The Taste Of Mexican Cooking
As the name suggests, Mexican food is a style of food which originated in Mexico, with some meals having an influence of Spanish and Middle Eastern cuisines. Mexican cuisine uses a variety of local spices or herbs as well as other ingredients and is usually known for its various flavors and colorful decor.
Mexican food includes a long and interesting history with its culture, cooking technique and diversity of food all blended into this. It goes back because early as 320 AD, a date which will be inscribed on the jade plate learned in the Tikal area of Northern Guatemala. The Leiden museum in Netherlands houses this plate which gives us a glance of the early Mayan culture. The Mayan Indian Empire encompassed the parts of Guatemala, Belize, Veracruz, Yucatan and the whole southeast Mexico up to the existing Mexico City.
The time period of 700 AD-1000 AD saw fierce battles between the Toltecs from northern Mexico and the Mayan Indians, resulting in the particular Toltecs becoming the dominant force in the region. However, with regard to the next 200 yrs, the Aztecs fought along with Toltecs and Mayans and seized control over the region. They brought avocados, sweetie, squash, guava and raised ducks, pigs and turkeys. However, rice, beans and maize still remained the staple food for Mayans.
The earliest Mayans had been basically hunters and gatherers and followed wherever there was food. They could eat well when the food was in abundance but had to be economical when food was the scarcity. While they increased their own food in the sort of corn, beans and spices, they also bartered for food with people of neighboring regions. In fact, bartering and trading were part of the economic standards.
Maize was the staple food of Mayans which had been freshly used in salsas and then made to dry to preserve it. As dry corn was not simple to grind manually, the particular women would cook it in lime water for quite a while and soak it over night. The skin of the particular corn would burst plus kernels expand because of this associated with it absorbing water. The particular women then removed the skin and washed it a few times to remove the lime. The whole kernels (now known as hominy) could then be used in a cool weather conditions stew or simply dried out to make nixtamal. This nixtamal was then grinded on a metate plus mano to make masa or dough for tortillas and tamales. The Mayans used same method along with molcajete and tejolote to grind spices and some other ingredients for guacamole and salsa.
The Mayan culture discouraged wastage of foods, hence people saved the particular fine corn flour from the grinding to mix it with water to make a great drink. In fact, they only drank water that was mixed with fruit fruit juices or corn flour.
Oddly enough, the Mayan lifestyle transformed with location. The types living within the coast experienced a lot of seafood and seafood in their own diet, collected fruits plus berries and cultivated veggies, chili peppers and lead pages. The fresh foods were either eaten raw/ gently grilled or made into sauces. Consequently, they had a healthy and balanced diet. On the other hand, people living on reduced and high lands sought after wild animals, collected fresh fruits and berries and grown a few vegetables plus had fresh foods because their meals.
Several Mexican Indian native cuisine historians claim that the Aztecs were the first ones to bring in chocolate. Nevertheless , some believe the Mayans were using chocolate for years and years before Aztecs and that the Aztecs simply increased its prominence as a drink special for nobles, warriors and for occasions. They believed that chocolate or cacao was the ‘Food of the Gods’ and any person violating this practice was sentenced to death. Like Aztecs, Toltecs too believed that will their kings and warriors were descendants of Gods and hence, the drink was only for all of them.
The chocolate was a gift to the brand new world from the aged world when Ferdinand Cortez took some chocolate returning to Spain in 1519. 2 years later, Spain invaded South america and brought several brand new foods such as domestic swine, cows, dairy products and spices which had the major influence on Mexican food.
The tropical rain forests near to the equator got an excellent climate for growing cacao beans as they had just two periods, dry and wet. The particular beans after being collected from the fruit of cacao tree were dried plus either utilized as currency for trading with local tribes or ground in order to make chocolate for specific occasions. This led to persons becoming aware of the value of cacao plants. The Toltecs, Mixtecs, Aztecs and Spaniards were desperate to own the cacao plant countries and battled the Mayans for them.
The influence of invading forces produced major changes in the particular traditional Mayan food yet even then, these were healthful foods. Mexican food started with fresh ingredients. These days, with our latest meals processing and storing strategies, we now have exchanged healthy plus fresh Mexican food for harmful calories, minerals and preservatives. No wonder that will the Mexican food has transformed drastically.
A typical Mexican table has a variety of food stuffs. Soups and sauces are common and the food is prepared from quick frying to slow cooking.
Below are a few of the essential ingredients in a Mexican diet:
Corn: It is most commonly used for tortillas, the warm and toned rounds accompanying several dishes. They are also useful for tacos (tortillas stuffed along with chicken, beef or fish) and tamales (steamed plus full of vegetables and meat).
Chilies: They are being used each fresh and dried. The white veins and seeds pods are the most popular part of chilies and really pack a strike. Mexicans love distinguishing among heat and flavor, some thing not many persons can do. A few of the popular types of chilies are jalapeno, poblano, guajillo, ancho, chipotle, mulato, pasilla and cascabel.
Beans: They range between lentils to kidney and fava beans and can be found in several soups plus stews. Small beans are many times served refrito (refried in lard, delicious but heavy) or de la olla (boiled plus served in a light broth).
Tomatoes: These are essential components for a mouth watering salsa, mexicana and are also utilized in sauces for seafood and beef dishes. Tomatillos are small green tomato vegetables covered in a rigid husk. They have more tart and are often utilized for a punchy tomatillo salsa laced with hot and spicy chilies.
Fruits: Mangoes, papayas, coconuts and pineapples are eaten fresh or utilized in sauces and desserts. Nopales (prickly pear cactus paddles) are sautÃ©ed and eaten as a vegetable but will also be found as sweeteners in desserts.
Special elements: Flor de calabaza (squash blossoms) are being used in nearly everything from soups in order to sauces. Huitlacoche is the tiny and dark fungus which grows on a corn stalk and is rich and creamy and delicious. Crepas sobre huitlacoche (huitlacoche crepes protected in a dreamy cheese sauce) is a wonderful Mexican treat. Romeritos plus epazote are two spicy herbs which give a unique flavor to fish, beef and chicken dishes. Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are being used in sauces (like pipian) plus are being used to top several chicken dishes.