A Hint of Mexico

Learn the characteristics of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine.

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”2″][vc_column_text]This week’s menu offers three recipes that are informed by Mexican flavors. When it comes to Mexican food, there are authentic dishes and those that are considered ‘Tex-Mex’ cuisine. While one is not better than the other, it’s important to know the distinction between the two. 

Tex-Mex food is an evolution of Mexican food, rooted largely in Texas, by inhabitants of Spanish or Mexican heritage. Popularized in the 1970’s, Tex-Mex incorporates yellow cheese, cumin and canned vegetables, as well as large amounts of beef and wheat flour – two things that aren't common in the country of Mexico. Some of the most popular Tex-Mex dishes include fajitas, nachos and even burritos, all of which can be found at local restaurants and food chains like Taco Bell.  [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8470″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”Some of the most popular Tex-Mex dishes include fajitas, nachos and even burritos, all of which can be found at local restaurants and food chains like Taco Bell.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1591911133078{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]South of the border, much more time is taken to prepare the various dishes and you’ll find much less starch in the foods. Instead, maize (corn) is the foundation of almost every single dish, most notably tortillas. There’s a wider set of base ingredients in Mexico, and a plethora of fresh herbs, chiles and vegetables are used. While beef is used, pork and chicken are much more common. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8466″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”There’s a wider set of base ingredients in Mexico, and a plethora of fresh herbs, chiles and vegetables are used.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1591911164581{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Mexico is a diverse food haven and, depending on where you are, you’ll find different regional offerings. For example, Oaxaca is the birthplace of corn and the food there is largely influenced by chocolate, corn and chiles, the three pillars of the state. In the Yucatan, you have seafood dishes and, as for mole, a traditional marinade and sauce, there is a different kind for almost every town in the country.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8472″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_column_text]As mentioned, corn is the cornerstone of the Mexican diet, found in almost every dish and  eaten from noon until night. Tortilla is a flatbread made with maize flour, used to make tacos, quesadillas, chilaquiles, enchiladas, and tostadas. Corn is also used in Mexican desserts like sweet corn cake (pastel de elote). There is also elote (corn slathered in mayonnaise, chili powder and cheese) and pozole, which is a stew made using corn and meat. 

Tex-Mex cuisine continues to evolve and is starting to place more importance on healthy, fresh ingredients rather than processed ones. While authentic Mexican cuisine tends to be more appealing overall, it is hard to find something more delicious (or comforting) than cheese-laden nachos or a sizzling platter of fajitas. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]