The Spanish Language Blog

A culture consists of several aspects, one of which is food. The customs and dishes of a culture are characteristic of a country or community. Mexican cuisine is now known all over the world, but once began with a little corn and influences from different parts of the world. The rich flavor and cheerful appearance of Mexican dishes have enriched cultures around the world.

  • The Mexican chili pepper can be found in every dish and is the most typical ingredient for Mexican cuisine.
  • Hearty, elaborate dishes are essential for a good meal in México.
  • Tequila is not the only well-known drink from México.

Mexican cuisine is best known for its spicy dishes and sauces, and it is no lie when we say that the food is perhaps one of the spiciest. This culture loves the chili pepper; the sweet as well as the picante variety. It is therefore not surprising that this pepper can be found in almost every dish; if you don't see it, you will taste it. It is one of the main ingredients of a Mexican dish and also the most representative of Mexican cuisine. There is no Mexican dish without chili. A famous priest (Bartolomé de las Casas) once said, "Sin el chile los mexicanos no creen que están comiendo" (Without the chili, Mexicans don't consider it real food). Besides chili, corn is a basic ingredient in all Mexican dishes. It is known that corn has always been produced in México and today there are even 42 types of corn grown. It is indispensable in the cuisine of this culture. 

Not only corn, but also grain is widely used in México. It is mainly used to make bread, since Mexicans consider bread an essential side dish, but it is also a base for the tortilla de harina; a tortilla made of grains, instead of corn. Other well-known side dishes include vegetables, which of course include beans, and rice, which also really should not be forgotten in a typical Mexican dish. Chocolate, which is now available and popular all over the world, originated in México. It dates back to the era of the Olmecs (los Olmecas), but it is still an important ingredient in Mexican cuisine today and is mainly used as a flavoring in sweet dishes.

The eating habits of Mexicans are closely linked to the occasion on which the meal takes place, the origin of the people preparing it and even to the seasons. Overall, we can name four main moments of the day. During el desayuno, breakfast, you can enjoy a delicious muffin, for example, or try the chilaquiles; corn tortilla chips with scrambled eggs, sauce and sometimes even chicken. The most important meal of the day is la comida, lunch. It takes place between 1 and 4 p.m. and is traditionally very elaborate and filling. Soup is made as a starter, often with rice, noodles or pasta. The heartiest meal is the so-called stew with rice, beans and/or salad as a side dish. Several well-known recipes from Mexican cuisine also come into their own at lunch: the famous tacos and burritos and the universally popular chili con carne and nachos. 

Lunch concludes with a dessert that consists of something sweet, coffee or a digestif. When an early lunch is held, Mexicans take time around 5 to 6 p.m. for a merienda; an afternoon tea. It is often a reunion of friends or family where they consume mostly sweet things. Only after 8 p.m. does dinner, la cena, take place. It is a dish similar to the main course from lunch. It is often accompanied by roast meat (beef, pork or chicken) and a boiled/fried sweet potato. Nowadays, Mexican meals are lighter and less elaborate, but you can still enjoy, for example, quesadillas, chilaquiles or huevos rancheros just as much.

Not only is the food from Mexican cuisine typical of this culture, but the, especially alcoholic, drinks from México are also worth trying! The alcoholic beverages originally from Mexican cuisine can now be enjoyed anywhere in the world. However, there is one exception; el pulque. The places where you can get this drink are limited to México only. In addition, there are a places where you can worship the goddess Mayahuel (the goddess of el pulque). These places are so rare that nowadays they can almost be considered museums. The most famous drink from México is, of course, el tequila, the pick-me-up of México. Originally tequila was drunk as an aperitif and since then it is still drunk today with salt and lemon. In addition to tequila, another drink is also made in the state of Jalisco: el mezcal. An agave drink that, like tequila, has a typical taste and smell that makes the drink special. Finally, of course, we cannot forget Mexican beer with its soft, delicate taste for one kind and its strong, intense taste for another. Mexican beer is drunk from a bottle with a slice of lemon in the neck of the bottle. People believe this is to kill any bacteria, but nowadays it is done more as a tradition.

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