The popularity of the Mexican food and cuisine around the globe attests to the great variety of dishes coming from far & wide across Mexico. Foods & flavors from Mexico have influenced American food and cuisine for centuries.But in the late 1900s, Mexican-inspired cuisines found their way to each and every corner of the US, merging into the mainstream.
Alongside traditional foods and cuisines such as tortillas, tacos, tamales, & salsas, new food dishes also emerged that reflected a blending of Mexican, regional American, & some other Latino cultures.
For Mexican American individuals & Mexican immigrants, translating their traditional cuisines into cookbooks, restaurants, & supermarket items provided a stunning recipe for economic success and as well as a source of cultural pride.
Most of the American people welcomed Mexican foods and cuisines into their everyday food meals, even as tensions over the rapid flow of new residents and immigrants from Mexico escalated in several parts of the country.
Mayan Influence on Mexican Food and Cuisine
One of the earliest influences on Mexican cuisine was the culinary food influence of the Mayan Indians who were actually nomadic hunters & gatherers. The Mayan Indians lived in the Yucatan region in Southeast of Mexico.
Owing to the fact that these people were hunters, their cuisine basically included animals such as raccoons, deer, rabbits, rattle snakes, iguanas, spider monkeys, turtles, frogs, turkeys, & even insects. Other accompaniments of these people included tropical fruits, & corn.
Although some of those cultural food influences are still retained, this kind of cuisine is now called as pre-Hispanic food or known as comida prehispánica, which is actually considered to be a rather exotic type of food and cuisine in Mexico.
Aztec & Spanish Influence on Mexican Food & Cuisine
By the late 1300s, the Aztec Empire was on its peak, but many of the Mayan cuisines were still at the forefront. The Aztecs would add a bit of salt, peppers, & even some chocolate to their food. While the Aztecs often ate wild animals, turkey and duck were domesticated by the Aztecs and these animals were quite famous among these people.
About two hundred years later, Spain invaded the region of Mexico, & a whole flurry of new cuisines and foods were introduced to the Mexican culture. Dairy products, garlic, & many natural herbs & spices were introduced at that time. New livestock – like sheep, pigs, & cows – were also being eaten, with more focus on pigs.
The Spanish invasion of Mexico brought the stunning tastes from many parts of the world, including the regions like Caribbean, French, & West African foods and cuisines. Food dishes also vary between different Mexican regions.
The popularity of Mexican food and cuisine has led to the evolution of many varieties of Mexican cuisine in several other countries. The Tex-Mex food evolved in Texas-Mexico in the Southwest area of America, & is a modification of traditional (old) cuisine with an unusual American touch to it.
Mexican Cuisine Today
Mexican food and cuisine is a blend of all the above-mentioned cultural influences. However, there still exists some diversity in the Mexican food and cuisine according to the regional and political differences in Mexico.
Mexican cuisine varies by region, & is also influenced by the local climate, geography, & ethnic differences among the people of Mexico. Northern Mexico is extremely famous for its beef production & delicious meat dishes, whereas southeastern part of Mexico is known for its fresh and spicy vegetable & chicken-based preparations.