Mexico offers a unique cuisine that is delicious and healthy. Ancestral home to the Mayan, Aztec and Zapotec civilizations, Mexico has a long history in cultivating food. Native staples included avocados, sweet potatoes, corn, beans, tomatoes, peppers, and a variety of squash. For meat, they hunted deer, turkey, quail, and rabbit. Chocolate is a native plant in this area, and was prepared as a beverage for the Aztec royalty.
When the Spanish arrived in Mexico, they brought their favorite foods with them. Pork, beef, cheese, and cream were added and combined with the native foods. The Spanish brought sheep, chickens, wheat, and sugar. Three hundred years later when Spain finally gave up control of Mexico, their influence on Mexican food was well established.
A major component of the typical Mexican meal is corn. Masa, or cornmeal, is made into dough that is then used for empanadas, tamales, and tortillas. Corn is also used in stews, soups, and other traditional foods. In northern Mexico, tortillas are usually made of flour instead of corn. Chili peppers also are an important staple in the Mexican diet. They frequently choose jalapeno, Serrano and poblano chilies.
Another food source that is used daily in Mexico is beans. Different regions of Mexico have their own favorite beans, such as the black beans that are favored in the Yucatan. Beans are used to make frijoles, or refried beans or filling for tacos, burritos, and other favorites.
There are many regional favorites found in the typical Mexican meal. Beef is used frequently in the north, as it is hot and dry, with good grazing grounds. The Pacific coast is known for coffee production and its corn stew. The Gulf coast offers a wide variety of seafood and fish dishes, tropical fruits and vegetables. Central Mexico has the most distinctive Spanish influence, and the Yucatan people commonly eat seafood, shellfish, eggs, corn, and black beans. Herbs are used liberally throughout Mexico.
If you want to try making an authentic Mexican meal at home, there are many recipes online to try. Mexican rice recipe are easy and delicious. They are a good dish to start out with. Once you have tried making rice (arroz in Mexico), you will find yourself adding it to your menu frequently.
Jump right in and try something new. Maybe you will try a variety of bean you have not tasted before to add a new texture or flavor. Add some simple tortillas and salsa to any meal, or add some seafood to citrus juice and make ceviche on a summer day. Tacos and quesadillas are easy enough for the kids to try.
For something new, try a Mexican breakfast. In the summer, a simple bowl of mixed tropical fruit is an authentic choice. On a colder day, try some scrambled eggs mixed with salsa. Fill a tortilla with a fried egg, tomatoes, ham, chilies, and cheese and serve it up with some refried beans for a taste you will find exciting.