An Insight into the Popular Ingredients in Traditional Mexican Cuisine

Nacho chips and salsaMexican food has grown in popularity, and this is attributable to a number of factors. Authentic Mexican food is an enchanting mix of texture, flavor, and color; its presentation is just as important as how it tastes.

Mexico’s cultural heritage started with the native Indian tribes, into Spain, France and the rest of the world, causing the food to inherit diverse influences. However, authentic Mexican restaurants in Alexandria, VA such as El Paso Mexican Restaurant go beyond just throwing in random spices into the food.

They use ingredients that were used to prepare traditional Mexican dishes. The most common ones include the following.

Cumin and Oregano

Mexican oregano adds an earthy flavor to dishes. It pairs well with tomatoes in recipes, something you will not see with other types of oregano such as the Mediterranean kind. Cumin, on the other hand, brings a bitter taste to Mexican dishes.

Sometimes cooks use the two spices together, but they can also work independently.

Chile Powders

This powder is a blend of chiles, oregano, and cumin, but you can also use other spices in the mix. Mexican cuisines rely on chile powder to season vegetables and meats. They bring a rich fruity flavor to food. You can find types of the powder including ancho, jalapeno, chipotle and adobo chile powder.

Epazote/Mexican Tea

This spice is not widely known, but it has been used to flavor Mexican foods for ages. Mostly, it works well in beans to give taste and prevent intestinal discomfort. In large quantities, the spice is poisonous and so must be applied sparingly.

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Other spices used in Mexican dishes include anise, cloves, and cinnamon. Some soups also have cocoa and peanut butter to give them thickness. The most commonly known Mexican flavors though are garlic and onions. Garlic, for example, is in tacos, salsa, and Spanish rice.

Few foods taste as good as Mexican food. The tragedy is that many food joints do not take the time to prepare authentic cuisines. Instead, they throw in a spice or two and label the food Mexican. The next time you order a Mexican dish, at least, you will know what spices to expect to taste.