions cooked in milk and seasoned with spices and sugar.
Chicken consumption in the United States increased during World War II due to a shortage of beef and pork. In Europe, consumption of chicken overtook that of beef and veal in 1996, linked to consumer awareness of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or B.S.E.
Modern varieties of chicken such as the Cornish Cross, are bred
Gringas (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈgɾiŋgas], femenine form of gringo) are a variety of tacos which uses as a base a quesadilla, consisting of a flour tortilla filled with cheese (quesadilla) and "al pastor" meat, topped with cheese. This is then grilled in the same manner as a quesadilla. Some say the name appears to come from the dark spots that appear on the white surface of flour tortillas when heated, that resemble of freckles in white skin, a "gringa" skin. In general, the name was established from the idea that (wheat) flour tortillas are preferred north of the border. Las pochas is the name given to another variation of tacos made in the same manner, but instead of wheat flour tortillas, corn tortillas are used and instead of "al pastor" meat, grilled meat, pork or less frequently beef is used.
In addition, the term "gringa" can be used as a slang reference to an Caucasian (white) American female; hence, gringas is the plural form.
A chalupa (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃaˈlupa]) is a tostada platter in Mexican cuisine. It is a specialty of south-central Mexico, including the states of Puebla, Guerrero and Oaxaca. Chalupas are made by pressing a thin layer of masa dough around the outside of a small mold, and deep frying to produce crisp, shallow corn cups. These are filled with various ingredients such as shredded chicken, pork, chopped onion, chipotle pepper, red salsa, and green salsa.
Chalupas are very similar food to sopes and garnachas. Their preparation methods are similar, but they are considered different dishes. Sopes are thick and soft, whereas the chalupa is thin and crunchy.
A chalupa is usually longer than a sope, resembling the canoe-like boat that is its namesake, although there are also small versions (named chalupitas) available in other regions as appetizers or snacks. Chalupitas are usually topped with a tablespoon of beans, sour cream and chipotle pepper to add flavor in a similar fashion to nachos.
An Americanized version of chalupas are sold in Taco Bell restaurants, filled with ground meat, such as steak or chicken, and topped with cheese, lettuce, sour cream and salsa. This chalupa
Coyotas are sugar cookies which are large, flat and traditionally filled with brown sugar. Coyotas originated in the 19th Century in El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico. The version most commonly today dates from 1954 as prepared at Villa de Seris in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.
Huevos motuleños (pronounced: [ˈweβoz motuˈleɲos]) is a breakfast food originated in the town of Motul (Yucatán). The dish is made with eggs on tortillas with black beans and cheese, often with other ingredients such as ham, peas, plantains, and salsa picante. In addition to being served in many restaurants in Yucatán, Quintana Roo and Oaxaca, this breakfast dish is also common in Cuba and Costa Rica.
Mole (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmole]) (Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl mulli or molli, "sauce" or "concoction") is the generic name for several sauces used in Mexican cuisine, as well as for dishes based on these sauces. Outside of Mexico, it often refers to a specific sauce which is known in Spanish by the more specific name mole poblano. The word is also widely known in the combined form guacamole (avocado concoction). In contemporary Mexico, the term is used for a number of sauces, some quite dissimilar to one another, including black, red, yellow, colorado, green, almendrado, and pipián.
Mole can be best defined as a very thick, homogeneous sauce with complex flavors. This distinguishes it from most Mexican salsas which have a thinner consistency, often raw, and contain fewer ingredients (usually nothing more than tomato, onion, garlic and chili pepper) in still-identifiable chunks.
The most common way to consume mole is over chicken, though any kind of meat may be served with mole sauce. Another preparation, more common in restaurants, is enchiladas (corn tortillas wrapped around chicken, cheese or some other simple filling) baked in mole sauce.
Because of the labor-intensive
Carnitas, literally "little meats," are a type of braised or roasted (often after first being fried) pork in Mexican cuisine.
Pork carnitas are traditionally made using the heavily marbled, rich 'boston butt' or 'picnic ham' cuts of pork. The 6–16 lb (3–7 kg) sections are usually cut down to a workable (6–10 lb) size and seasoned heavily before slow braising or deep frying. At this stage, the collagen in the meat has broken down sufficiently to allow it to be pulled apart by hand or fork or chopped with a cleaver.
Prior to serving, the pork, along with some of the rendered liquid, is placed in fairly shallow pans (to maximize surface area) and roasted at high (375 to 425°F or 190 to 220°C) heat for a few minutes.
The carnitas of Sahuayo, Michoacán, are internationally well-known; they are served accompanied with chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) and diced onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, refried beans (frijoles refritos), lime and radishes. Specific cuts of the carnitas (for example, ribs, skin, or various organ meats) can be requested.
It can be a dish by itself, or as an ingredient in tamales, tacos, tortas, and burritos.
Given today's climate for more low-fat foods,
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms.
Cheese consists of proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. It is produced by coagulation of the milk protein casein. Typically, the milk is acidified and addition of the enzyme rennet causes coagulation. The solids are separated and pressed into final form. Some cheeses have molds on the rind or throughout. Most cheeses melt at cooking temperature.
Hundreds of types of cheese are produced. Their styles, textures and flavors depend on the origin of the milk (including the animal's diet), whether they have been pasteurized, the butterfat content, the bacteria and mold, the processing, and aging. Herbs, spices, or wood smoke may be used as flavoring agents. The yellow to red color of many cheeses, such as Red Leicester, is formed from adding annatto.
For a few cheeses, the milk is curdled by adding acids such as vinegar or lemon juice. Most cheeses are acidified to a lesser degree by bacteria, which turn milk sugars into lactic acid, then the addition of rennet completes the curdling. Vegetarian alternatives
An enchilada ( /ˌɛntʃɨˈlɑːdə/, Spanish: [entʃiˈlaða]) is a corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered with a chili pepper sauce. Enchiladas can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, seafood or combinations.
The Real Academia Española defines the word enchilada, as used in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua, as a rolled maize tortilla stuffed with meat and covered with a tomato and chile sauce. Enchilada is the past participle of Spanish enchilar, "to add chile pepper to", literally to "season (or decorate) with chile."
Enchiladas originated in Mexico, where the practice of rolling tortillas around other food dates back at least to Mayan times. The people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate corn tortillas folded or rolled around small fish. Writing at the time of the Spanish conquistadors, Bernal Díaz del Castillo documented a feast enjoyed by Europeans hosted by Hernán Cortés in Coyoacán, which included foods served in corn tortillas. (Note that the native Nahuatl name for the flat corn bread used was tlaxcalli; the Spanish give it the name tortilla.) The Nahuatl word
Frijoles negros (literally "black beans" in Spanish) is a nutritious dish made with black beans, prepared in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and several other nations in Latin America. The black bean, a legume of the species Phaseolus vulgaris, are usually purchased in either canned or dried form. 1 cup of dried black beans yields approximately 2½ cups of cooked beans. Black bean soup (sopa de frijoles negros) is another commonly prepared Cuban favorite.
Frijoles negros is typically seasoned with salt, ham hocks, onions and garlic, tomatoes, powdered cumin seeds, oregano, chili peppers, vinegar, and sometimes other ingredients.
Black beans are high in folate (256 mcg), iron (3.61 mg), magnesium (120 mg), and phosphorus (241 mg); they are also a source of zinc (1.92 mg), niacin (2 mg), and thiamine (.42 mg) - based on 1 cup portion size.
Machaca is a dish prepared originally most commonly from dried, spiced beef or pork, then rehydrated and pounded to make it tender. The reconstituted meat would then be used to prepare any number of dishes. While drying meat is one of the oldest forms of preservation, the drying of beef with chilis and other native spices was developed by the ranchers and cowboys of northern Mexico.
After the arrival of refrigeration, dehydration was no longer needed for preservation. Most dried beef is sold in the U.S. as jerky. In Mexico, it is still sold for cooking as well as snacking; however, this is done mostly in the north and in small-scale operations. Most machaca dishes now are made from beef that has been well-cooked, shredded then cooked in its juices until the desired consistency is achieved, which in Phoenix can be soupy, dry or medio. In Tucson and south, the preparation is almost always dry, and approximates more closely the taste and texture of the original dish prepared from dried meat. Carne seca is an alternative name for machaca in Tucson and Sonora.
Prepared machaca can be served any number of ways from tightly rolled flautas, to tacos, to burritos, or on a plate with eggs,
Maize ( /ˈmeɪz/ MAYZ; Zea mays L, from Spanish: maíz after Taíno mahiz), known in many English-speaking countries as corn, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable or starch. The Olmec and Mayans cultivated it in numerous varieties throughout Mesoamerica, cooked, ground or processed through nixtamalization. Beginning about 2500 BC, the crop spread through much of the Americas. The region developed a trade network based on surplus and varieties of maize crops. After European contact with the Americas in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, explorers and traders carried maize back to Europe and introduced it to other countries. Maize spread to the rest of the world because of its ability to grow in diverse climates. Sugar-rich varieties called sweet corn are usually grown for human consumption, while field corn varieties are used for animal feed and as chemical feedstocks.
Maize is the most widely grown grain crop in the Americas, with 332 million metric tons grown annually in the United States
Queso Oaxaca is a white, semihard cheese from Mexico, similar to unaged Monterey Jack, but with a mozzarella-like string cheese texture. It is named after the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, where it was first made. It is available in several different shapes. It is also known as quesillo Oaxaca or thread cheese when shaped like a ball. Shaped in bricks for slicing, it is called asadero (meaning "roaster" or "broiler") or queso quesadilla.
The production process is complicated and involves stretching the cheese into long ribbons and rolling it up like a ball of yarn. Italian mozzarella is another cheese which is processed by stretching (the pasta filata process).
Queso Oaxaca is used in Mexican cuisine, especially in quesadillas and empanadas, where the queso Oaxaca is melted and other stuffings, such as huitlacoche and squash flowers are added to the filling.
Refried beans (Spanish: frijoles refritos) is a dish of cooked and mashed beans and is a traditional staple of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, although each cuisine has a different approach when making the dish. Refried beans are also popular in many other Latin countries.
The name is based on a mistranslation: in Mexican Spanish, the prefix re is an informal form of emphasis meaning "very" or "well", which has been confused with the English re and the most common use of the Spanish (Latin) prefix re outside Mexico, which more often indicates repetition. Thus, frijoles refritos really means "well-fried beans", not "refried beans". In this dish, the beans are often fried, but may also be baked, thus making the term "refried" a misnomer on two counts.
In northern Mexico and in American Tex-Mex cuisine, refried beans are usually prepared with pinto beans, but many other varieties of bean are used in other parts of Mexico, such as black or red beans. The raw beans can be cooked when dry or soaked overnight, then stewed, drained of most of the remaining liquid, and converted into a paste with a masher (such as a potato masher), or pressed through a fine mesh sieve (to remove the skins).
In Mexican cuisine, carne asada (literally "grilled meat", though any type of dry heat cooking may be used) is made from thin beef steak. The meat can be marinated by rubbing with olive oil and salt or with spice rubs such as lemon and pepper or garlic salt, lime, or Worcestershire sauce, before being cooked on a grill. The meat can be served alone or chopped and used in tacos, burritos, piratas, or quesadillas. Carne asada is often served with fresh guacamole, grilled onions, black beans or frijoles charros, and fresh salsa.
The dish is commonly prepared in the northern and western parts of Mexico (in the states of Sonora, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Coahuila, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Durango, Tamaulipas, Nayarit, Zacatecas, Colima, Michoacán, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí and Jalisco) as well as in the American Southwest (especially Southern California and Texas). It can be found as the main ingredient in tacos and burritos, or is simply served stand-alone. It is sold at Mexican meat markets called carnicerías in the American Southwest and especially those states with Mexican/Mexican American enclaves.
Carne asada can be purchased from meat markets
A taquito (Spanish pronunciation: [taˈkito], from the Spanish diminutive of taco) or flauta (pronounced: ['flauta]) is a Mexican food dish consisting of a small rolled-up tortilla and some type of filling, usually beef or chicken. The filled tortilla is crisp-fried. Corn (maize) tortillas are generally used to make taquitos, though flour is sometimes used.
Taquitos as they now exist are claimed to have been invented in at least two places in California: in Los Angeles' Olvera Street, at Cielito Lindo, founded by Aurora Guerrero in 1934 and still serving customers and in San Diego, in 1940, by Ralph Pesqueria, Sr., when customers at his tortilla factory began asking for prepared food items. The tortilla factory became El Indio Restaurant, where taquitos and other Mexican food are still served. There are many varieties of taquitos in different regions. Taquitos most often contain beef, chicken, and sometimes include cheese, pork, potato, or vegetables. They are generally thin and tend to be about 6 inches (15 cm) long. Potatoes are usually involved in the breakfast form of taquitos, which are thick and come with eggs. Taquitos are usually served with a type of salsa and/or
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia). The word vanilla, derived from the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina (vaina itself meaning sheath or pod), simply translates as little pod. Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples cultivated the vine of the vanilla orchid, called tlilxochitl by the Aztecs, and Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing both vanilla and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s.
Initial attempts to cultivate vanilla outside Mexico and Central America proved futile because of the symbiotic relationship between the vanilla orchid and its natural pollinator, the local species of Melipona bee. Pollination is required to set the fruit from which the flavoring is derived. In 1837, Belgian botanist Charles François Antoine Morren discovered this fact and pioneered a method of artificially pollinating the plant. The method proved financially unworkable and was not deployed commercially. In 1841, Edmond Albius, a 12-year-old slave who lived on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, discovered the plant could be hand-pollinated. Hand-pollination
Caldo de pollo is a common Latin-American soup that consists of chicken and vegetables.
What makes this soup different from many other versions of chicken soup is that Caldo de pollo uses whole chicken pieces instead of chopped or shredded chicken. Other differences are that the vegetables are usually of a heartier cut. Potato halves, not cubes, are used, and whole leaves of cabbage are added.
A typical recipe for caldo de pollo will include the following: water, chicken pieces (drumsticks, breasts, thighs), sliced carrots, sliced celery, potato halves, corn on the cob, diced tomato, sliced onion, minced cilantro, cabbage, and garlic. While it is common to eat Caldo De Pollo plain, most add lemon juice or hot sauce. Some recipes call for cubed avocado added just before eating. Caldo De Pollo can also be served with hot corn tortillas. In Mexico it is also common to add steamed or boiled rice in the same bowl while serving, especially at fondas. In other Latin American countries, it is called sopa de pollo and not caldo, which means only broth.
Chorizo (Spanish: [tʃoˈɾiθo], Asturian: chorizu [tʃoˈɾiθu]; Basque: txorizo [tʃoˈɾis̻o]; Galician: chourizo [tʃowˈɾiθo]; Portuguese: chouriço [ʃoˈɾisu]; Catalan: xoriço [ʃuˈɾisu]) is a term encompassing several types of pork sausages originating from the Iberian Peninsula. In English, chorizo is usually pronounced /tʃɵˈriːθoʊ/, /tʃɵˈriːzoʊ/, or /tʃɵˈriːsoʊ/, but sometimes /tʃɵˈriːtsoʊ/.
Chorizo can be a fresh sausage, in which case it must be cooked before eating. In Europe, it is more frequently a fermented, cured, smoked sausage, in which case it is usually sliced and eaten without cooking. Spanish chorizo and Portuguese chouriço get their distinctive smokiness and deep red color from dried smoked red peppers (pimentón/pimentão or colorau). Due to culinary tradition, and the expense of imported Spanish smoked paprika, Mexican chorizo (but not throughout Latin America) is usually made with chili peppers, which are used abundantly in Mexican cuisine. In Latin America, vinegar also tends to be used instead of the white wine usually used in Spain. Traditionally, chorizo is encased in natural casings made from intestines, a method used since the Roman times.
Chorizo can be eaten as is
Tostada (/tɒˈstɑːdə/ or /toʊˈstɑːdə/; Spanish: [tosˈtaða]) is a Spanish word meaning "toasted". In Latin America it is the name of different local dishes which are toasted or use a toasted ingredient as the main base of their preparation.
In Mexican usage, tostada usually refers to a flat or bowl-shaped (like a bread bowl) tortilla that is toasted or deep fried. It may also refer to any dish using a tostada as a base. It can be consumed alone, or used a base for other foods. Corn tortillas are usually used for tostadas, although tostadas made of wheat flour may occasionally be found.
The tostada avoids waste when tortillas are not fresh enough to be made into tacos, but fresh enough to be eaten. The tortilla is cooked in boiling oil until it becomes golden, rigid and, crunchy, rather like a slice of toasted bread. It is served as a companion to various Mexican food, mostly seafood and stews, such as menudo, birria, and pozole. The latter is usually accompanied with tostadas dipped in sour cream.
Tostadas are a dish on their own in Mexico and the American Southwest. Beans, cheese, sour cream, chopped lettuce, sliced onions, and salsa may be spread on a tostada, which is then topped
Cochinita pibil (also puerco pibil) is a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork dish from the Yucatán Península. Preparation of traditional cochinita or puerco pibil involves marinating the meat in strongly acidic citrus juice, coloring it with annatto seed, and roasting the meat while it is wrapped in banana leaf.
Cochinita means baby pig, so true cochinita pibil involves roasting a whole suckling pig. Alternatively, pork shoulder (butt roast), or pork loin is used in many recipes. The high acid content of the marinade and the slow cooking time tenderizes the meat, allowing otherwise tough pieces of meat to be used. The Yucatecan recipes always employ the juice of Seville or bitter oranges for marinating. In areas where bitter oranges are not common, juice of sweet oranges combined with lemons, limes, or vinegar are employed to approximate the effect of the bitter orange on the meat. Another important ingredient in all pibil recipes is achiote (annatto), which gives the meat its characteristic color and adds to flavor.
Traditionally, cochinita pibil was buried in a pit with a fire at the bottom to roast it. The Mayan word pibil means "buried".
In the movie Once Upon a Time in
Plantain (/ˈplæntɨn/; also UK /ˈplɑːntɨn/ or US /plænˈteɪn/) is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa. The fruit they produce is generally used for cooking, in contrast to the soft, sweet banana (which is sometimes referred to as the dessert banana). There is no formal botanical distinction between bananas and plantains, and the use of either term is based purely on how the fruits are consumed.
North America was first introduced to the fruit as "banana plantain", and in the United States and Europe "banana" generally refers to that variety. The word "banana" is sometimes used to describe other plantain cultivars, and names may reflect local uses or characteristics of cultivars: cooking plantain, banana plantain, beer banana, bocadillo plantain, etc.
Plantains are classified formally as Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana or hybrids Musa acuminata × balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. The archaic scientific name Musa paradisiaca is no longer used. Most plantains come from the hybrid AAB and ABB Cultivar Groups.
All members of the genus Musa are indigenous to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Oceania, including the Malay Archipelago (modern
Epazote, wormseed, Jesuit's tea, Mexican tea, Paico or Herba Sancti Mariæ (Dysphania ambrosioides, formerly Chenopodium ambrosioides) is an herb native to Central America, South America, and southern Mexico.
It is an annual or short-lived perennial plant, growing to 1.2 m tall, irregularly branched, with oblong-lanceolate leaves up to 12 cm long. The flowers are small and green, produced in a branched panicle at the apex of the stem.
As well as in its native areas, it is grown in warm temperate to subtropical areas of Europe and the United States (Missouri, New England, Eastern United States), sometimes becoming an invasive weed.
The common Spanish name, epazote (sometimes spelled and pronounced ipasote or ypasote), is derived from Nahuatl: epazōtl (pronounced [eˈpasoːt͡ɬ]).
Epazote is used as a leaf vegetable and herb for its pungent flavor. Raw, it has a resinous, medicinal pungency, similar to anise, fennel, or even tarragon, but stronger. Epazote's fragrance is strong but difficult to describe. It has been compared to citrus, savory, or mint.
Although it is traditionally used with black beans for flavor and its carminative properties, it is also sometimes used to flavor other
A gordita (Spanish pronunciation: [gorˈdita]) in Mexican cuisine is a corn cake made with masa harina (cornmeal) and stuffed with cheese, meat or other fillings. It is similar to a pasty and to the Colombian/Venezuelan arepa. Gordita means "little fat one" in Spanish. A gordita is typically fried in a deep wok-shaped comal or baked on a regular comal.
A gordita is typically prepared as a thick tortilla. The dough is most commonly made of nixtamalized corn flour, as also used for tortillas, but can also be of wheat flour, particularly in northern Mexico close to the U.S border. An old variant of corn gorditas uses masa quebrada (broken dough) where the corn meal is coarsely ground, leaving bits of broken grain. Gorditas de migas is a version in which fried pork is mixed with the dough.
After cooking, the gordita is allowed to stand to drain excess grease. Then a slit is cut into one side and the gordita is stuffed with additional ingredients. These are usually guisados (meat stew) and salsa. Variations of the gordita include fillings of pork or chicken stew, shredded beef, chicharron, nopalitos, carne al pastor, beans, cheese, rajas (sautéed strips of chile), potatoes, eggs with
Barbacoa is a form of cooking meat that originated in the Caribbean with the Taíno people, from which the term “barbecue” derives. In contemporary Mexico, it generally refers to meats or whole sheep slow-cooked over an open fire, or more traditionally, in a hole dug in the ground covered with maguey leaves, although the interpretation is loose, and in the present day and in some cases may refer to meat steamed until tender.
Barbacoa de cabeza is a specialty of slow-cooked cattle head that arose in the ranching lands of northern Mexico after the Spanish conquest. Except for cochinita pibil, one of the common characteristics of Mexican barbacoa is that marinades are not used and sauces are not applied until the meat is fully cooked (for examples of Mexican marinades, see carne de chango and carne al pastor). Pork cooked in this manner is generally referred to as carnitas rather than barbacoa.
Throughout Mexico, from pre-Mexican times to the present, barbacoa (the name derives from the Caribbean indigenous Taino barabicu) was the original Mexican barbecue, using the many and varied moles (from Nahuatl molli) and salsa de molcajete, which were the first barbecue sauces. Game, turkey,
Nopales (from the Nahuatl word nohpalli [noʔ'palːi] for the pads) are a vegetable made from the young cladode (pad) segments of prickly pear, carefully peeled to remove the spines. These fleshy pads are flat and about hand-sized. They can be purple or green. They are particularly common in their native Mexico, where the plant is eaten commonly and regularly forms part of a variety of Mexican cuisine dishes. Farmed nopales are most often of the species Opuntia ficus-indica, although the pads of almost all Opuntia species are edible.
Nopales are generally sold fresh in Mexico. In more recent years bottled, or canned versions are available mostly for export. Less often dried versions are available. Used to prepare nopalitos, they have a light, slightly tart flavor, like green beans, and a crisp, mucilaginous texture. In most recipes the mucilaginous liquid they contain is included in the cooking. They are at their most tender and juicy in the spring.
Nopales are most commonly used in Mexican cuisine in dishes such as huevos con nopales (eggs with nopal), carne con nopales (meat with nopal), tacos de nopales, or simply on their own or in salads with Panela Cheese. Nopales have also
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice). As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in Asia and the West Indies. It is the grain with the second-highest worldwide production, after maize (corn), according to data for 2010.
Since a large portion of maize crops are grown for purposes other than human consumption, rice is the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by the human species.
There are many varieties of rice and culinary preferences tend to vary regionally. For example in India, there is a saying that "grains of rice should be like two brothers, close but not stuck together", while in the Far East there is a preference for softer, stickier varieties. Because of its importance as a staple food, rice has considerable cultural importance. For example, rice is first mentioned in the Yajur Veda and then is frequently referred to in Sanskrit texts. Rice is often directly associated with prosperity and fertility, therefore there is the custom of throwing
Torta (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtorta]) is a Spanish (but also an Italian and Portuguese) word with a huge array of culinary meanings. It originated in different regional variants of flatbread, of which the torta de gazpacho and torta cenceña are still surviving in certain areas of central Spain. Tortas are also mentioned in Leviticus 24:5-9, in the Spanish translation of the Bible. Presently, however, the word "torta" is also applied to different kinds of bread and pastry products according to the region.
Historically the difference between torta and bread was its round and flat shape, as well as the absence of yeast in its preparation. The well-known word tortilla, used mainly in Mexico (not in Spain, though), means a 'small torta', while tortada means 'big torta'. In most regions a torta was traditionally considered an inferior form of bread, as the well known Spanish aphorism expresses:
In various countries of South America, and in some countries of Europe as well, the word 'torta' means different things. Nowadays the most common usage, however, is for cakes (from the German torte or French tarte) and less for bread products.
In many South American countries, as well as in
Chicharrón (Spanish pronunciation: [tʃitʃaˈron], Portuguese: Torresmo [tuˈʁeʒmu], Tagalog: tsitsarón, sitsarón, chicharón, Chamorro: tsatsalun) is a dish made of fried pork rinds. It is sometimes made from chicken, mutton, or beef.
Chicharrón is popular in Andalucia, Spain, and in Latin America and other countries with Spanish influence. It is part of the traditional cuisines of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil (where it is called torresmo), Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and others. The singular form, chicharrón, is also used as a mass noun, especially in Filipino, in which stand-alone plurals do not exist. They are usually made with different cuts of pork, but sometimes are made with mutton, or with beef in Argentina. In Costa Rica, they are usually made from pork ribs or similar cuts; rinds are rarely used.
The pork rind type is the skin of the pork after it has been seasoned and deep fried. In Mexico, they are eaten in a taco or gordita with salsa verde. In Latin America, they are eaten alone as a snack, with cachapas, as a stuffing in arepas or Salvadoran
Chimichanga ( /tʃɪmiˈtʃæŋɡə/; Spanish: [tʃimiˈtʃaŋɡa]), also known as chivichanga or chimmy chonga is a deep-fried burrito that is popular in Southwestern U.S. cuisine, Tex-Mex cuisine, and the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Sonora. The dish is typically prepared by filling a flour tortilla with a wide range of ingredients, most commonly rice, cheese, machaca, carne adobada, or shredded chicken, and folding it into a rectangular package. It is then deep-fried and can be accompanied with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and/or cheese.
Debate over the origins of the chimichanga is ongoing:
Longaniza (Spanish pronunciation: [loŋɡaˈniθa]) is a Spanish sausage (embutido) similar to a chorizo and also closely associated with the Portuguese linguiça. Its defining characteristics are interpreted differently from region to region. It is popular in the cuisines of several regions of Spain, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and the Philippines.
In Spain, longaniza are long thin salchichón that differ from chorizo in that they substitute black pepper for paprika and may have different spices like nutmeg.
In Argentina and Uruguay, longaniza is a very long, cured and dried pork sausage that gets its particular flavour from ground anise seeds. This results in a very particular aroma, and a mildly sweet flavour that contrasts with the strong salty taste of the stuffing. It's used mainly as an appetizer or in sandwiches, and very rarely cooked.
In Chile, longaniza may be eaten during a barbecue with bread as a choripan. The city of Chillán is known for its longanizas. Chillán's football team Ñublense are nicknamed The Clockwork Longaniza (Spanish:La longaniza mecánica). During the festivities of the 18th of September, longaniza is prepared in great
Salsa is the Spanish term for sauce, and in English-speaking countries usually refers to the often tomato-based, hot sauces typical of Mexican cuisine, particularly those used as dips. There are many types of salsa which usually vary throughout Latin America.
The word salsa entered the English language from the Spanish salsa ("sauce"), which itself derives from the Latin salsa ("salty"), from sal ("salt"). The proper Spanish pronunciation is [ˈsalsa]; however, most American English speakers pronounce it /ˈsɑːlsə/. In British English it is pronounced /ˈsælsə/. In Australian English it is pronounced SOUL-saa.
Mexican salsas were traditionally produced using the mortar and pestle-like molcajete, although blenders are now more commonly used. The Mayans made salsa also, using a mortar and pestle. Well-known salsas include:
There are many other salsas, both traditional and nouveau, some are made with mint, pineapple, or mango.
Outside of Mexico and Central America, the following salsas are common to each of the following regions; in Argentina and the Southern Cone, chimichurri sauce is common. Chimichurri is "a spicy vinegar-parsley sauce that is the salsa (and leading condiment) in
The serrano pepper (Capsicum annuum) is a type of chili pepper that originated in the mountainous regions of the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo. The name of the pepper is a reference to the mountains (sierras) of these regions.
Mature serrano pepper plants reach a height of between one and a half and five feet tall. Each plant can hold up to fifty pepper pods. Unripe serrano peppers are green, but the color at maturity varies. Common colors are green, red, brown, orange, or yellow.
A typical Serrano Pepper plant will grow to about a foot and a half. A single plant can yield dozens of peppers and they can be harvested while they are green or red. Serrano peppers prefer to live in soils with a pH between 7.0 - 8.5. Serranos are not frost tolerant and do best in warm temperatures above 75 F.
The serrano pepper's Scoville rating is 10,000 to 25,000. Their flavor is crisp, bright, and biting, notably hotter than the jalapeño pepper, and they are typically eaten raw. Serrano peppers are also commonly used in making pico de gallo. It is also commonly used in making salsa, as the chili is particularly fleshy compared to others, making it ideal for such dishes.
It is one of the most
A sope (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsope]) is a traditional Mexican dish originating in the city of Culiacán, where it was first known as gordita or pelliscadas. It is an antojito which at first sight looks like an unusually thick tortilla with vegetables and meat toppings. The base is made from a circle of fried masa of ground maize soaked in lime (also used as the basis for tamales and tortillas) with pinched sides. This is then topped with refried beans and crumbled cheese, lettuce, onions, red or green sauce (salsa, made with chiles or tomatillos respectively), and acidified cream. Sometimes other ingredients (mostly meat) are also added to create different tastes and styles of sopes. Sopes are roughly the size of a fist.
The sope has spread throughout all Mexico's territory, and there are now thousands of regional variants. Each region of Mexico prepares sopes using local ingredients and adding local traditional salsas and cooking recipes for the toppings, resulting in great regional variety.
While the pinched sides of the sope are its most distinctive characteristic, there are also flat sopes resembling a thick tortilla or a tostada. However, though both tostadas and sopes are
Mancha manteles (literally, "tablecloth stainer") in Mexican cuisine, is a stew of assorted meat, chillies, vegetables, and fruits. A typical recipe for mancha manteles contains turkey, chorizo, pork, pineapple, apple, banana, chile peppers, almonds, cinnamon, lard, and tomatoes.
Romeritos is a Mexican dish from Mexico City, consisting of sprigs of a wild plant known as Romerito (Suaeda spp.) that looks like rosemary, therefore its name. Usually they are served with patties of dried shrimp, and potatoes in a mole sauce. They are traditionally enjoyed at Christmas and Lent.
Chocolate /ˈtʃɒklət/ is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC. The majority of the Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl [ʃo'kolaːt͡ɬ], a Nahuatl word meaning "bitter water". The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor.
After fermentation, the beans are dried, then cleaned, and then roasted, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form. Because this cocoa mass usually is liquefied then molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Unsweetened baking chocolate (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, combining cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Milk
A quesadilla ( /keɪsəˈdiːə/, Spanish: [kesaˈðiʝa]) is a flour tortilla or a corn tortilla filled with a savoury mixture containing cheese and other ingredients, (often) then folded in half to form a half-moon shape. This dish originated in Mexico, and the name is derived from the Spanish word for cheese queso.
The specific origin for the quesadilla was in colonial Mexico. The quesadilla as a food changed and evolved over many years as people experimented with different variations of it.
A quesadilla is made with a tortilla and is filled primarily with cheese; other ingredients, such as pork, ham, avocado, or other vegetables may be added. The filled tortilla is then warmed until the cheese is melted. Some variations toast or even fry the quesadilla. Once the quesadilla is cooked is ready to eat. Sometimes salsa is added. In the USA the term quesadilla usually refers to what in Mexico is called sincronizada de queso and it is usually cut into slices or wedges. In Mexico the sincronizada is usually translated in menus as quesadilla so tourists would know what it is.
Most quesadillas are prepared by just folding and filling a tortilla, but other variations have tortillas specially
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant (Solanum lycopersicum) or the edible, typically red, fruit that it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler climates.
The tomato fruit is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes and sauces, and in drinks. While it is botanically a fruit, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purposes (as well as by the United States Supreme Court, see Nix v. Hedden), which has caused some confusion. The fruit is rich in lycopene, which may have beneficial health effects.
The tomato belongs to the nightshade family. The plants typically grow to 1–3 meters (3–10 ft) in height and have a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. It is a perennial in its native habitat, although often grown outdoors in temperate climates as an annual.
The tomato is native to South America. Genetic evidence shows the progenitors of tomatoes were herbaceous green plants with small green vegetable and a center of diversity in the highlands of Peru. One
The jalapeño or jalapeno ( /ˌhæləˈpiːnjoʊ/ or /ˌhæləˈpeɪnjoʊ/, Spanish: [xalaˈpeɲo]) is a medium-sized chili pepper. A mature jalapeño fruit is 2–3½ inches (5–9 cm) long and is commonly picked and consumed while still green, but occasionally it is allowed to fully ripen and turn crimson red. It is a cultivar of the species Capsicum annuum originating in Mexico, which is a bush that grows 2–4 feet (60–120 cm) tall. It is named after Xalapa, Veracruz, where it was traditionally cultivated. About 160 square kilometres (40,000 acres) are dedicated for the cultivation in Mexico, primarily in the Papaloapan river basin in the north of the state of Veracruz and in the Delicias, Chihuahua area. Jalapeños are cultivated on smaller scales in Jalisco, Nayarit, Sonora, Sinaloa, and Chiapas. Jalapeno juice is often used as a remedy for seasonal allergies and other cardiovascular problems.
The jalapeño is variously named in Mexico as huachinango and chile gordo. The cuaresmeño closely resembles the jalapeño. The seeds of a cuaresmeño have the heat of a jalapeño, but the flesh has a mild flavor close to a green bell pepper.
Jalapeño is of Nahuatl and Spanish origin. The Spanish suffix -eño
Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) (from Arabic: تمر هندی, romanized tamar hind, "Indian date") is a tree in the family Fabaceae indigenous to tropical Africa. The genus Tamarindus is a monotypic taxon, having only a single species. The tamarind tree produces edible, pod-like fruit which are used extensively in cuisines around the world.
Tamarindus indica is indigenous to tropical Africa, particularly in Sudan, where it continues to grow wild; it is also cultivated in Cameroon, Nigeria and Tanzania. In Arabia, it is found growing wild in Oman, especially Dhofar, where it grows on the sea-facing slopes of mountains. It reached South Asia likely through human transportation and cultivation several thousand years prior to the Common Era. It is widely distributed throughout the tropical belt, from Africa to South Asia, Northern Australia, and throughout South East Asia, Taiwan and China.
In the 16th century, it was heavily introduced to Mexico, and to a lesser degree to South America, by Spanish and Portuguese colonists, to the degree that it became a staple ingredient in the region's cuisine.
Today, South Asia and Mexico remain the largest consumers and producers of tamarind.
The chayote (Sechium edule), also known as christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton (Creole/Cajun), pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, choko, pipinola, güisquil (El Salvador) is an edible plant belonging to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, along with melons, cucumbers and squash.
Chayote is originally native to Brazil (chuchu [ʃuˈʃu] in Brazilian Portuguese) where it grows abundantly and has little commercial value, and it has been introduced as a crop all over Latin America, and worldwide. The main growing regions are Brazil, Costa Rica and Veracruz, Mexico. Costa Rican chayotes are predominantly exported to the European Union, whereas Veracruz is the main exporter of chayotes to the United States.
The word chayote is a Spanish derivative of the Nahuatl word chayohtli (pronounced [t͡ʃaˈjoʔt͡ɬi]). Chayote was one of the many foods introduced to Europe by early explorers, who brought back a wide assortment of botanical samples. The Age of Conquest also spread the plant south from Mexico, ultimately causing it to be integrated into the cuisine of many other Latin American nations.
The chayote fruit is used in mostly cooked forms. When cooked, chayote is
A fajita ( /fəˈhiːtə/; Spanish: [faˈxita]) is a term found in both traditional Mexican cuisine and in Tex-Mex cuisine, commonly referring to any grilled meat served as a taco on a flour or corn tortilla. The term originally referred to the cut of beef used in the dish which is known as skirt steak. Popular meats today also include chicken, pork, shrimp, and all cuts of beef. In restaurants, the meat is often cooked with onions and bell peppers. Popular condiments are shredded lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, cheese, and tomato.
The word fajita is not known to have appeared in print until 1971, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The exact time in which the dish was named fajita is unclear.
The first serious study of the history of fajitas was done in 1984 by Homero Recio as part of his graduate work in animal science at Texas A&M. Recio was intrigued by a spike in the retail price of skirt steak, and that sparked his research into the dish that took the once humble skirt steak from throwaway cut to menu star. Recio found anecdotal evidence describing the cut of meat, the cooking style (directly on a campfire or on a grill), and the Spanish nickname
Pasilla (pronounced pah-SEE-yah; literally "little raisin") refers to more than one variety of chile in the species Capsicum annuum. A true pasilla is the dried form of the long and narrow chilaca pepper. However, in the United States producers and grocers often incorrectly use 'pasilla' to describe the poblano, a different, wider variety of pepper whose dried form is called an ancho.
Pasillas are used especially in sauces. They are sold whole or powdered in Mexico, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
The pasilla chile or chile negro is the dried form of a variety of Capsicum annuum named for its dark, wrinkled skin. In its fresh form, it is called the chilaca. It is a mild to medium-hot, rich-flavored chile. It is generally 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) long and 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 4 cm) in diameter. The fresh narrow chilaca can measure up to 9 inches (22 cm) long and often has a twisted shape, which is seldom apparent after drying. It turns from dark green to dark brown when fully mature.
Pasilla de Oaxaca is a variety of smoked pasilla chile from Oaxaca used in mole negro.
Pasilla peppers are often combined with fruits and are excellent served with duck, seafood, lamb,
Pozole (Nahuatl: pozolli [po'solːi]), which means "foamy"; variant spellings: pozolé, pozolli, posole) is a traditional pre-Columbian soup or stew from Mexico, which once had ritual significance. Pozole was mentioned in Fray Bernardino de Sahagún's "General History of the Things of New Spain" circa 1500 CE. It is made from nixtamalized cacahuazintle corn, with meat, usually pork, chicken, turkey, pork rinds, chili peppers, and other seasonings and garnish. Vegetarian and vegan versions also exist. After colonization by the Spaniards, the ingredients of pozole changed, but the staple corn remained. It is a typical dish in various states such as Sinaloa, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos, México and Distrito Federal. Pozole is often served in Mexican restaurants in the American Southwest.
Since corn was a sacred plant for the Aztecs and other inhabitants of Mesoamerica, pozole was made to be consumed on special occasions. The conjunction of corn (usually whole hominy kernels) and meat in a single dish is of particular interest to scholars because the ancient Mexicans believed the gods made humans out of masa (cornmeal dough). According to research by the National Institute of
A taco ( /ˈtɑːkoʊ/, /ˈtækoʊ/) Nahuatl: tlacopan [t͡ɬa.'ko.pan] is a traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling. A taco can be made with a variety of fillings, including beef, pork, chicken, seafood, vegetables and cheese, allowing for great versatility and variety. A taco is generally eaten without utensils and is often accompanied by garnishes such as salsa, avocado or guacamole, cilantro, tomatoes, minced meat, onions and lettuce.
According to the Real Academia Española, publisher of Diccionario de la Lengua Española, the word taco describes a typical Mexican dish of a maize tortilla folded around food ("Tortilla de maíz enrollada con algún alimento dentro, típica de México"). The original sense of the word is of a "plug" or "wad" used to fill a hole ("Pedazo de madera, metal u otra materia, corto y grueso, que se encaja en algún hueco"). The Online Etymological Dictionary defines taco as a "tortilla filled with spiced meat" and describes its etymology as derived from Mexican Spanish, "light lunch," literally, "plug, wadding." The sense development from "plug" may have taken place among Mexican silver miners, who used