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Mexican food

Mexican food is a style of food that originated in Mexico. Mexican cuisine is known for its intense and varied flavors, colorful decoration, and variety of spices. Two such foods include the taco and the burrito.

When conquistadores arrived in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), they found that the people's diet consisted largely of corn-based dishes with chilies and herbs, usually complemented with beans and tomatoes. The conquistadores eventually combined their imported diet of rice, beef, pork, chicken, wine, garlic and onions with the native indigenous foods of pre-Columbian Mexico, including chocolate, maize, tomato, vanilla, avocado, guava, papaya, pineapple, jicama, chile pepper, beans, squash, sweet potato, peanut, fish and turkey.

Corn is its traditional staple grain, but today, rice is equally important. According to food writer Karen Hursh Graber, the initial introduction of rice to Spain from North Africa in the 4th Century led to the Spanish introduction of rice into Mexico at the port of Veracruz in the 1520s. This, Graber says, created one of the earliest instances of the world's greatest fusion cuisines.[1]

Most of today's Mexican food is based on ancient traditions, such as the Aztecs and Maya, combined with culinary trends introduced by Spanish colonists. Quesadillas, for example, are a flour or corn tortilla with cheese (often a Mexican-style soft farmer's cheese such as Queso Fresco or Queso Oaxaca ), beef, chicken, pork, and so on. The indigenous part of this and many other traditional foods is the chili pepper. Foods like these tend to be very colorful because of the rich variety of vegetables (among them are the chili peppers, green peppers, chilies, broccoli, cauliflower, and radishes) and meats in Mexican food. The French occupation of Mexico influenced Mexican cuisine with baked goods such as sweet breads and the bolillo (pronounced bo-lee-yo), a Mexican take on the French roll. There is also a minor Asian influence due to the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade, which lasted from 1565 to 1815.


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mexican cuisine".