OMG! Even UNESCO Loves Mexican Food!
Steeped in history and spiced with different cultures, Mexican cuisine is a rich blend of Mesoamerican, European and Asian elements of cooking. Celebrated the world over for its wonderful rich and spicy flavour and many health benefits, Mexican food also featured in UNESCO’S Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
- Mexican cuisine originates from the Mesoamerican food culture, but was modified after the Spanish conquest of the prehistoric Aztec, Mayan and Zapotec civilisations. Hence many Mexican dishes date back to the golden days of the Mesoamericans, enhanced with the rich flavours and style of Spanish cooking.
- The Mesoamericans’ diet mainly consisted of a variety of vegetables and herbs. Meats such as turkey, deer, quail and rabbit were consumed only occasionally. After the Spanish conquest, the natives were introduced to livestock, dairy products and Asian crops such as wheat and sugarcane.
- Despite the universal fame of Mexican cuisine, its flavours typically vary from region to region. While the North region is symbolic of ranch culture and is renowned for grilled beef, the Bajio region indulges more in pork, rice and spices. The Yucatan region in the South is influenced by the Mayan civilisation and is interspersed with other world cultures, such as Cuba, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
- Mexican cooking is mainly dominated by fresh veggies, fruits, spices, chilies, herbs, eggs, meat and cheese, which combine to give it its spicy, fresh, rich and delicious flavour. Corn and beans are found in almost every Mexican dish and are a huge favourite of the Mexicans since several millennia, as are tortillas.
- A typical Mexican day begins with coffee, pan dulce (sweet rolls) and tortillas, followed by soup, rice, tortillas, meat, coffee and dessert for lunch and a light dinner at night. In cities, however, dinner can be a heavy meal.
- Popular Mexican dishes you mustn’t miss are chiles en nogada (which has the colours of the Mexican flag), tostadas, enchiladas, tamales, pozole, tacos al pastor and chilaquiles.