Mexican Dishes: What’s The Difference?

taco-1018962_640Mexican cuisine offers many delicious dishes. No matter what kind of food you like or what your diet consists of, just about everyone can enjoy at least something from the menu at a Mexican restaurant, according to restaurant consultant Jenny Dorsey. But what are you to do when you are looking at the menu and trying to decide what to get? Well, when you know the difference between some of the most popular dishes, it can make the selection process a little easier.

First off is the taco. This is a corn tortilla that has been fried. The taste and texture is similar to tortilla chips. Then, the shell is filled with whatever your heart desires. Typically, tacos are made with ground beef, shredded cheese, lettuce, and tomato, but you can fill it with your favorites.

The next dish is a burrito. This starts as a flour tortilla. Then, the fillings are added and can consistent of any or all of your favorites. Meat is tortillas-520808_640usually in a burrito, some people prefer ground beef, others like steak, some people even like chicken. You can add cheese, vegetables, or just about anything else you can think of.

Another dish you may enjoy is a quesadillas. It starts with a tortilla, traditionally flour, but corn is good, too. You add some cheese, meat if you want, and then add another tortilla on top. Or, you can flip one side over to create half a tortilla. Then you fry both sides.

These are just a few delicious Mexican dishes. You will also notice fajitas and enchiladas on the menu and these are just as amazing. These dishes are filled with cheeses, meats, and vegetables. You can enjoy them with sauces and rice, and so much more. The great thing is these dishes can be customized so you can get what you love.

Why Corn is so Fundamental in Mexican Cooking?

pop-corn-785074_640Mexican cuisine is fraught with corn based dishes. The vast majority of the population will tell you of the nostalgic experience of the ‘tortilleria’; a standard in every Mexican neighbourhood, where tortillas can be bought in fragrant steaming stacks by the kilo.

While tortillas may be the most iconic corn dish, it is not the only one. From tamales, which is a sort of stuffed corn meal steamed in a corn husk, to atole, a hot breakfast beverage served hot and made from corn, corn (see recipe below) is a huge part of the Mexican diet.

But not the same corn, of course. There is the big white kernels, like hominy that are used in Pozole, a spicy cross between a soup and a salad. Then there are other varieties used to make specific dishes, the natures of which are known only to the peasant and master chefs who incorporate this important food item into the daily Mexican menus.

But corn is far more than a food item to the Mexican people. Legends have it that the very first man and women the gods placed on the earth sprung from the ears of corn. Native tradition refers to the Mexican people as the ‘Children of the Corn”

Ancient mesoamerican civilizations like the Maya and Aztec revered corn as a symbol of divine providence and used the figures of corn and corn stalks in every aspect of their culture from the designs they painted on their temples to the gods and ceremonies they observed.

The earliest evidence of corn cultivation in Mexico is believed by many leading historians to be set at 5,000 B.C.E. But Today the presence of corn in Mexican diet and culture still holds an important place.

From the time they are small, people in Mexico develop a taste for corn they will never truly appreciate unless they find themselves far from Mexico where the taste of corn is nothing like the taste of corn from home.

Mexican Fundamentals

Since this site is dedicated to all things Mexican Food, we felt it was important to give you some fundamentals of Mexican cuisine and latin flavors. In this video, you can learn all these things and more! So sit back, rim your glass of Margarita with some salt and enjoy!