10 Mexican Food Facts That You Might Find Surprising As Well As Tempting

Whether you are a fan of Mexican Menu or not, you will be after reading these fun, surprising, and untold facts about this food. Yes, go ahead!

3 months ago
10 Mexican Food Facts That You Might Find Surprising As Well As Tempting

Whenever we talk about good International food, there is always one name that pops up in mind, and that is ‘Mexican food.’ Yes, it is so popular that it has even influenced other cuisines from all over the world.

And why not? We must say that anyone who has already tasted a Mexican dish is aware of the rich palette of flavor that explodes in our mouth. Even for the pickiest of eaters, the ethnic combo dance of spices, meats, herbs, and vegetables is enough to satisfy the taste buds.

In all, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t enjoy eating such food. But, surprisingly,  we know so little about it in comparison to the amount of love we have for it. Even we don’t know much about its history, origin, and even preparation styles. However, if you are curious to know all this, we are here to help.

Yes, here we will learn about the true history or the origin of Mexican food, also traditional and current preparation methods of the Mexican dishes, and even some bizarre Mexican food style you are probably not aware of. Besides that, we will check out some fun Mexican food facts to know it better.

About the Mexican Food

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Like we mentioned above, authentic Mexican food is delicious, vibrant, fresh, and fun. It is also spicy, colorful, and uses an amazing array of chilies, both dried and fresh. Many ingredients to make Mexican dishes are easily available everywhere, such as tomatoes, coriander, limes,  red onion, corn, etc. Even avocado and more specialty ingredients are now easily available in Australia and elsewhere.

Moreover, among the staples of Mexican food are corn and beans. Specifically, Corn is used for making mouthwatering recipes from ancient times like masa, a dough which is then turned into tamales and tortillas, whereas corn and beans feature prominently in many dishes.

Among the herbs and spices that give it a taste, there is a specific flavor in Mexican cooking. In addition to all, a variety of chilies (fresh, smoked,  dried, and pickled), alongside coriander (known as cilantro in North America), oregano, cocoa, and cinnamon is its distinct kick. Garlic, lemons,  onions,  and limes are also used generously.

In terms of cuisine, Mexico’s six regions vary considerably due to key differences in geography, weather, and ethnic makeup. Like if we talk about the north of Mexico, it is known for its beef, ostrich and goat production. Then Yucatan is known for its achiote; it’s the most common seasoning, and also food tends to be sweeter and less spicy there, whereas, in the Oaxacan region, the savory tamales and mole sauces are very popular.

Apart from that, famous dishes of Central Mexico comprise pozole (a pre-Columbian meat stew) and carnitas (braised or roasted pork.) Plus, Southeastern Mexico cooking is known for its fish dishes and spicy vegetable and chicken dishes, and its cooking also has a Caribbean influence due to its geography.

Most of the people outside of Mexico have this common perception that Mexican food is both heavy as well. But that’s not entirely true because Mexican food has both a fresh lightness from its generous use of fresh herbs, citrus, and vegetables and a depth of flavor because of its combination of savory and earthy flavors.

Moreover, it would be very unusual to put cheese in food, for example, tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, in most Mexico, and if you want to use, it would be a Mexican panela cheese (a fresh, smooth, white cheese).

Like in Australia, Mexican food has long been far more of the "Tex Mex" variety, but this is slowly but surely developing.

History of Mexican Food

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If we talk about the history of Mexican food, it is a very long and diverse one. There is a belief that authentic Mexican food might have been derived from the Mayan Indians. They were traditionally nomadic gatherers and hunters. In general, they used to eat Corn tortillas with bean paste, but they also had the wild game, fish, and tropical fruits in their menu.

The Aztec Empire was thriving in the mid-1300s, and though the Mayan food staples were still in use, honey, chili peppers, salt, and chocolate found its way into their cooking. And, besides all these, some of the wild game also, like duck and turkey, had now become domesticated.

Further, in 1521, Spain invaded Mexico. And, it was the time when Spanish foods had the most influence on Mexican cuisine. Not only that, but also they have introduced new livestock, such as sheep, cows, and pigs. Plus, they brought dairy products with them, and garlic along with the many different herbs, spices, and wheat.

Hence, we could say that it was the time when Mexican people saw the assimilation of many other cuisines, including the Caribbean, French, South American, Portuguese, and West African. Must say that because of these diverse Mexican foods, dishes today vary from place to place.

Cooking Methods in Early Times

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In the early times, natives of Mexico did not have ovens; hence, they used to heat food over and open fire, using ceramic ware and cast iron skillets. Yes, they did not use to have proper resources, so they invented their food hacks and kitchen hacks to prepare food. Like they used another method to heat food, such as steaming. And for that, they would suspend meat wrapped in banana or cactus leaves over boiling water in a deep pit. Besides, frying was also very popular among people.

Apart from all, some of them also used a metate y mano, a large tool made of lava rock or stone that they would use as the molcajete or grinding stone, which was smaller in shape, to smash and grind ingredients.

Typically, the molcajete or mortar is a small bowl-shaped container that can be made of pottery, stone, marble, or hardwood to smash stuff inside it, whereas the pestle is baseball bat-shaped to grind things.

Some Mind-Blowing Mexican Food Facts

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Many of the Mexican dishes are very popular, like tacos, tamales,  guacamole, and enchiladas. It is true. And not only in the outside of Mexico, but those are also very popular in Mexico too. Still, when it comes to real Mexican food, all these are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Yes, there are so many dishes and ingredients, and it's almost impossible to know all of them.  The Mexican-inspired food that you normally get in any place that is not Mexico is very different from the authentic Mexican cuisine.

So, let’s have a look at the list of these interesting facts associated with Mexican food:

1. Mexican Cuisine is a Rainbow

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In every single Mexican dish, there is a mix of Native European and American ingredients and flavors with hints of Middle Eastern and African influence. These huge combinations come up with a  truly surprising explosion of flavors. And, the best exmple of it is multi- colored edible corn.

2. Packed With a Variety

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You’re probably surrounded by burrito bars, taco trucks, or even torta restaurants, depending on where you live. But the point is these tasty treats are far from all that Mexican food has to offer.

Yes, even the most basic dish at your favorite Mexican restaurant’s menu is reasonable to have delicious options you’ve never tried, such as pozole and tlayudas. And, also you can spice up your go-to order, like, by having chicken tacos mixing up with sauces and salsas.

Ranging from mild tomatillo to the “scary hot” Carolina Reaper, Moe’s Southwest Grill has five types of salsa so you can give your taste buds all types of tingles.

3. It Can be Vegetarian-Friendly

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Well, in Mexico, just because you’ve chosen the vegetarian lifestyle, you don’t have to give up your favorite cuisine. Mexican food offers lots of vegetarian- and even vegan-friendly options, ranging from stuffed poblano peppers and vegetable-filled quesadillas to tortilla soup.

However, at Mexican restaurants, vegetarian eating isn’t always top of mind, hence do read the menu and ask to make sure chicken stock isn’t an ingredient in anything (especially rice and soups).

Another best thing about Mexican dishes is that they are often customizable, for example, Qdoba’s vegetarian taco salad, which comes with your choice of beans, rice, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, guacamole, pickled jalapenos, and many more.

So, you can choose what best suits your taste buds or also you can try something new every time you visit there.

4. It is Healthier Than You Think

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This doesn’t mean that you are going to lose weight by eating platters of steak burritos slathered with cheese, but all we are saying is Mexican food is packed with ingredients that are great for your health.

For example, beans combined with rice make a satisfying and complete protein, Avocados are full of vitamins and fiber, and salsa (pico de gallo) is just vegetables made delicious with spices.

So, build-your-own bowl, taco, or salad, and gain most from the good-for-you ingredients like lean proteins and veggies. And obviously, don’t forget about healthy seafood choices, like Rubio’s tacos along with grilled fish, including wild salmon and mahi-mahi. Even the names are mouth-watering. Isn’t it?

5. The Mexican Food is All About the Regions

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Whenever we think of exploring all the varieties of Mexican food, we need to go region to region. Yes, Mexico is a large country, and because of its remarkably complex geography, the food there is regionally diverse.

Like if we talk about Northern Mexico, it is famous for its cheeses (try the asadero). Then at the Pacific Coast, pozole and menudo are so popular. The area around Guanajuato gifts us Delicious carnitas, while all the amazing varieties of mole comes from Oaxaca.

You’ll find pibil in Yucatan, and the gulf presents delicious pollo encacahuatado (chicken in peanuts). Further, for the best barbacoa and tortas, you can visit central Mexico. Moreover, Cal-Mex and Tex-Mex have become cuisines in their own right.

6. The Cuisine Was Influenced by Immigrants

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Many of the traditional Mexican dishes, as well as ingredients, were adopted in Mexico with a wave of immigration. Like confectionery and pastry-making turned popular in the 19th century that too after two French invasions. Next, the arrival of more Italian and French immigrants brought other new ingredients, such as strong cheese and pasta.

Moreover, Cornish settlers brought their traditional pasty in the central province of Hidalgo, which later became the Mexican paste. Plus, on the coast, Caribbean influence is also amazing in the local cuisine, with coconut oil and plantains.

Chinese immigrants made rice a popular food in the 19th century, and also the Lebanese arrivals brought new additions to Yucatan cuisine. Hence we can see how much Mexican food is a melting pot of nationalities.

7. The Desserts are To-Die-For

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If dessert is your favorite course, “Postre” is the word you want to remember. Also, you can look for sweet treats like churros (think long doughnuts), flan (for the caramel lover), and galletas (cookies) to finish your meal off right.

Oh, and make sure you order leches cake if you want to treat your taste buds with the best Mexican sweet dish. You know it is best because this incredibly moist cake is soaked in three kinds of milk to add a unique flavor; hence, it is called with name tres leches or three milks in Spanish.

More interestingly, Mexicans use fruits for desserts. For example, they mash the pulp of Black Sapote fruit and then mix it with brandy to serve it with cream as an adult dessert. Mouthwatering, right?

8. Adds Chiles to Dessert

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Another unique fact of Mexican food is they add chiles to their desserts to supplement some hot and sweet taste

9. Mexican Cuisine Offers Many Delicious Gifts to the World

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Like we mentioned above that Mexican Cuisine was influenced by Immigrants; similarly, Mexico has also contributed greatly to all the world’s cuisines with ingredients such as corn, avocados, tomatoes, cacao, chili peppers, beans, vanilla, and chocolate. Yes, you read it right, the history of chocolate can be traced to the ancient Olmecs of southern Mexico.

Just imagine living without chocolate or vanilla! Oops, Thanks to Mexico.

10. Mexican Cuisine is a World Treasure

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Mexican cuisine is not just for Mexico; it became a part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2010. Yes, and guess what the only cuisines on that list are Mexican and French.

And that’s how amazing Mexican food is! Aren’t you feeling hungry? Run to the nearest Mexican restaurants and have fun. Also, tell us- were you surprised or amazed by these Mexican Food facts? Leave us a comment now!

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