Sure, the beaches, archaeological ruins, and resorts attract visitors from all over the world, but it’s really the cuisine that everyone comes clamoring for. Known the world over, Mexican food has elevated basic ingredients like corn, beans, and chili peppers to a gastronomically outrageous level of goodness. While the world may be content to simply savor the tacos and burritos of Mexico, the country’s various regions actually boast singular dishes and specialty tastes that are tourist attractions in themselves.
History of Mexican Food
The pre-Columbian peoples of Mexico enjoyed a diet rich in corn, chili peppers, bell peppers, tomatillos, papaya, peanuts, beans, turkey, fish, and chocolate. After the Conquistadors invaded and conquered the various regions, they introduced other ingredients to the cuisine such as pigs, chickens, cattle, rice, wheat, barley, and a myriad of spices. The end result that we celebrate today is a delicious mix of all these foods that comprises contemporary Mexican food—a favorite the world over.
Northern Mexico Mexican Food
The climate of the north varies immensely from the southern states. Consequently, the produce and diet also vary in many ways from other areas of the country. A famous staple of the northern states is grilled meat known as carne asada. Frequently, cooks marinate thin cuts of steak with olive oil and sea salt along with lime, pepper, and sometimes Worcestershire sauce. It’s grilling and may be served with Mexican rice or seasoned vegetables.
Yucatan Mexican Food
The region of the Yucatan Peninsula is known for its sweet rather than savory dishes. Due to its proximity to the sea, seafood is popular and there is a distinct Caribbean influence on some of the dishes. A European influence is also decidedly present in the cuisine of this region. Wildly popular dishes in this area include chicken marinated in achiote (pollo pibil), lime soup, and pork marinated in sour orange juice (poc chuc).
Southern Mexican Food
The southern states are often revered for their spicy dishes made with chicken, seafood, and vegetables primarily. Ceviche, a seafood dish, is quite popular in the south and states that border the Pacific or the Gulf of Mexico. The villages are better known for their Aztec or Mayan dishes that are more exotic Mexican food in nature and often feature ingredients like iguana and insects.
Central Mexican Food
The central region, perhaps not surprisingly, seems to enjoy all these regional favorites interspersed with specialties of their own like pozole and barbacoa. Menudo and carnitas are also popularly eaten in the central states. Mole poblano with a hint of chocolate is a famous regional specialty Mexican food.
Mexican Food: Mexico City
In the capital, of course, anything goes. Not only will travelers find regional dishes from all over the country served in both expensive restaurants and by street vendors, but they’ll also find a considerable array of foreign food. Sushi and many Asian fusion dishes are quite popular in the city. With such an exciting variety of excellent restaurants, you may want to read the blogs of other travelers for their culinary recommendations that may be delightfully suited to your taste. Mexican cuisine – eat it.
And, for those of you in San Diego. If you get a craving for tacos marlin, get your MexInsurance.com®, go to Tijuana. Right next to the stadium is Tacos De Marlin Al Carbon. Just go, just eat them, you’re problems disappear.