To some people, Mexico is all about sipping margaritas under the beach-side palm trees. To others, it is a country of ancient Mayan ruins and quaint villages. Then some people believe Mexico to be about street tacos and guacamole.
Of course, the South American country is all of those things and much more, especially when it comes to food. The Mexican cuisine is typically a regional affair, with most of the 31 states contributing their unique style of cooking and flavors to the country’s gastronomic profile.
The fact that the Mexican cuisine is a melting pot for different flavor profiles and ingredients makes it distinctive. The country feels like a giant playground for food, and you can spend days exploring the flavors of this wonderful country. To help you get started, here are some popular Mexican snacks that you must explore on your visit to the country.
Chiles En Nogada
Essentially featuring the three colors of the Mexican flag, the Chiles En Nogada is widely regarded as the signature dish of the country. The recipe comprises poblano chilies filled with picadillo (a combination of fruits, chopped meat, and spices), which represent the green on the Mexican flag, while pomegranate seeds and the walnut-based cream sauce represent the red and white respectively.
Just like the unique construction of the dish, its origin story is equally impressive. According to food critics, Chiles En Nogada originated from Puebla and was first served to Don Agustin de Iturbide, the conservative Military General who liberated Mexico from the rule of Spain.
The origin of Enchiladas dates back to the Mayan civilization when people would eat corn tortillas wrapped around small fish. Nowadays, there is a wide variety of enchiladas popular in the country. The original recipe too has come a long way to feature tortillas made from both corn and flour.
Even the filling comprises some unique flavourful combinations of meat, cheese, beans, seafood, and vegetables. The stuffed tortillas are then drizzled with a chili sauce and topped with garnishes, to finish off the perfect Mexican breakfast staple.
People in Mexico make a great fuss over breakfast, which is typically the most substantial meal of the day. And as expected, the first meal has to be a hearty and flavourful affair. Enter chilaquiles, an immensely popular breakfast dish that features lightly-fried tortillas, cut into smaller pieces.
The tortillas are topped with green or red salsa and combined with a bevy of breakfast staples including scrambled or fried eggs, cheeses, pulled chicken, cream and a generous side of frijoles (or refried beans)
Tamales are popular, both as a street food and restaurant feature. According to anthropologists, the origin of tamales goes back to the ancient Aztec, Inca and Mayan tribes. These tribes were continually fighting battles with outsiders and each other, thus needing nourishing food on the go.
The earliest instances of tamales would include pockets of corn dough, which were stuffed with either a savory or sweet filling, enfolded in corn husks or banana leaves, and finally steamed.
Nowadays, the filling for tamales can vary from cheeses and meats to fruits, chilies, and vegetables. However, their preparation has remained more or less unchanged.
Bold Flavours That Leave You Wanting!
In Mexico, food has played a vital role in shaping history and defining cultural norms. From the ancient Mayan and Incan civilizations to the modern-day society, Mexican cuisine has evolved to incorporate the best of all eras.
The food here may have a modern presentation, but its flavors date back centuries. Along with the immensely popular recipes such as tamales or enchiladas, there are accompaniments such as the mole sauce (made from different types of chocolate and chili peppers) and guacamole (mashed avocados, onions, lemon juice, chili peppers, and tomatoes), which too have a global fan-following.
If you are a food lover, you have to visit and explore the Mexican cuisine in its original setting. You would be amazed at how diverse and explosively flavourful everything tastes here. To start your trip preparations, finalize your itinerary and make a list of diners and restaurants you plan to visit.
Furthermore, you will need to have a financial budget and travel insurance in place so that you don’t run out of money or face disruptions in your travel plans. When you purchase travel insurance online, you prepare yourself against contingencies such as trip cancellations, loss of checked-in baggage and advance cash provisioning in case of emergencies.
Also, an online travel insurance plan helps restore peace of mind, so that you can freely enjoy your vacation and indulge in delightful culinary experiences.