Mexican Foods That US and Canadian Tourists Love
Visitors from the US and Canada are entering Mexico in increasing numbers every year despite stringent security measures being put in place all over the world. Even without checking the statistics from the government departments, it is enough to look at the numbers waiting to be processed at the border points, where visitors produce their personal identification and then receive a tourist visa or card. Of course, before they cross the Free Trade Zone, they must receive their temporary car import permits.
First, Mexican tourists have to ensure that their Mexican auto insurance is valid and adequate because Mexican law requires that every person driving a car in Mexico should have Mexican auto insurance. If you have not yet purchased your Mexican insurance policy then you may purchase it online through this link.
The next item on the visitors’ list of things to do is usually sampling the local dishes. And Mexico does not disappoint. It has an array of unique cuisines, especially because Mexicans still preserve their traditional recipes. Mexican cuisines are also distinct because many of them blend with the tastes from the Spanish conquistadors.
Here are some of the native ingredients that stand out:
- Chili Peppers
There are other ingredients that are also identifiable with Mexico, but are not necessarily used in daily menus. They include:
- Edible flowers
- Huauzontle and such other vegetables
- Small criollo avocadoes, otherwise referred to as papaloquelite
This small avocado draws lots of attention from the fact that its skin is edible, unlike common avocados across the world.
Foods borrowed from people of Spanish descent and blended into Mexican cuisines include:
- The Adobo or marinade
- The sofrito or cooking sauce
It is exciting to note that some cuisines that Mexicans borrowed from the Spanish settlers were not, in themselves entirely Spanish in origin. The settlers who comprised soldiers and cooks, among others, had experienced different tastes during their tour of duty, and had also learnt to modify their recipes. So, some of the dishes they brought in have a Jewish, Muslim as well as Christian touch. Animal recipes that were not known to Mexico earlier on now became part of the Mexican dish.
For that reason, Mexico’s cuisines now have:
- Different legumes
- Olive products
- Prickly pear
- Cherimoya or Custard apple
- Animal products made from beef, goat, sheep, pork and chicken
The 2 dominant ingredients in Mexico:
Corn remains Mexico’s main source of starch, even though the people have embraced Rice and Wheat as well. Corn is consumed in a variety of forms. We can see such examples in:
- Tortillas – found all across Mexico. Sometimes there are tortillas made out of wheat; plantain; yucca and wild greens; but those made of corn are the dominant ones.
- Sometimes corn is eaten in its fresh form
- The rest of the corn, and that is the most, is dried
- The dried corn is first treated with lime; then ground
- The ground corn is sometimes prepared as fresh dough
- Other times, the ground corn is fermented. In its fermented form, it is used to prepare:
o Drinks like atole; pozol; and others
o Other dishes
2) Chili Peppers
Mexicans identify with chili just the same way they identify with their sombreros. Most of them cannot imagine a meal without pepper. Whereas their foods are not always very hot in chilies, they are strong and well flavored.
Mexico has, arguably, the greatest variety of chili pepper. They are used in:
- Snacks. Whatever snack misses chili pepper as an ingredient gets flavored using hot sauce.
Underlining the importance of chili peppers:
Ordinarily, you would expect dishes to be identified by the meats or kind of vegetables they have. But not so for many dishes in Mexico; they are identified by their kind and strength of chili pepper they contain. Below are apt examples:
- Pozole, which is a hominy soup, is described as being red, green or white; and all that depends on the particular pepper that has been used or otherwise omitted.
- The different tamales are distinguished by whether the filling has got green chili, red chili or even mole sauce.
- Even tacos, sopes, tlayudas, tortas, tlacoyos, sincronizadas, gorditas and other street foods go with fresh or pickled chili.