Mexican cuisine is delicious because of its unique flavors. Many crave Mexican food but cooking it at home can be a daunting task if you do not possess the must-have ingredients. The special thing about Mexican food is that aside from its native flavor, it has added cooking influences from China, Europe and India.
The Mexican cooking history started out with mostly corn and beans because meat was scarce. When the Spaniards came to Mexico, the Mexicans were introduced to chili and heavy spices. The Mexicans turned to seafood as their source of meat due to the abundance of seaside communities. Soon, Spaniards were also bringing chicken, wheat, garlic, onion, cheese and many more. All these contributed to the wonderful and unique Mexican dishes of today.
What Are The Must-Have Ingredients In Mexican Cooking?
Beans – This is a widely used ingredient in Mexican cooking. Black beans and pinto beans are often used to make dishes like bean salads, bean soups and others.
Chili – Chilis are a staple in Mexican food. There are several types of chilis used in Mexican cooking like spicy jalapeno, serrano and ancho. The spiciness of chilis can be used to add flavors in salads, soups, salsa and other dishes. Chilis can be in the form of whole, smoked, fresh, powdered or dried.
Corn – Mexicans have been using corn for centuries and it is a source of nutrition for them. Ground corn is used for masa, tortilla chips and corn tortillas.
Tomatoes – Fresh tomatoes are used in salsas. Salsa is used as topping for burritos, tacos and nachos. There are also canned and cooked tomatoes that can be used to add flavor to rice, soup and salads.
Lard – While some cook with butter or vegetable oil, the Mexicans prefer cooking with lard. They discovered that using lard adds wonderful flavor to masa, which is used for cooking refried beans and tamale.
Mole – Pronounced as moh-lay, mole is an unusual ingredient that adds flavor to Mexican dishes. It is made out of 30 different spices plus peanut butter and cocoa. Putting this in you dish will bring out the rich flavors of the ingredients.
Cheese – Mexican cheese like Quezo Fresco, Quezo Blanco and Panela are great additions to quesadillas and enchiladas. Mexicans also use Jack Cheese from the U.S. because it pairs well with the Mexican ingredients.
Do you have these Mexican ingredients in your kitchen? If you do not have any of these ingredients then start shopping around so you can make the best Mexican dishes at home. With this in your pantry, you can whip up delightful Mexican dishes that can fill your gustatory desires.