Discover the history of Mexican Cuisine

Mexican cuisine is a mixture of traditional Mexican cooking and modern Mexican food. Its roots are in Mesoamerican cuisine. Its ingredients and methods are rooted in Mesoamerican cuisine. The Mesoamericans brought their own cooking techniques with them in successive waves. These were the Olmec and Teotihuacanos as well as Toltec, Toltecs, Huastecs, Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Otomi. The formation of the multiethnic Triple Alliance in Mexica (Aztec Empire) saw the introduction of Aztec cuisine. The staples of today's cuisine are all native to the land. They include corn (maize), beans and squash, amaranth and chia. Over the centuries, it has led to regional cuisines that are influenced by local conditions. These include Baja Med and Chiapas, Veracruz and Oaxacan as well as the American cuisines of Tex-Mex and New Mexican.

Cooking a Tortilla

Early Aztec Culture

The Aztec Empire flourished in the middle of the 1300's. Although the Mayan food staples were still used, chili peppers and honey, salt, salt, and chocolate made their way into their cooking. The domestication of some wild game such as duck and turkey had begun.


Spain invaded Mexico in 1521. The Mexican cuisine was influenced most by Spanish food. They brought new livestock with them, including sheep, pigs, and cows. They also brought dairy products, garlic, as well as many other herbs, wheat, and spices. This was when the Mexican people began to assimilate many other cuisines, including South American, French and West African. Today, Mexican food is diverse and the dishes vary from one region to another.


Early Cooking Utensils

Mexico's early inhabitants did not have ovens. Instead, they used cast iron skillets and ceramic ware to heat their food over an open fire. Steaming is another method. They would steam meat in banana leaves or cactus wraps, and then boil water in a deep pot. Frying was another popular method.

A metate y Mano was a large tool made from lava rock or stone. It was used to grind or smash ingredients. The mortar and pestle, also known as the molcajete, a small, bowl-shaped container made from stone, pottery or hard wood. It is a baseball bat-shaped pestle.

Early Ingredients

Salsa was sold at the Aztec markets. Salsa is Spanish for sauce. It can be made uncooked or puréed until it becomes chunky, smooth, and/or chopped. The modern salsa uses the same ingredients as the old: large red tomatoes, tomatillo and chipotle, as well the avocado. The Aztecs are to be credited for chocolate. They brought chocolate to Europe in 1657 through the Spaniards.


In 1885, the term "enchilada" was first used in the United States. However, the Aztecs can clearly be linked to the idea of tortillas as wraps. Enchilada is a Spanish word that means "in chile".


The fruit of the tomatillo dates back at least 800 BC. It is round and plump. It was domesticated by the Aztecs, who also documented Mexican foods. They often misunderstood the names and shortened the words when they arrived in Mexico. It was never popularized by Europeans but it did well in Italy. A relative of this fruit is now common in the US. Tomatillo is a member the night shade family and provides tart flavor to many green sauces.

The History of Chili Peppers

Chili peppers

The spread of chili pepper plants was helped by the Portuguese. Although the first mention of chili peppers was made in 1542, Leonhart Fuchs (a German herbalist) described and illustrated many types of peppers. For Europeans, however, the pepper's history began in the 15th century when Colombus brought peppers home. Archaeological evidence shows that peppers have been in use since at least 5000 BC.

Pre-Columbus refers to the time period when Tamale was first recorded. According to the Friar Bernardino de Sahagun, the Aztecs served the Spaniards tamales in 1550.

There are other foods that Mexican cuisine associates with, but they aren't always so. Medieval Europe was the first to discover Flan. Ceviche was an Inca invention. They ate their catch raw and only added a few seasonings. The dish we now know was created by the Native American chefs from Peru and Ecuador in the late 15th century.

Mexican cuisine has been influenced by flavors from all over the globe. Similar results can be found for Mexican traditional dishes that influence other countries' menus. You can find Mexico in almost every culture.

There are interesting details about our travels and the food we ate there. You can also find recipes for food and wine suggestions to help you recreate the experience at home. It doesn't matter how much you know about it. Your food and wine will still taste great.

Stocking staples that you will need to cook internationally is the first step. Follow the guidelines in our basic pantry.

The wine cellar is where we learn everything about wine. Get started with wine. Learn the basics of wine, how to taste it and the meaning behind its names. You should know that wine begins with the grapes.

There are many other ways to learn more about wine and food, as well as meet food and wine enthusiasts. Further resources are available to help you find amazing information about wine and food in magazines and books. Get your souvenirs here.

The Spanish Conquest brings new cooking styles

Spanish foods

The Spanish Conquest of Mesoamerica and Aztec Empire saw the introduction of a variety of foods by the Spaniards. Spanish immigrants brought many cooking styles and recipes with them during the colonial period. Mexican sweets include alfajores (alfeniques), borrachitos, churros, and borrachitos.

Due to the introduction of African slavery in New Spain, and the Manila-Acapulco galleons, Asian and African influences were also present during this period.

Mexican cuisine is an integral part of Mexico's culture, social structure, and popular traditions. This connection is most evident in the use mole on special occasions and holidays, especially in the South and Central parts of Mexico. UNESCO included traditional Mexican cuisine on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010.

Mexican cuisine is complex and rich in tradition. It has been crafted using techniques and skills that have been refined over thousands of years. It uses mostly ingredients from Mexico as well as those imported by Spanish conquistadors. There are also some new influences. The proximity of Mexico to the US has influenced Mexican cuisine. Burritos, for example, were invented to make beans easier transportable by wrapping them in tortillas. These modifications brought Mexican cuisine to America. States like Arizona, for example, further modified burritos and deep-fried them to create the modern chimichanga.

Other than staples like corn and chile peppers there are many native ingredients such as tomatoes, squashes and avocados. There are also ingredients that can be used in other cuisines such as edible flowers, vegetable such as papaloquelite and huauzontle, and small criollo Avocados whose skin can be eaten. The Aztecs were fondly aware of the origins of chocolate, which was found in Mexico. It is still an important ingredient in Mexican cuisine.

Vegetables in Mexican Cuisine

Vegetables in a burrito

Mexican cuisine is dominated by vegetables. Common vegetables include zucchini, cauliflower, corn, potatoes, spinach, Swiss chard, mushrooms, jitomate (red tomato), green tomato, etc. Chili pepper, huitlacoche, huauzontle and nopal (cactus pad) are some of the traditional ingredients for vegetable.

European contributions include pork and chicken, beef, cheeses, herbs, spices, and some fruits.

Popular in the middle and south of the country are tropical fruits such as guava and pricklypears, sapote and mangoes.

Insects for Protein

Mexico has been enjoying edible insects for millennia. Because of its unique flavor, sustainability, and connection with pre-Hispanic heritage, insect-eating or entemophagy is growing in popularity outside of rural and poor areas. Chapulines (grasshoppers and crickets), escamoles, cumiles (ant larvae), stink bugs (stink bug eggs) and ahuatle are some of the most popular species.


Despite the introductions of wheat and rice in Mexico, corn remains the most widely consumed starch in nearly all parts of the country. It is also the main ingredient of many local recipes (e.g. corn tortillas, atole, pozole, menudo, tamal). It can be eaten fresh but most corn is dried and nixtamalized before being ground into masa. The masa dough can be used fresh or fermented to make many dishes, including drinks like pozole and atole. To make tamales, sopes, or other delicious dishes, you can also use this dough. The most popular way to eat corn in Mexico, however, is through a tortilla. This tortilla can be found with almost any dish. Most tortillas are made from corn, but there are other options, including wheat in the north, plantain, Yuca and wild greens Oaxaca.

In all of Mexico, the chile pepper is another essential ingredient. Although Mexican food is known for being spicy, it can also be very flavorful. Many dishes have subtle flavors. Chiles are native to Mexico, and their use dates back thousands years. The largest use of chile peppers is in Mexico, which uses the most variety. Hot sauce is added to any savory or sweet dish that does not contain chile pepper.

The Mesoamerican Period

History of Mexican Food

The Mesoamerican period is where the chile was as important as beans and corn. Bartolome de las Casas, a 16th-century Spanish writer, stated that the native people didn't think they were eating chiles without them. Many Mexicans still believe that chiles and the variety of salsas and sauces made with chiles would have a negative impact on their national identity.

Spain, along with Mesoamerica is the second base of Mexican cuisine. It contributes in two fundamental ways. Firstly, they brought with themselves old world staples as well as ingredients that were not available in the Americas. For example, sugar, wheat and rice. Secondly, they brought with their traditional recipes and ingredients, such oil, butter, milk products, meat, and other dairy products.

Second, they introduced Mexican culinary traditions from Iberian Peninsula to Mexico. The discovery of new ingredients in Spanish cuisine has resulted in many shared dishes, such as chorizo that uses paprika.