Most Popular Mexican Dishes
It's delicious in Mexico
Ceviche (also spelt cebiche or seviche) is a seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of the Americas, especially Central and South America. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices such as lemon or lime and spiced with chilli peppers. Additional seasonings such as onion, salt, and pepper may also be added. Ceviche is usually accompanied by side dishes that complement its flavors such as sweet potato, lettuce, corn, or avocado. As the dish is not cooked with heat, it must be prepared fresh to avoid potentially detrimental effects on the health of the consumer.
Elote (Nahuatl: elotl or Quechua:choclo), which is the Mexican name for what would be called corn on the cob in English, boiled they are a popular street food in Mexico, although they can be and are frequently served as meal at home prepared in the same way. In Mexico, Chicago, and in the south of the United States, it is customary to consume elotes like a popsicle on a stick or by grasping the husk of the cob that has been pulled down to form a "handle". Condiments such as salt, chili powder, butter, cheese, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and sour cream are usually put in the elote. Powdered lemon pepper seasoning is used on the elotes in Texas.
Another way of serving elotes is serving the grains/kernels cut off the cob, in the southern and central areas Mexico people call this serving esquite instead of elote. Any of the toppings above are added to the corn and it is then eaten with a spoon.
In Mexican cuisine it is commonly used in soups. There are a wide variety of recipes, but the basic recipe calls for lightly browning the fideo in oil, then adding a base of chicken or beef broth, with pureed tomato, Schile peppers, garlic, and onion.
Cilantro, beef, chicken, corn, or other ingredients may also be included. The mixture is then boiled until the fideo and other ingredients are cooked. When served it can be garnished with lime or lemon juice, chile or hot sauce, sour cream, and/or white Mexican cheese.
Refried beans (frijoles refritos) is a dish of cooked and mashed beans and is a traditional staple of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, although each cuisine has a somewhat different approach when making the dish. In Northern Mexico and in American Tex-Mex cuisine, refried beans are usually prepared with pinto beans, but many other varieties of bean are used in other parts of Mexico, such as black or red beans. The raw beans can be cooked when dry or soaked overnight, then stewed, drained of most of the remaining liquid, and converted into a paste with a masher (such as a potato masher, or pressed through a fine mesh sieve (to remove the skins), or simply with a fork (or the back of a large flat spoon). Some of the drained liquid, or chicken or vegetable stock, is added if the consistency is too dry. The paste is then baked with lard or vegetable oil and seasoned to taste with salt and spices. For vegetarians, or in cases when lard is unavailable, it can be replaced with oil.
In a home meal, refried beans typically serve as the main food accompanied by smaller, more strongly flavored dishes, but they may also be served as a side dish accompanying a larger meal, or rolled in a tortilla to form a bean burrito.
Guacamole is an avocado-based dip which originated in Mexico. It is traditionally made by mashing ripe avocados with a molcajete (pestle and mortar) with salt. Some recipes call for tomatoes, lime juice, coriander, garlic and seasonings.
Jícama (pronounced /ˈhɪkəmə/, Spanish pronunciation: [ˈxikama], from Nahuatl xicamatl, [ʃiˈkamatɬ]), also Yam and Mexican Turnip, is the name of a native Mexican vine, although the name most commonly refers to the plant's edible tuberous root. Jícama is one species in the genus Pachyrhizus. Plants in this genus are commonly referred to as yam bean, although the term "yam bean" can be another name for jícama. The other major species of yam beans are also indigenous within the Americas.
Nopalitos is a dish made with diced nopales. They are sold fresh, bottled, or canned and less often dried. They have a light, slightly tart flavor, and a crisp, mucilaginous texture. Nopalitos are often eaten with eggs as a breakfast and in salads and soups as lunch and dinner meals. Nopalitos are low carbohydrate and may help in the treatment of diabetes.
Pambazo is the name of a Mexican white bread. It is also the name of the dish or antojito (very similar to the torta) made with this bread dipped in a red guajillo pepper sauce and filled with papas con chorizo (potatoes with chorizo).
The bread used for pambazos is white and lacks a crispy crust. This particular bread is made of flour, lard, eggs, and its tougher and dried than the similar bolillo (also used for sandwiches), which allows it to retain its shape while being soaked in sauce. Pambazos are usually found in Mexican bakeries where they are sold just as any other white bread. However, since its exterior surface is a bit dry and fragile, is usually reserved for other uses than a meals companion.
Pico de Gallo
In Mexican cuisine, pico de gallo (Spanish for "rooster's beak"), also called salsa fresca, is a fresh, uncooked condiment made from chopped tomato, onion, and sometimes chilis (typically jalapeños or serranos). Other ingredients may also be added, such as lemon or lime juice, fresh cilantro (coriander leaf), cucumber, radish or other fresh firm pulpy fruit such as mango. Pico de gallo can be used in much the same way as other Mexican salsas, or Indian chutneys, but since it contains less liquid, it can also be used as a main ingredient in dishes such as tacos and fajitas.
Salsa may refer to any type of sauce. In American English, it usually refers to the spicy, often tomato based, hot sauces typical of Mexican and Central American cuisine, particularly those used as dips. In British English, the word typically refers to salsa cruda, which is common in Mexican, Spanish and Italian cuisine.
Mexican salsas were traditionally produced using the mortar and pestle-like molcajete, although blenders are now more commonly used. The Mayans made salsa also, using a mortar and pestle. They made what we now call guacamole.
Well-known salsas include:
• Salsa roja:
"red sauce": used as a condiment in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, and usually made with cooked tomatoes, chili peppers, onion, garlic, and fresh cilantro.
• Salsa cruda:
("raw sauce"), also known as pico de gallo ("rooster's beak"), salsa picada ("chopped sauce"), salsa mexicana ("Mexican sauce"), or salsa fresca ("fresh sauce"), "salsa bandera" ("flag sauce", in allusion to the Mexican flag): made with raw tomatoes, lime juice, chilli peppers, onions, cilantro leaves, and other coarsely chopped raw ingredients.
• Salsa verde:
"green sauce": Mexican version made with tomatillos. Sauces made with tomatillos are usually cooked. Italian version made with herbs.
• Salsa negra:
"black sauce": a Mexican sauce made from dried chilis, oil, and garlic.
• Salsa taquera:
"Taco sauce": Made with tomatillos and morita chili.
• Salsa ranchera:
"ranch-style sauce": made with tomatoes, various chilies, and spices. Typically served warm, it possesses a thick, soupy quality. Though it contains none, it imparts a characteristic flavor reminiscent of black pepper.
• Salsa cube:
("raw sauce"), also known as pico de gallo, cheese, and cube.
• Salsa brava:
"wild sauce": a mildly spicy sauce, often flavored with paprika. On top of potato wedges, it makes the dish patatas bravas, typical of tapas bars in Spain.
thicker than a sauce and generally used as a dip, it refers to any sauce where the main ingredient is avocado.
• Mole :
a Mexican sauce made from chili peppers mixed with spices, unsweetened chocolate, almonds, and other ingredients.
• Mango Salsa:
a spicy-sweet sauce made from mangoes and used as a topping for nachos. It is often also used as a garnish on grilled chicken or grilled fish due to the sauce's gamut of complementary flavors.
• Chipotle Salsa:
a smoky, spicy sauce made from smoked jalapeño chili peppers, tomatoes, garlic and spices.
Tortilla Mexican Spanish: [torˈtiʝa]; English: /tɔrˈtiː.ə/) means "little cake" in Spanish, and refers to several different foods eaten in various Spanish speaking countries and parts of the United States. In Mexico, Central America, as well as in English, "tortilla" refers to a flatbread made from corn or wheat originally made by Mesoamerican peoples. In Spain, South America, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, "tortilla" refers to an omelette, with variations that can include vegetables such as onions and potatoes. Tortillas have been used for many centuries in Mexico, where they are consumed year round. More recently other countries have begun producing them to serve the expatriate Mexican market and the growing demand for Mexican food, particularly in North America, Europe and Eastern Asia. Mexican tortillas are most commonly prepared with meat to make dishes such as tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, however, there are many alternate versions without meat.
Totopos, in Mexican cuisine, are a flat, round, or triangular corn product similar to a tortilla best known as originating from Zapotec peoples of the isthmus of Tehuantepec region of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. There, the Zapotec women bake totopos in a clay oven known as a comixcal. Totopos resemble a round, baked tortilla chip or certain types of Scandinavian flat bread, however, unlike tortillas, salt is added to the masa and holes are made in the disk prior to baking.
An important feature of the baking and salting process is preservation, to prevent the decomposition of the corn and growth of mold, regular tortillas generally need to be eaten the same day as they are made (or stored cold) due to the moisture content, whereas totopos may be stored for future consumption, in the same manner as dry crackers. In some cases, fried tortilla chips commercially made in the United States are labelled as or referred to as totopos although they are not made in the manner of the Oaxacan totopo.
In Spain and Latin America, meatballs are called "albóndigas", derived from the Arabic 'al-bunduq' (meaning 'hazelnut,' or, by extension, a small round object). Albóndigas are thought to have originated as a Berber or Arab dish imported to Spain during the period of Muslim rule.
Spanish albóndigas can be served as an appetizer or main course, often in a tomato sauce, while Mexican albóndigas are commonly served in a soup with a light broth and vegetables.
Barbacoa de Cabeza
Barbacoa de cabeza is a specialty of slow cooked cow head that arose in the ranching lands of northern Mexico after the Spanish conquest. Except for cochinita pibil, one of the common characteristics of Mexican barbacoa is that marinades are not used and sauces are not applied until the meat is fully cooked (for examples of Mexican marinades, see carne de chango and carne al pastor). Pork cooked in this manner is generally referred to as carnitas rather than barbacoa.
Throughout Mexico, from pre-Mexican times to the present, barbacoa (the name derives from the Caribbean indigenous Taino barabicu) was the original Mexican barbecue, utilizing the many and varied moles (pronounced "MO'-less", from Nahuatl molli) and salsa de molcajete, which were the first barbecue sauces. Game, turkey, and fish along with beans and other side dishes were slow cooked together in a pit for many hours. Following the introduction of cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, and chickens by the Spanish, the meat of these animals was cooked utilizing the traditional indigenous barbacoa style of cooking.
Birria (pronounced bírria, accented on the first syllable) is a spicy Mexican meat stew usually made with goat, lamb, or mutton, often served during festive periods, such as Christmas, New Year's Eve, Mother's Day, and weddings. Originally from Jalisco, it is a common dish in some Mexican food establishments. It is served with corn tortillas, onion, cilantro, and lime. Birria is made using a base of dried roasted peppers. This gives birria both its characteristic savoriness as well as its remarkable variety, as different cooks will choose different peppers to use for the broth base. Birria is served by combining a bowl of broth with freshly chopped roasted meat of the customer's choice. One eats it by filling a corn tortilla with meat, onions and cilantro, seasoning with fresh squeezed lime juice, and then dipping it into the broth before eating it. The broth itself is also eaten with a spoon or by drinking from the bowl.
A burrito (pronounced /bəˈriːtoʊ/ in US English, [buˈrito] in Spanish), or taco de harina, is a type of Mexican food. It consists of a flour tortilla wrapped or folded around a filling. The flour tortilla is usually lightly grilled or steamed, to soften it and make it more pliable. In Mexico, refried beans, Mexican rice, or meat are usually the only fillings and the tortilla is smaller in size. In the United States, however, fillings generally include a combination of ingredients such as Mexican rice, beans, lettuce, salsa, meat, avocado, cheese, and sour cream, and the size varies, with some burritos considerably larger than their Mexican counterparts.
Carne asada is a roasted beef dish, literally meaning "roasted meat." The dish mainly consists of pieces or thin cuts of beef (e.g. flank steak, skirt steak), sometimes marinated, sometimes lightly salted or rubbed with salt, pepper and/or spices, and then grilled. It can be eaten alone, with side dishes, chopped and eaten as tacos, or chopped and used as filler for tortas, burritos, etc. It is commonly accompanied with guacamole, salsa, beans, and grilled scallions and tortillas. The dish is commonly prepared in the northern parts of Mexico (in the states of Sonora, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Coahuila, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Durango, and Tamaulipas) as well as in the American Southwest (especially Southern California). It can be found as the main ingredient in tacos and burritos, or is simply served as a stand-alone. It is sold at Mexican meat markets called "carnicerías" in the American Southwest; especially those states with Mexican/Mexican-American enclaves. When purchasing carne asada from meat markets, consumers have two options available to them regarding the amount of preparation the steak has undergone pre-purchase: prepared ("preparada"), marinated meat as described above, serving as a time-saver for the home cook but typically at higher cost; and no preparation ("no preparada"), unprepared meat, allowing for a home cook to create one's own marinade.
Carnitas, literally "little meats", is a type of braised or roasted (often after first being simmered) pork in Mexican cuisine. The carnitas of Sahuayo, Michoacán, are internationally well-known; they are served accompanied with chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) and diced onion, salsa, guacamole, tortillas, refried beans (frijoles refritos), lime and radishes. Specific cuts of the carnitas (for example, ribs, skin, or various organ meats) can be requested. It can be a dish by itself, or as an ingredient in tamales, tacos, tortas, and burritos.
In Spanish, cecina means "meat that has been salted and dried by means of air, sun or smoke". The word comes either from the Latin siccus (dry) or from the celtic ciercina related to modern Spanish "cierzo" or Northern wind. The word cecina is also used to name other kinds of dried or cured meat in Latin America. In Mexico, most cecina is of two kinds: sheets of beef that are marinated and a pork kind that is pounded thin and coated with chili pepper (this type is called cecina enchilada, or carne enchilada). The beef version is salted and marinated and laid to dry somewhat in the sun. The town of Yecapixtla is well known for its version of the dish which varies from region to region.
A chalupa is a tostada platter in Mexican cuisine. It is a specialty of south-central Mexico, such as the states of Puebla, Guerrero and Oaxaca. Chalupas are made by pressing a thin layer of masa dough around the outside of a small mold, and deep frying to produce crisp, shallow corn cups. These are filled with various ingredients such as shredded chicken, pork, chopped onion, chipotle pepper, red salsa, and green salsa. Chalupas are very similar food to sopes and garnachas. Their preparation methods are similar, but they are considered completely different dishes, due to several differences, sopes are thick and soft, while the chalupa is thin, and crunchy, for example. A chalupa is usually longer than a sope, resembling the canoe-like boat that is its namesake, although there are also small versions (named chalupitas) available in other regions as appetizers or snacks. Chalupitas are usually topped with a tablespoon of beans, sour cream and chipotle pepper to add flavor in a similar fashion to nachos.
Chicharrón is a dish made of fried pork rinds. It is sometimes made from chicken, mutton, or beef. The pork rind type is the skin of the pork after it has been seasoned and deep fried. In Mexico they are eaten in a taco or gordita with salsa verde. In Latin America they are eaten alone as a snack, with cachapas, as a stuffing in arepas or pupusas, or as the meat portion of various stews and soups.
Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican dish. Typically, corn tortillas cut in quarters and fried are the basis of the dish. Green or red salsa or mole, is poured over the crispy tortilla triangles, called "totopos." The mixture is simmered until the tortilla starts softening. Eggs (scrambled or fried) and pulled chicken are sometimes added to the mix. The dish is topped with cheese (typically queso fresco) and/or sour cream (crema), and it is served with refried beans. Like many dishes, regional and familiar variation are quite common. Usually, chilaquiles are eaten at breakfast or brunch. This makes them a popular recipe to use leftover tortillas and salsas.
Chiles en Nogada
The name comes from the Spanish word for the walnut tree, nogal. It consists of poblano chiles filled with "picadillo" (a mixture usually containing chopped or ground meat, aromatics, fruits, and spices) topped with a walnut-based cream sauce and pomegranate seeds, giving it the three colors of the Mexican flag: green for the chili, white for the nut sauce and red for the pomegranate.
The traditional "Chile en Nogada" is from Puebla. Chiles en nogada is tied to the independence of this country since it is said that they were prepared for the first time to entertain the emperor Agustín de Iturbide on the occasion of his onomastic one. This dish is a motive of pride for the inhabitants of the state of Puebla Some Mexican historians believe that the inventors of this dish were the Monjas Clarisas, although others think they were the "Madres Contemplativas Agustinas" of the convent of Santa Monica, Puebla. The "Chiles en nogada" arise from the purest patriotic and national spirit.
The picadillo usually contains panochera apple (manzana panochera), sweet-butter pear (pera de mantequilla) and criollo peach (durazno criollo). The cream usually has milk, butter and washed nuts. The traditional season for making and eating this dish is August and first half of September.
Chimichanga (pronounced /tʃɪmiˈtʃæŋɡə/; Spanish: [tʃimiˈtʃaŋɡa]), or chivichanga, is a deep-fried burrito that is popular in Southwestern cuisine, Tex-Mex cuisine, and the Mexican states of Sinaloa and Sonora. The dish is typically prepared by filling a flour tortilla with a wide range of ingredients, most commonly beans, rice, cheese, shredded beef, carne adobada, or shredded chicken, and folding it into a rectangular package. It is then deep-fried and can be accompanied with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and/or cheese.
An empanada is a Spanish and Portuguese stuffed bread or pastry. The name comes from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread. Empanada is made by folding a dough or bread patty around the stuffing. The stuffing can consist of many things such as meat or vegetables. In Spain, empanadas are usually large and circular in shape and are cut into smaller portions for consumption, whereas in Portugal and South America empanadas are normally small and semi-circular (this type of empanada is commonly known as empanadilla in Spain). Empanadas are also known by a wide variety of regional names (see the entries for the individual countries below).
An enchilada (pronounced /ˌɛntʃɨˈlɑːdə/) is a corn or flour tortilla rolled around a filling and covered with a chili pepper sauce. Enchiladas can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, seafood or combinations.
Escamoles are the larvae of ants of the genus Liometopum, harvested from the roots of the agave (tequila) or maguey (mezcal) plant in Mexico. In some forms of Mexican cuisine, escamoles are considered a delicacy and are sometimes referred to as "insect caviar". They have a cottage cheese like consistency and taste buttery, yet slightly nutty.
A gordita in Mexican cuisine is a food which is characterized by a small, thick corn cake made with masa harina (corn flour) similar to a pasty. Gordita means "fatty" in Spanish. The gordita is typically baked on a comal, a small pan similar to a skillet, but there are also prepared in deep fry. After being cooked, the gordita is allowed to dry a little to eliminate the excess of grease and is then slit cut into one side to leave an opening which allows the heat inside to escape, and allows the gordita to be stuffed with additional raw ingredients, usually vegetables and salsa, to add taste to the main ingredient which fills the gordita. Local variations of the gordita also uses casseroles, like chicken, nopalitos, carne al pastor, frijol con queso, huevo con chorizo, picadillo, etc. These are made mostly for lunch and are accompanied by many different types of salsas. The most traditional gordita in Mexico is filled with chicharrón prensado (a type of stew made with pork rind and spices) and is called gordita de chicharrón, which has become an icon of the Gordita. It can be found almost everywhere in Mexico, despite the fact each region may have some variations of it, but all uses the same main ingredient.
Gringas are a variety of quesadilla, consisting of a flour tortilla filled with cheese(quesadilla) and "Al Pastor" meat, topped with cheese . This is then grilled in the same manner as a quesadilla. Some say the name appears to come from the dark spots that appear on the white surface of flour tortillas when heated, that resemble of freckles in a white skin, a "gringa" skin. In general the name established from the idea that (wheat) flour tortillas are preferred north of the border, deriving also in the name given to another variation of tacos, las pochas, made out the same way, but replacing the wheat flour tortillas with corn tortillas and the "Al Pastor" meat with grilled meat, pork or less frequently beef.
Huarache is a popular Mexican dish consisting of an oblong, fried masa base, with a variety of toppings. The name "Huarache" is derived from the shape of the masa, similar to the popular sandals of the same name. The word Huarache is originally form Purepecha or Tarascan and the Nahuatl word for huarache is kwarachi. Huaraches are similar to sopes but differ in shape.
Huevos rancheros (Ranch Eggs) is a classic Mexican breakfast dish popular throughout much of the Americas consisting of eggs served in the style of the traditional large mid-morning fare on rural farms. The basic dish consists of fried eggs served upon lightly fried corn tortillas topped with a tomato-chili sauce. Refried beans, slices of avocado, or guacamole accompany the dish.
A milanesa consists of a thin slice of beef, or sometimes chicken or veal. Each slice is dipped into beaten eggs, seasoned with salt, and other condiments according to the cook's taste (like parsley and garlic). Each slice is then dipped in breadcrumbs (or occasionally flour) and shallow-fried in oil, one at a time. Some people prefer to use very little oil and then bake them in the oven as a healthier alternative.
Mole (Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl mulli or molli, "sauce" or "concoction") is the generic name for a number of sauces used in Mexican cuisine, as well as for dishes based on these sauces. Outside of Mexico, it often refers to a specific sauce, which is known in Spanish by the more specific name mole poblano. In contemporary Mexico, the term is used for a number of sauces, some quite dissimilar to one another, including black, red, yellow, colorado, green, almendrado, and pipián. The sauce is most popular in the central and southern regions of the country with those from Puebla and Oaxaca the best known, but 60% of the mole eaten in the country comes from San Pedro Atocpan near Mexico City. The popularity of the sauce, especially at major celebrations, is such that 99% of all Mexicans have tried at least one version of it.
Pozole (Nahuatl: potzolli, which means "foamy"; variant spellings: pozsole, pozolé, pozolli, posole) is a ritually significant, traditional pre-Columbian soup or stew from Mexico. Pozole was mentioned in Fray Bernardino de Sahagún's "General History of the Things of New Spain" circa 1500 C.E.. It is made from nixtamalized cacahuazintle corn, with meat, usually pork, chicken, turkey, pork rinds, sardine, chili pepper, and other seasonings and garnish. Vegetarian and vegan versions also exist. After colonization by the Spaniards, the ingredients of pozole changed, but the staple corn remained. It is a typical dish in various states such as Sinaloa, Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos, México and Distrito Federal. Pozole is often served in Mexican restaurants in the American Southwest.
In most regions of Mexico, a quesadilla is a flat circle of cooked corn masa, called a "tortilla", warmed (to soften it enough to be) folded in half and filled with oaxaca cheese, then cooked until the cheese has melted. Often the quesadilas are served with green or red sauce and chopped onion and acified cream on top, to add taste to cheese. While oaxacan or string cheese is the most common filling, other ingredients are also used instead of cheese in traditional Mexican quesadillas, including cooked vegetables, such as potatoes with chorizo, pumpkin flowers, mushrooms, huitlacoche, and different types of cooked meat such as chicharron, tinga made of chicken or beef, or cooked pork. In most places quesadillas are also topped with other ingredients, additional to the fillings they already have: sour cream, avocado or guacamole, chopped onion and parsley are the most common. Salsas may also be added as a topping.
Mexican quesadillas are by tradition cooked in a comal, which is also used to prepare tortillas, but as a variation, the quesadillas can be fried in oil "quesadillas fritas". Main difference is, while the traditional ones are prepared just filling the partially cooked tortillas, then continue cooking until the cheese melts, the fried ones are prepared like a pasty, preparing the uncooked masa in small circles, then topping with the filling and finally folding the quesadilla to form the pasty and immerse it into boiling oil until the exterior looks golden and crispy.
Other variations include the use of wheat flour tortillas instead, especially in the northeast part of Mexico. Wheat dough is most commonly used in place of corn masa. In these case, the flour tortilla is prepared, folded and filled with cheese, exactly as the corn ones.
Sometimes cheese and ham are sandwiched between two flour tortillas, then cut into wedges to serve commonly known as "sincronizada" (Spanish for "synchronized") in Mexico. Note however, despite the fact it looks almost the same as a quesadilla, it is considered as a completely different dish. The sincronizada is frequently confused with real quesadillas by tourists, as it is what is typically called a quesadilla in most Mexican restaurants outside of México.
Romeritos are a Mexican dish from Mexico City, consisting of patties of dried shrimp, sprigs of a wild plant known as Romerito (Suaeda spp.) that resembles rosemary and potatoes served in a mole sauce. They are traditionally served at Christmas time and Lent.
In Mexican cuisine, the sincronizada (Spanish for "synchronized") is a tortilla-based sandwich made by placing a slice of ham and a portion of Oaxacan cheese between two flour tortillas, then grilled until the cheese melts and the tortillas become crispy. Then cut into halves or wedges to serve. They are frequently confused with quesadillas, due to their resemblance to "quesadillas" sold in the United States. (U.S. quesadillas are usually made with flour tortillas rather than molded from masa in the Mexican style). Note however, despite the fact it looks almost the same as a quesadilla, it is considered as a completely different dish. The main difference between the real quesadilla and the sincronizadas is the obligatory inclusion of ham in the dish and the main ingredient used to make the tortilla (wheat flour instead of corn flour, masa harina). Also note a quesadilla is made of a single folded and filled corn tortilla, while the sincronizada is prepared like a sandwich.
A sope (pronounced "SOH-peh") is a traditional Mexican dish originating in the city of Culiacán. It is an antojito which at first sight looks like an unusually thick tortilla with vegetables and meat toppings. The base is made from a circle of fried masa of ground maize soaked in lime (also used as the basis for tamales and tortillas) with pinched sides. This is then topped with refried beans and crumbled cheese, lettuce, onions, red or green sauce (salsa, made with chiles or tomatillos respectively), and acidified cream. Sometimes other ingredients (mostly meat) are also added to create different tastes and styles of sopes. Most sopes are roughly the size of a fist.
A taco (pronounced /ˈtɑːkoʊ/) is a traditional Mexican dish composed of a corn or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling. A taco can be made with a variety of fillings, including beef, chicken, seafood, vegetables and cheese, allowing for great versatility and variety. A taco is generally eaten without utensils and is often accompanied by garnishes such as salsa, cilantro, tomatoes, onions and lettuce.
A tamale or tamal (Spanish tamal, from Classical Nahuatl tamalli is a traditional Latin American dish made of masa (a starchy dough, often corn-based), which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating. Tamales can be further filled with meats, cheese, vegetables, chilies or any preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned.
Taquito (from the Spanish diminutive of taco) is a Mexican dish consisting of a small rolled-up tortilla and some type of filling, usually beef or chicken. The filled tortilla is crisp-fried. Corn (maize) tortillas are generally used to make taquitos. Flautas, a variation, are commonly made using wheat flour tortillas, but the name, taquito, is applied to both types. There are many varieties of taquitos in different regions. Taquitos most often contain beef or chicken, and sometimes include cheese, pork, potato, or vegetables. They are generally thin and tend to be about 6 inches (15 cm) long. Potatoes are usually involved in the breakfast form of taquitos, which are thick and come with eggs. Taquitos are usually served with a type of salsa and/or guacamole.
A torta is a Mexican sandwich, served on an oblong 6-8 inch firm, crusty white sandwich roll, called a bolillo, telera or birote. "Telera" is soft, round bread; also commonly used is the Bolillo, a torpedo-shaped French roll with a thick and crunchy crust. Tortas can be served hot or cold.
Tostada (pronounced /tɒˈstɑːdə/ or /toʊˈstɑːdə/) is a Spanish word which literally means "toasted". It is used in Latin America to name several different traditional local dishes which only have in common the fact they are toasted or uses a toasted ingredient as the main base of its preparation. Note there's a gender difference between "tostada" (feminine) and "tostado" (masculine). Despite the fact both terms means exactly the same (toasted), tostado is used in reference of a specific degree of toast, (coffee, roasted grains and seeds or bread toast) while tostada is usually the name of a particular dish. In Mexico it refers to a flat or bowl-shaped (like a bread bowl) tortilla that is toasted or deep fried. It also refers to the finished dish using a tostada as a base. It is consumed alone, as a salty snack known as totopo, (nachos, in Tex-Mex cuisine), or used a base for other foods. Corn tortillas are the ones usually used to make tostadas, although in some regions it is possible, but rare, find tostadas made of wheat flour.
The Tostada initially has its origin in the need to avoid waste when tortillas went stale, no longer fresh enough to be rolled into tacos, but still fresh enough to eat. The old tortilla is submersed into boiling oil until becomes golden, rigid and crunchy, like a traditional slice of toast bread (hence the reason of its name). Then is served alone as companion for different kinds of Mexican food, mostly seafood, and spicy stews, such as Menudo, Birria and Pozole. This last one is usually accompanied with tostadas dipped in acidified cream.
Another extremely popular way to eat tostadas in Mexico is as a dish of its own. Beans, cheese, acidified cream, chopped lettuce, sliced onions and salsa are spread onto the tostadas like an "open faced" rigid taco, mostly like a pizza. Then is finally topped with the main ingredient, usually meat cooked and chopped specially to dress the tostada. In most cases, is cooked chicken meat or pork. The "Tostada de Pata" (chopped pork fingers in conserve) has become an icon of Mexican tostadas, and it is found in almost every place where tostadas are prepared. As a general rule, due to the flat and fragile body of the tostada, the main topping must be sticky or pasty enough to stay on top. This helps prevent the other toppings or garnishes from falling off while it's being eaten, although due its natural fragility, tostadas have the tendency to break noisily when eaten.
Jamaica Water (Agua de Jamaica)
Jamaica Water "Agua de Flor de Jamaica" (Anglicized as /həˈmaɪkə/), also called agua de Jamaica and rosa de jamaica, is popular in Jamaica, Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America and the Caribbean. It is one of several common aguas frescas, which are inexpensive beverages typically made from fresh juices or extracts. Agua de Flor de Jamaica is usually prepared by steeping the calyces, along with ginger (in Jamaica), in boiling water, straining the mixture, pressing the calyces (to squeeze all the juice out), adding sugar, and sometimes a little rum (in Jamaica), and stirring. It is served chilled.
The Michelada or cerveza preparada is a term loosely defining a Mexican alcoholic beverage made with beer, lime juice and assorted sauces, spices, peppers, tomato juices or Clamato. It is served in a chilled salt rimmed glass. There are numerous variations of the beverage throughout Mexico and Latin America. A common variation includes Clamato or Tomato juice. In Mexico, Micheladas are considered a good remedy for hangovers. There are different types of variations of Micheladas; for example in Mexico City, the most common form of a Michelada is prepared with beer, lime, salt, and hot sauce/or chili. Some do add slices of orange, but this step is optional.
Pulque, or octli, is a milk-colored, somewhat viscous alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant, and is a traditional native beverage of Mexico. The drink’s history extends far back into the Mesoamerican period, when it was considered sacred, and its use was limited to certain classes of people. After the Spanish Conquest of Mexico, the drink became secular and its consumption rose. The consumption of pulque reached its peak in the late 1800’s. In the 20th century, the drink fell into decline, mostly because of competition from beer, which became more prevalent with the arrival of European immigrants. There are some efforts to revive the drink’s popularity through tourism.
In contrast, mescal is made from the cooked heart of certain agave plants, and tequila, a variety of mescal, is made all or mostly from the blue agave. There are about six varieties of maguey that are best used for the production of pulque. The name “pulque” is derived from Nahuatl. The original name of the drink was “iztac octli” (white wine), the term pulque was probably mistakenly derived by the Spanish from the “octli poliuhqui” which meant "spoiled wine".
Tejate is a maize and cacao beverage traditionally made in Oaxaca, Mexico, originating from pre-Hispanic times. It remains very popular among the indigenous Mixtec and Zapotec peoples, especially in rural areas. It's also very popular for anyone who lives in Oaxaca and the surrounding regions. Principal ingredients include toasted maize flour, fermented cacao beans, mamey pits and flor de cacao (also known as rosita de cacao). These are finely ground into a paste. The paste is mixed with water, usually by hand, and when it is ready, the flor de cacao rises to the top to form a pasty foam. It can be served as-is or with some sugar syrup to sweeten it. The drink is served cold.
Tequila (Spanish pronunciation: [teˈkila]) is a blue agave–based spirit made primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, 65 kilometres (40 mi) northwest of Guadalajara, and in the highlands (Los Altos) of the western Mexican state of Jalisco.
The red volcanic soil in the surrounding region is particularly well suited to the growing of the blue agave, and more than 300 million of the plants are harvested there each year.
Mexican laws state that tequila can be produced only in the state of Jalisco and limited regions in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Mexico has claimed the exclusive international right to the word "tequila", threatening legal actions against manufacturers in other countries.
Tequila is most often made at a 38–40% alcohol content (76–80 proof), but can be produced between 35–55% alcohol content (70–110 proof). Though most tequilas are 80 proof, many distillers will distill to 100 proof and then dilute it with water to reduce its harshness. Some of the more well respected brands distill the alcohol to 80 proof without using additional water as a diluent.
Cajeta is a Mexican confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelized milk. According to chef Rick Bayless, the name for cajeta came from the Spanish phrase al punto de cajeta, which means a liquid thickened to the point at which a spoon drawn through the liquid reveals the bottom of the pot in which it is being cooked. However, it is more popularly assumed that it takes its name from the small wooden boxes it was traditionally packed in. Mexican cajeta is considered a specialty of and popularly associated with the city of Celaya in the state of Guanajuato, although it is also produced with the traditional method in several towns of the state of Jalisco, such as Mazamitla and Sayula.
Cajeta is made by simmering sweetened liquid, stirring frequently, until it becomes very thick due to evaporation of water, and caramelized. While milk is the most usual base, other liquids or juices may be used.
Churros, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, are fried-dough pastry-based snacks, sometimes made from potato dough, that originated in Spain. They are also popular in Latin America, France, Portugal, Morocco, the United States, Australia, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands. There are two types of churros in Spain. One is thin (and usually knotted) and the other, especially popular in Madrid, is long and thick (porra). They both are normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate.
Pastel Tres Leches
A Tres leches cake, or Pastel Tres leches (Spanish, "Three milk cake"), or Pan Tres Leches (Spanish, "Three milk bread"), is a sponge cake—in some recipes, a butter cake—soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. When butter is not used, the tres leches is a very light cake, with many air bubbles. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk.
Rosca de Reyes
Rosca de reyes or roscón de reyes (kings' ring) is a Spanish pastry traditionally eaten to celebrate the Epiphany. It is traditionally eaten on January 6, during the celebration of the "Día de Reyes" (Wise Men Day). In most of Spain, Mexico, and sometimes Hispanic communities in the United States, this is the day when children get presents from the Three Wise Men (not from Santa). They leave their shoes outside, filled with hay or dried grass for the animals the Kings ride, before they go to bed along with a note. For decoration, Mexican people use dried and candied fruits like figs, quinces or cherries. The tradition of placing a trinket (figurine of the Christ Child) in the cake is very old. The baby Jesus, when hidden in the bread, represents the flight of Jesus, fleeing from King Herod's evil plan. Whoever finds the small baby Jesus is blessed and must take it (a representation of baby Jesus) to the nearest church on the 2nd of February (Día de la Candelaria).
Pan de Muerto
Pan de muerto (Spanish for bread of the dead), also called pan de los muertos or dead bread in the United States, is a type of sweet roll traditionally baked in Mexico during the weeks leading up to the Día de Muertos, which is celebrated on November 1 and 2. It is a sweetened soft bread shaped like a bun, often decorated with bone-shaped phalanges pieces. Pan de muerto is eaten on Día de Muertos, at the gravesite or altar of the deceased. In some regions, it is eaten for months before the official celebration of Dia de Muertos. In Oaxaca, pan de muerto is the same bread that is usually baked, with the addition of decorations. As part of the celebration, loved ones eat pan de muerto as well as the relative's favorite foods. The bones represent the disappeared one (difuntos or difuntas) and there is normally a baked tear drop on the bread to represent goddess Chimalma's tears for the living. The bones are represented in a circle to portray the circle of life. The bread is topped with sugar. The classic recipe for pan de muerto is a simple sweet bread recipe, often with the addition of anise seeds, and other times flavored with orange flower water.
ALSO CHECK OUT COMMON MEXICAN INGREDIENTS