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Food History: Mexican cuisine

Food History: Mexican cuisine

Food History: Mexican cuisine

Most of us have eaten tacos at least once. It’s a kind of Mexican food that had become global due to its deliciousness. But it’s not the only Mexican food that has got famous worldwide. Have you ever wondered why has Mexican foods got so popular? Do you like to know more about Mexican food history? In this post, we will briefly talk about Mexican food history including its origins and the cultures that had affected it.

Everything in this world has a history behind it, including the food we eat. Food history, including the history of ingredients, recipes, and customs used in cooking, is different in various parts of the world, and the history of Mexican cuisine is a long and diverse one.

Food History: the origins of Mexican cuisine

Mexican foods are said to be derived from the Mayan Indians. Mayan Indians were nomadic hunters and gatherers. They used to eat corn tortillas with bean paste, but they also ate tropic fruits, fish, and wild game.

The 1300s

The Aztec Empire was flourishing in the mid-1300s. This made the way for chili peppers, honey, salt, and chocolate to the Mayan food staples. They also had domesticated some wild animals like duck and turkey by then.

Food History: Mexican cuisine

The 1500s

Spain invaded Mexico in 1521. Mexican cuisine is mostly influenced by Spanish foods. Spanish introduced new livestock, such as cows, sheep, chickens, goats, and pigs. They also brought dairy products, rice, olive oil, garlic, wheat, spices like cinnamon, and many different herbs to Mexico.

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At this time, the Mexican people took in many other cuisines such as Portuguese, Caribbean, French, South American, and West African. This is why Mexican foods are very diverse today, but their dishes vary in different regions of the country.

The 19th century

In the 19th century, many including French, Lebanese, German, Chinese, and Italian immigrants went to Mexico. This immigration had some effect on Mexican foods. But during the French intervention in Mexico, which also happened in the 19th century, the upper classes of the Mexican society got interested in French foods. The vast variety of Mexican bread and sweet bread is one of the things that has lasted from that era.

Food History: Mexican cuisine

Food History: Mexican cooking methods and tools in past

The early natives of Mexico used cast iron skillets and ceramic ware to heat food over an open fire since they didn’t have ovens. The other method they used for heating the food was steaming. In this method, the meat was wrapped in cactus or banana leaves, and then it was suspended over boiling water in a deep pit. The third method Mexicans used to prepare food was frying.

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To smash and grind ingredients, Mexicans used a large tool made of lava rock or stone, named metate y mano, as a grinding stone, or a molcajete, or mortar and pestle, which is a small bowl-shaped container made of stone, pottery, hardwood or marble.

Food History: Mexican cuisine

Food History: Mexican food today

Mexican cuisine as we know it today is a nice blend of indigenous and Spanish cuisine. Beans, corn, tortillas, and chile peppers are still the major ingredients of Mexican food, but they are now served with some sort of meat and cheese. Most dishes also include spices and rice, which is the effect of the European influence.

Final words

It’s not possible to talk about the entire Mexican food history in just one post because there is a long history behind Mexican cuisine. In this article, we tried to talk about the most important changes in Mexican food history. Hope you have enjoyed reading the article.

 

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