Mexico is a traveler's paradise, crammed with a multitude of things to discover. Mexican culture consists of incredibly lavish traditions and festivals, and much of the landscape in this beautiful country features a warm and tropical climate. But one of the best things about Mexico is undoubtedly its food.
Mexican food is world-famous and goes beyond the traditionally simple food featured in U.S. restaurant chains such as Chipotle. There is a lot more to Mexican food than simple tacos and burritos and there is so much for tourists in Mexico to experience.
So, without further ado, here are 10 Mexican dishes everyone should try.
Tamales are a traditional Mexican staple that is made of corn dough called masa. This steamed masa is filled with a variety of ingredients such as meats like chicken or pork or simply vegetables. In addition to the meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits and even peppers, can be added to these steamed pockets. Following the filling process, tamales are then wrapped inside of a dried corn husk and steamed to perfection. The end result is a delicious corn crust filled with juicy ingredients. Tamales are eaten by discarding the corn husk and can be enjoyed with side dishes and sauces as well.
Next up on this list is a dish known as birria. Birria is certainly not a popular dish outside of Mexico and chances are you have never even heard of this dish, but it is one of the best Mexican dishes that everyone should try. In its essence, birria is a simple stew-like food that usually involves meat such as goat or mutton which is then simmered slowly in a sauce rich with spices. The final result of this process is a delicious stew with tender, juicy meat in it. While poultry, beef or port is not usually used, it can be.
In Spanish, carnitas means 'little meats,' which in a sense can be construed as true. Carnitas refer to pork that has been cooked to a point of tenderness that it can be torn away with a fork into tinier pieces of meat. Carnitas is a food that is well known outside of Mexico and is featured in popular U.S. restaurant chains such as Chipotle who use this tender concoction to stuff tacos and burritos. Along with the tenderness, the carnitas is usually fried prior to serving so parts are often crispy on the outside while remaining juicy. Carnitas make for perfect taco stuffing.
Following carnitas is a dish known as Molcajete. Molcajete is often referred to as a lava bowl due to the way it is presented for consumption. For starters, a molcajete is a bowl of steaming vegetables and meat, it can even be referred to as a stew. Molcajete is served in a steaming hot bowl that is actually a mortar and pestle, and both the dish and the food are hot to the touch. Due to the extreme temperature of this dish, it is advised that tourists do not consume this dish on a hot day unless in AC.
Next up is a food referred to as a mole. While most people choose to describe this dish as Mexican curry, in reality, it refers to a family of sauces which are produced in different colors. These different colors each have different tastes and even come in different spice levels. The preparation of each of these sauces starts with the same basics, a chili pepper of some sort is used as the base of this sauce and many other spices are added on later. Some moles even contain traces of chocolate to add a tinge of sweetness.
Next on this list are tacos. Tacos are a popular Mexican food all around the world and for good reason. Tacos are essentially tortillas filled with cheeses, sauces, and fillings such as meats or beans or even vegetables, but the classic Mexican street vendor taco differs greatly from the Americanized version of it. For starters, street vendor tacos aren't prepared with fancy condiments such as sour cream, guacamole, lettuce or cheese, but these ingredients are usually available for you to add for yourself. What they all they contain is one ingredient, meat. If you are wondering how these simple dishes get their taste, it's in the preparation of the meat and the spices.
Next up on this list is another Mexican food that is common in restaurants and homes all across America, Enchiladas. Enchiladas make for a great dinner, especially when combined with a drink such as a root beer, and are fitting for cheese lovers. An enchilada is a large tortilla that is stuffed with meat, usually chicken, pork or beef, and sometimes even beans or vegetables. This roll is then placed in a baking pan and covered with a special sauce and a blanket of cheese. This concoction is then baked until the cheese is melted and enjoyed with sour cream, and guacamole.
Next up on the list are chilaquiles. Chilaquiles is another dish that involves a tortilla as its primary ingredient. Chilaquiles are made by slicing up tortillas into thin strips and then they are deep-fried to act as the base of the dish. After the frying, the corn strips are placed on a plate and a second layer is added. The second layer involves a salsa or a mole sauce which is left to simmer on top of the tortillas to make them a bit softer. The dish is topped off with foods such as eggs, cheese, chicken and sour cream.
2. Fruit With Chili Powder
Following is a food which isn't exactly difficult to make, and nor are they specific to Mexico, but they are definitely more abundant south of the border. If touring Mexico, you will undoubtedly find a street vendor who sells fruit in a cup, topped with a little chili powder that adds a hint of spice and contrasts the sweetness of the fruit in a delicious manner. What sets these street vendors apart from the general public who can make this dish at home is their use of fresh fruits grown locally, such as melon, papaya, mango, pineapple and more.
1. Arroz Con Leche
Last, but not least, is Arroz Con Leche, which translated into English means "rice with milk." This dish is actually more than rice and milk, it's a pudding involving those two ingredients as its key components. This traditional dish no longer remains exclusive to Mexico due to its popularity around the world. Arroz con Leche is an extremely easy to make dessert and can be made at home with little effort and a short list of ingredients, the main ones being rice, sugar, milk, and cinnamon, but this simple dish is one of the best.
Source: The Travel