Mexican Food: Traditional Dishes

Mexican food is known by its richness in flavors and textures. Which are the traditional Mexican dishes?
Mexican culture is famous for its delicious traditional dishes, such as tacos, guacamole, and enchiladas. In typical Mexican cuisine, ingredients such as chile, coriander, or beans are used, which provide the dishes with flavor, aroma, and color.
In this article, we are going to tell you about the characteristics of Mexican food, its history, and we'll list 10 authentic Mexican dishes

Mexican food characteristics

Mexican food is one of the most delicious food in the world. However, most of the dishes that are eaten internationally are not really traditional, although they are called tex-mex -more typical of the southern United States.

Mexican culinary culture derives from the influences of pre-Hispanic Mexico and European cuisine mainly. It is also influenced by African and Asian cuisine. In 2010 Mexican cuisine was recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

Mexican food includes such different colors, flavors, and textures that make it unique. The usual ingredients in this type of food are corn, beans, chilies, and avocado, among many others.

Also, condiments such as hoja santa (Mexican pepper leaf ), pápalo and coriander are often present in Mexican dishes. Each region has its own traditions and different recipes.

Culinary diversity in this country is one of its most famous characteristics. In the same way, homemade food, as well as rituality and festivity, are part of the Mexican culture.

Mexican dishes

Mexican recipes are diverse, and each dish has its characteristic flavor that makes it unique and tasty for us. As it is complicated to choose the best dish among all of them, here you have  a list of 10 main Mexican dishes:

1. Mole

Mole is a type of sauce made from chiles and spices that are thickened with corn or tortilla base. The most popular one is the red and the green mole, although the most traditional one is the mole poblano. It usually accompanies cooked meat, vegetables, and tortillas. There are countless recipes for this sauce, and each one of them varies in ingredients and elaboration.

2. Tamales

This food of Mesoamerican origin known as tamale is a kind of dough made from corn that is usually filled with meat, vegetables, chilies, sauces, and other typical ingredients. They are generally wrapped in corn, banana, or avocado leaves and cooked in water, or steamed.

Their flavor can be sweet or salty depending on the components inside them. They are usually consumed in important festivities such as Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) and Christmas.

3. Pozoles

Although it is not really known outside of Mexico, pozole is a delicious dish. It consists of a type of soup made from  cacahuazintlea kind of corn that is combined with chicken or pork. The most popular ones are the white ones and the seasoned ones. The latter are called like that because different kind of condiments are added during its preparation. They can be red or green depending on the ingredients that are added to it.

4. Chile

Chili peppers are one of the most typical ingredients in Mexico,  and they are included in most of their recipes. Chiles en nogada is a traditional dish that consists of poblano chiles stuffed with a kind of dough made with minced meat, vegetables and/or fruits that are covered with some cream, pomegranate, walnuts, and parsley. There are also other types of chilies stuffed with meat, cheese, tuna or seafood with sauce that are grilled.

5. Enchiladas

Enchilada is a very typical Mexican dish which is prepared with a corn tortilla base accompanied by a spicy sauce made from chile. It can consist of meat, cheese, onion, lettuce and/or cream, among others. There are many types such as green, mole, Swiss, bean and red enchiladas.

Tacos, burritos, or guacamole are some of the most popular Mexican dishes.
Tacos, burritos, or guacamole are some of the most popular Mexican dishes.

6. Tacos

Tacos are the most representative food from Mexico. In general, it is a corn tortilla that contains various foods such as meat, seafood, fish, vegetables, cheese, and different types of sauces. The most popular tacos are the tacos al pastor (shepherd style), carnitas (tacos with pork), gobernador (shrimp tacos), and dorados (fried tacos).

7. Huaraches

Huarache is a traditional Mexican dish from the central area of Ciudad de México, made from a corn tortilla in the shape of a sandal filled with beans and covered with meat, egg, cheese, and some sauces. 

8. Queso panela (panela cheese)

It is fresh and smooth Mexican cheese made from cow's milk that does not need maturation. It can be served as an accompaniment to other Mexican dishes such as some types of guacamole, along with a dough made with chili and garlic or just as a starter.

9. Guacamole

Guacamole is  the most popular Mexican sauce. It is made with avocado, green chili, tomato, onion, and other ingredients depending on the recipe used. It usually accompanies all kinds of dishes such as tacos, sandwiches, stews, meat and mainly with totopos or nachos.

10. Fish ceviche

In Mexico, this is known as aguachile. It is a kind of shrimp and fish marinade seasoned with lemon and chilies. Although it is also consumed in other countries, this is a traditional dish from the north and the coast. It also includes other ingredients such as red onion, tomato, avocado, cucumber or other fresh vegetables.