What Is There To Know About Mexican Food? Mexican food is popular all over the world and for great reasons. There is such a variety when it comes to Mexican dishes. You can taste combinations you never have before. Many people appreciate the great Mexican minds that created popular Mexican foods. The foods thrill our taste buds, the smells excite our minds, and the looks please our eyes and enrich and inspire our souls. Many of the Mexican foods of today are based from long ago when the Aztecs and Mayas first created them. Some dishes that are exotic and eaten long ago include iguana, spider monkeys, and rattlesnakes. It is not eaten most of the time in this century, but it is also not unheard of. In addition the Mexican foods evolved when the Spanish colonists arrived. One ingredient that has not changed is the chili pepper. You may also find a bit of Caribbean influence in some Mexican dishes, especially in the Mexican states of Veracruz and the Yucatan. French influence can also be found in some Mexican dishes, one being bolillo. That is bread popular in Mexico that has a hint of French. There are many health benefits when it comes to Mexican foods. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, with low fat and calories. You are not eating authentic Mexican food if you eat at Taco Bell. America has added many fats to the foods, which doesn't contain all the nutrients you would eat if you ate in Mexico. Mexican dishes contain many fresh ingredients that you may not be able to find in other types of cuisine. Tomatoes, peppers, onions and others are very healthy for your body. Foods differ in the different regions of Mexico. It depends on the climate and geography of the area along with ethnic differences. Northern Mexico is known for its dishes that contain meat, while in Southern Mexico, dishes popular include vegetable and chicken. Sea-food is commonly served in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Veracruz is a Mexican state that is very long and tropical with lowlands that runs up and down the Gulf of Mexico. It is easy to get fish such as red snapper, snook, grouper, and mojarra. Mojarra is a prized fish in the area. Crab, lobsters, and oysters are abundant. Besides the ocean, the state has more than 40 rivers that run through it. It has an endless supply of freshwater fish and shellfish. The food is prepared in a way that reflects unique dishes of the state. Seafood is very healthy for your body and can add a different taste to regular classic Mexican food dishes. You can learn a lot of history and facts about Mexican food by the different regions. Trying new recipes will give you a taste as to why they differ. With Mexican culture rich in history, it is always nice to learn about how the foods came about and how they are nowadays. Once you are knowledgeable about the dishes it makes it even more enjoyable when cooking and eating. What Type of Methods is Used To Cook Mexican Food? Mexican foods are cooked similar to how you cook your everyday meals. They can be fried, boiled, and grilled. Mexico has cooked their foods differently in the past. Long ago, the natives of Mexico did not have ovens like we have today. They would have to cook foods by an open fire pit. They would hold the foods in iron pots and pans. It cooked like how we grill our foods on the barbeque. Before the Spaniards introduced the iron pots, the Aztecs used to steam and boil foods in two-handled clay pots which were called xoctli. The pot was filled with the food and heated over the fire. Frying foods was a popular way to cook. Many Mexican dishes still use this method. Today in the present, it is a lot easier to cook Mexican dishes. It takes less time to prepare the foods. If someone wants to make homemade tortillas, there are iron pans that make it easy. Flan can be made simple using spring form type pans. Long ago, it was a long process to make masa, which is a dish that includes a certain type of corn that has to be grinded. Nowadays you can purchase a metal grinder that helps grind the masa. The oven is perfect for making many Mexican foods. It makes cooking vegetables and meats a snap. They can be placed in a pot of water with added spices and simmered for hours. Bigger steaming pots make tamales easier to cook. You can make many tamales and steam them all at once, making it very convenient. Tamales take a long time to make, so big pots are perfect. Grilling on the barbeque is also a great way to taste authentic Mexican foods. Long ago foods were made this way and called Barbacoa. It consisted of steaming meat that was suspended over boiling water in a deep pit. Before steaming the meat cactus and banana leaves were wrapped around it. These days, barbequing allows the spices and sauces to burst with flavor. It tastes similar to how the food once was cooked over open flames. Fajitas are great on the grill! Centuries ago, the natives used what was called metate y mano. It was a large tool that was made out of lava rock or stone. The surface was slightly concave. The tool was used to mash the ingredients. Another tool they used to mash ingredients was molcajete. It was mortar and pestle. When cooking, you have to be able to stir. Wooden spoons have been used for centuries and still are. Today different types are available for you to use, depending on what type of dishes you are making. Some are made for stirring thicker foods, while others are thin for stirring foods such as onions and garlic. Mexican food has a rich history behind it. The methods might have been modernized, but the food is still traditional. Depending on how the foods are cooked, you will taste different flavors and textures. There are many Mexican dishes to cook and enjoy. What Mexico Eats for Breakfast El Desayuno is known as Breakfast in Mexico. It consists of a hardy meal containing many colors, spices and flavors. Breakfast varies depending on the region. Some produce is not available in other regions. It also varies because of ethnic diversity. Breakfast dishes have a long history that dates back to the Aztecs and Mayans and also from Spanish rule for more than three centuries. Tortillas are not just for dinner. You can find most people in Mexico eating them for Breakfast. The tortillas are made into burritos, tacos, and tostados. Beside the tortilla on their plate, are usually colorful fruits and vegetables. It is common to eat a variety for Breakfast. Vegetables include tomatoes, and red green peppers. Fresh fruits enjoyed at Breakfast are Watermelons, Oranges, Pineapples, and Strawberries. Plato de Frutas is a great breakfast dish that consists of many different fruits. It is pretty much what you would find a fruit salad. Some fruits in Plato de frutas are melons, bananas, mangoes, and sometimes papayas. Eggs are also common in Mexican breakfast. A dish that has become popular in much of the Americas is Huevos rancheros. The name means eggs that are ranch-style. The most common version of the dish consists of corn tortillas that are lightly fried and fried or scrambled eggs with a chili sauce. Other foods that are typically added to the dish include beans, olives, avocados, and fried potatoes. Another dish that involves eggs is Huevos Motulenos. The eggs are made on tortillas and covered with tomatoes, beans, peas, ham, and chilies. A dish that doesn't include eggs, but is seen during breakfast in Mexico is Chilaquiles. It is tortillas that are stir fried with onions, and spices and sometimes with added chicken. It is topped with cheese and served with a type of gravy sauce. Mexicans love chocolate and enjoy it in the morning. You may be thinking of chocolate bars, but for residents of Mexico, it is to drink. The chocolate is thin discs that are put into water or milk and melted. People also add other ingredients that make it not the same as hot chocolate. This may include vanilla, cream, egg yolks, and cinnamon. Even though chocolate is a favorite, Mexicans still like having coffee in the morning like the rest of North America. Mexican coffee is more light and nutty in flavor than Coffee in the United States with a touch of a chocolate taste. It is comparable to expensive brands of coffee in America. When drinking, it may leave a burnt after taste at first, but it becomes normal after a few more sips. Coffee is Mexico's most popular morning drink. If ever on a vacation in Mexico, try staying at a Bed and Breakfast. You will be served an authentic Mexican breakfast. If you do not travel, look in your local white pages for your nearest Mexican restaurants. Many of them serve breakfast items. Another good way on trying breakfast Mexican style is by searching for recipes and giving them a try. Once you try the foods, you might just add them to your everyday morning! What Kind of Cakes Are in Mexico? Mexico has their share of sweets. You can find sweet drinks, to candies and chocolates, and of course cakes. One cake that is popular and simple to make is the Mexican Chocolate Pound cake. What makes this cake a classic is the addition of Mexican chocolate and cinnamon. It is simple to make and very tasty! If you crave for something lighter, Tres leches cake is perfect. Translated into English it means "cake of three milks". It is a butter cake that is soaked with three different types of milk; condensed, evaporated, and whole milk. Because the cake doesn't usually include butter in the milk, it contains a lot of air bubbles. The top of the cake can have fruit such as raspberries to add extra flavor. This cake is common many parts of Latin America. The origin is not surely known, but is thought to be between Nicaragua and Mexico, where the cakes were found the earliest. Tres leches cakes are great at parties and other special celebrations. As you know, Mexico loves its spices. Chili and jalapenos are sometimes added to chocolate cakes. You might think it would taste weird, but it adds a unique flavor. The Mayas used chili with cocoa for many years. One particular cake that has a touch of spice in it is Chocolate Jalapeno cake. Every ingredient is typical to what you would see in other chocolate cake recipes but this particular cake calls for finely chopped jalapenos. Another popular cake that is made in Mexico is called Rosca. You will have to wait until the holiday season to find it though because it is a cake that is made around December until February. It is made into a circle shape that represents the crown of the three kings. The cake is flavored with lemon and orange zest and contains almonds. The top of the cake usually is colorful with fruits. Inside of the cake is one of two miniature statues of the baby Jesus. A party that is held on the three kings day includes this cake. Everyone will cut the cake hoping they are not the one who finds the doll, because it they do, they have to make foods for another celebration that is held in February. The cake can be bought at local bakeries, or made from home, with the baker putting the dolls in themselves. If you have a love with crepes, why not try them Mexican-style? The crepes are topped with Cajeta, which is Mexico's version of caramel sauce. The crepes are also topped with toasted pecans. Other toppings can be added if desired. If ever having a fiesta, try baking a cake. Some cakes have tropical fruits in them, while others are richer and contain cinnamon. Whatever you enjoy in other cakes, you will find in Mexican style ones. To make sure the cake is authentic, purchase actual Mexican cocoa and follow the recipe accordingly. It is sure to be a big hit at your next celebration! What Are Some Vegetables Found in Mexico? Americans love Mexican cuisine. The cuisine usually found in America contains typical vegetables you can find in the states. There is a variety of vegetables not as known in America, but are grown and eaten throughout Mexico. Jicama is a Mexican potato and also considered a turnip. It is a large, bulbous root vegetable with the roots getting as heavy as 50 pounds. Its flesh is thin and is brown and white in color. Jicama has a crunchy taste to it. The flavor is described as being nutty and sweet, with the texture similar to water chestnuts. In Mexico the vegetable is thinly cut and soaked with Mexican lime, and topped to chili pepper. Nopales are another common vegetable throughout Mexico. It is a popular vegetable to eat during Lent. Nopales consist of fleshy, oval leaves that are from the nopal cactus. Their color can be anywhere from light green to dark green. They have a light, tart taste to them. The vegetable can be boiled or grilled. In Mexico you will see nopales cooked in scrambled eggs and even sandwiches. Chayote is a gourd that once was the main food for the Aztecs and Mayas. Its skin varies from being white to pale green. The outside can be found smooth, wrinkled, or full of pricks. People prepare it similar to summer squash. It also is used in salads. Because the taste is mild, seasonings are sometimes added to strengthen the flavor. Another vegetable that would be great added to a salad is the Mexican Gherkin. It is a young cucumber that is picked when it is 1 to 3 inches in size. The vegetable can then be cut and added to salads, or other dishes. People also jar the gherkins adding vinegar and dill, which makes them pickled. Many Mexican dishes have tomatoes added. One popular tomato is called the Mexican husk tomato. It was popular back in the Aztec and Mayan economy. The plant can stand 4 to 5 feet tall. The tomatoes are usually miniature in size. When the tomatoes are ripe the skin will be yellow, purple, and sometimes red, but that is a rare color for the tomato. It gives many different flavors from being acidy, to sweet with many seeds. The Mexican husk tomato is grown in the Summer time in temperate regions of the country. It also needs plenty of sun and not extremely wet soil. Once grown, they are cut and eaten raw, or added to different dishes such as a sauce called salsa verde which goes on meats or green chili peppers or used alone. They also are popular additions to salads. These vegetables and others that are grown in Mexico can be found at food markets and Mexican grocery stores. Each vegetable has its own purposes and make great additions to dishes. It is great to experiment and see what you can do with them. Before you know it, you may be adding chayote besides tomatoes and avocados in your salad! What Are Tortillas? Tortillas got its name from the Spaniards. The word "tortilla" comes from the Spanish word "torta" with the meaning being round cake. Tortillas are eaten everyday not just in Mexico but also in America. Americans put just about anything in the tortilla. Ever try peanut butter and jelly in a tortilla? Many eat it that way; also the tortillas are used with hot dogs, casseroles, and sandwiches. Tortillas have been enjoyed for many centuries, but not with all the fillings that are used these days. Aztecs made tortillas more than 10,000 years before Christ. Aztecs ate a lot of corn, some right from the cob, and others they would save and use later. They would ground it into corn meal and later make into masa, which is corn dough. The masa is added with water. If the water is not the right temperature, the consistency will not be enough to make the tortilla. Once the masa is ready, it is placed in a ball size in the maker's hands. It takes awhile to go through the process of making the masa flat. It is patted into what looks like a think pancake. Once it is the right size, it is placed on a hot griddle. It does not take long to cook. Today the tortilla is still made with the same ingredients. Majority of them are made in factories with machines because they are in high demand. They come in many flavors. Anyone can still make them from scratch if they prefer. You can find tortillas in a variety of Mexican foods. Tacos use them as the shell. Enchiladas consist of the tortilla being filled and then rolled, afterwards being cooked. Quesadillas use tortillas as turnovers which are filled and then fried. If you think that tortillas are just for eating, think again. There is a type of art that is called "tortilla art". It is fine art that uses tortillas as the canvas. First the tortillas are baked and then acrylic. After that they are painted. Tortilla art is made to represent the culture of Latino artists. Tortillas are also what are used to make the tortilla chips. The tortilla is cut into wedges and fried. Corn tortillas are made from corn, vegetable oil, salt and water. The chips first became popular in the 1940s in Los Angeles, California where the chips were mass-produced, but it is still considered a Mexican food. Americans use tortillas for a lot of their foods. It is most common found in burritos, which started long ago in northern Mexico. Tortillas are a traditional food of many people from northern states of Mexico and also Native tribes that are found in the Southwestern United States. Just about any restaurant will carry tortillas. You can try many different foods that include them. They are easy to find in the grocery store. You can use your taste buds and imagination to make your own foods which include the tortillas. There are many different recipes available to search, so join in on a tasty convenient food that many Americans have already discovered. What Are Tamales? Tamales have a long history dating back to the Aztecs. They called the tamales, tamalli. In the Aztec language the word means "wrapped food". They were made in different sizes and shapes in dishes and often served at festivals and ceremonies. The dough was very time consuming to make. The Aztecs would cook the tamales by burying them under hot coals. Once the Spanish conquistadores arrived, the Aztecs cooked the tamales in underground pits, or uncovered pots. The outside of the tamale is dough with the insides being the filling. Tamales have a variety of fillings which include beef, pork, and green corn. Many Mexicans add other main ingredients. Chicken and pumpkin are also common fillings. Sweet tamales will include raisons and cinnamon. Sometimes you might even find fruit tamales. Once the tamales are made, it is wrapped in corn husks. After being wrapped, they can be steamed in a kettle. Tamales are becoming very popular in the United States. Fillings besides the typical flavors in Mexico are popular. You will find beef, and another filling that consists of corn that is similar to creamed corn. Tamales are found at many Christmas dinners in the American Southwest. In the Southwest the tamales will have a spicy meat filling that is beef or pork and served with a chili con carne sauce. Tamales are easy to eat, and do not leave a mess. Americans are also enjoying them for dinner. Some grocers carry them in the frozen section along side tacos and burritos. The best way to eat tamales is when just out of the steamer. You can taste all of the spices and flavor. If reheated, they still will be enjoyable. Another version of the tamale can be found in Arizona and Southern California. It is known as the green corn tamal. Don't think that the green means that there is something wrong with the corn; it actually means "fresh". The tamal consists of fresh white corn that is mixed with a variety of cheeses. It is then laid out with a slice of green chile. It is then wrapped in the corn husk and steamed. Another area in the United States that enjoys tamales is the Mississippi Delta. It became known when in the 1900s Mexican workers introduced the food to the African workers in the cotton fields in the South. They tamales have are known as "hot tamales" there and are made with corn meal instead of masa. Tamales take a lot of preparation to make, so they have become more of a special occasion food. They are common for celebrations on Day of the Dead, and Christmas. Many times, families gather together and make the tamales so it does not take as much time as it would if someone did it alone. Tamales bring fond memories to people who would eat them all their lives. They are convenient to eat and most of all, tasty! Tamales have a long rich history. If you want to taste an authentic Mexican food, give tamales a try. Once you have, you will understand why many people cannot eat just a few at one sitting. What is Tex-Mex Cuisine? Tex-Mex cuisine is a name used to describe dishes that are found in the state of Texas that is primarily American. It blends available foods in the United States with traditional Mexican cuisine. Some of the Tex-Mex foods may differ from actual Mexican dishes, but are still referred to Mexican dishes in Texas. People who live outside of Texas sometimes refer to Tex-Mex as Southwestern food. Tex-Mex is considered "America's oldest original cuisine" by some. Tex-Mex got its name back in 1875. It started when the Texas-Mexican Railway was nicknamed Tex-Mex to refer to the railroad and describe the Mexicans that were born in Texas. The mission era blended Texas foods with Spanish and Mexican. It got its name by the Tejanos (Hispanics born in Texas). The different regions of the state kept the foods similar to each other. Eventually other meats such as goat and cow's head gained popularity. In the twentieth century, cheese was added because it was readily available and inexpensive in the United States. More than 60% of the population of Texas has ancestors that were from Mexico. It is no surprise as to why that state has become popular for its Tex-Mex dishes. Tex-Mex is most popular in the South Central part of the state, which includes the cities of Austin and San Antonio. Tex-Mex dishes commonly use the ingredients of garlic, sour cream, cilantro, beans, avocado, and chorizo, which is a spicy Mexican sausage that originated from Spain. Chiles are also important in Tex-Mex dishes. The chilies range from sweet and mild to hot fiery and are added to a variety of dishes. Some chiles that are used in Tex-Mex cuisine include ancho, jalapeno, and the hottest of them all, the habanero pepper. The food is contemporary and can easily be made. There are dishes that require more detail such as casseroles, black bean soup, and bunuelos, which is fried bread that is eaten with sugar and cinnamon that is sprinkled on the top. Tex-Mex cuisine contains large amounts of beef, spices, and beans. Texas-style chili, crispy chalupas, and fajitas are all Tex-Mex originals. A serving of tortillas with hot sauce or salsa is another Texas invention. Other tasty creations include seven-layer dip, and tamale pie. Mango margaritas are a modern drink in the Tex-Mex menu. Many of these recipes are simple and require little skill, but there are some foods that involve preparation of another recipe to complete the main dish. One dish that is shouts Texas, is chili. It is a combination of meat and spices, with no beans added. Sauce is the main ingredient of the chili. Chili started by the Chili Queens of San Antonio. They made the chili to sell at stands for cowboys who came to the town. If you are ever visiting Texas, it is worth trying the unique foods of the region. You will be able to taste Mexican classics with a Texas twist. Many dishes are available, but don't be surprised when the dish arrives and the food doesn't taste the same. That is part of the experience you will have when you eat Tex-Mex. What is New Mexico Cuisine? Different states in America offer different types of Mexican dishes. One type is New Mexico Cuisine. It is found in the state of New Mexico and consists of Mexican- American dishes. The dishes made in the New Mexico style are similar to regular Mexican foods such as burritos, but the difference is the type of chile pepper they use. In New Mexico cuisine, green chile pepper is used. The peppers are grown throughout the state. It is becoming popular in other states also. Green chile pepper can be used in just about any type of dish including hamburgers. Another difference that separates New Mexico dishes is the way the foods are prepared. The use of spices and sauces are different from Mexico. Also the dishes usually have more meat and fewer beans. The dishes are influenced by the southern state of Chihuahua, which is also known for their dishes having more meat. The foods are usually named the same as the dishes in Mexico. Burritos, chimichangas, tacos, and others consist of the same ingredients. The reason it is different is by the green chile and other small details. You may also find different items on the menus such as fish tacos and shrimp enchiladas. Some Mexican dishes that have a different taste in New Mexico include chorizo. It is a sausage that is spicy, being seasoned with red chile and garlic. It is a food that can be served at breakfast. The New Mexican chorizo is said to taste different by its spice blend. Tortillas in New Mexican cuisine are also different. The tortillas are usually more thick and less chewy then tortillas found in other places. Posole is a stew that New Mexico has put their twist into. New Mexico style has many green chiles added to it, which makes it a lot different than the traditional dish. Salsa picante is a thin sauce with pureed red peppers, onions, and tomatoes with added spices. The spices are similar to others that you would find in typical New Mexican dishes. The chili sauce added is also similar to both New Mexican style and Louisiana hot sauce. Picante sauce is very common and is an added condiment to add an extra punch of heat to any dish. Even the salsa is a bit different in the New Mexican style. Typical salsa will include tomatoes, chiles, onions, and other spices. In New Mexican cuisine, the salsa has a large amount of cilantro added. Whatever restaurant you go to, you are likely to have chile sauce on top of your dish. If you are not used to the hotness, you might have to take it slow. Start with small foods like salsa. You will get used to the strength and before you know it, you will be buying your own chile to create dishes from your home. The chile can be sold throughout the year and can be stored easily in the freezer. You will be able to enjoy a touch of New Mexican style cuisine with your Mexican food favorites. What Are Some La Quinceanera Foods? La Quinceanera is a celebration that takes place on a Hispanic girl's fifteenth Birthday. This is a big event for the young girl and her family. Families are known to save money for the big party. The party involves the girl wearing a special gown usually in the colors of white or pale pink. Music, catered food, and even limousines are common for the event. La Quinceanera is also a spiritual celebration. La Quinceanera is celebrated in Mexico and other South American countries. This celebration signifies the girl's journey into womanhood. Food is part of the big celebration. Usually the party is catered so the food may vary from each catering service. This event has been compared to weddings, since it has similarities. This event usually has a fancy cake. The cake is either made by a family member or ordered at from a local bakery. It is usually the same color as the rest of the party decorations. There is also a doll placed at the top. It almost looks similar to a wedding cake. A popular design for La Quinceanera cakes is one that has a staircase that goes from tier to tier. Fourteen dolls, seven on each side, are placed as if they are climbing to the top, where the main Quinceanera doll is. Some cakes even have a fountain that cascades amongst the tiers. Besides cake, other foods that are seen at La Quinceanera include mole, cabrito, arroz, picadillo, and pan de polvo. Picadillo is a dish that is made with ground beef and can be served alone. It is also a filling that can be used in tamales, and tacos. Cabrito is a roasted goat kid that is about three months of age. It is a regional specialty of the city Monterrey, in Mexico. Cabrito can be served as the main meat for the dinner. Mole is a chocolate sauce that can be added to many different dishes. As for desserts, Arroz is a rich and creamy rice pudding that can often be found at the event. Pan de polvo is also a favorite dessert at the party. It is Mexican shortbread cookies. The cookies contain cinnamon and anise. Party favors are also given to the quests. These may include treats inside of the favors. Mints are popular as they are in wedding favors. Champagne is served for the toast. Non-alcoholic beverages such as sparkling soda water are served for the under-aged attendees. Sometimes it is encouraged that the young girl tries the alcohol as another rite of passage. Other drinks that are served at the Quinceanera are wine, beer, and hard liquor. These are typical drinks that you would find at wedding receptions. La Quinceanera has been a celebration for more than 400 years, starting in Latin America. It is a celebration that even United States born Hispanics do, which reminds them on their heritage. It is a time to reflect, while getting a bit teary-eyed, and looking forward to the future. Food at the La Quinceanera is important. These foods are traditional and unique. They add flavor to the already happy event. What Are Some Fruits in Mexico? Fruits are grown throughout Mexico. The regions of Mexico differ, so depending on the location, the fruits will be different. Some of the fruits found in Mexico are grown on trees, others on the ground. Many have a tropical taste to them. Some of these fruits are native to other countries, but grown in Mexico. Mangos are very popular all over the world, including Mexico. Mexico is one of the top producers of the fruit. They are believed to be a native of Asia. Mangos can be found growing on trees. When ripe, they have a sweet taste, which is unique. They carry many vitamins and minerals. People eat them by themselves, or add them to dishes such as chutney, and fruit salads. They can also be made into dried pieces, juice, glaze, puree, and preserves. Papaya is another fruit found in Mexico. It is believed to have originated there. It can grow as large as 12 feet in height. Hawaii also has papaya fruits that are known to taste sweeter than the Mexican grown papayas. A ripened papaya will taste sweet and juicy. It contains vitamins and fiber and is good for the digestive system. Even the seeds that are found inside the fruit are edible. They taste similar to black pepper. Papaya is also considered when dealing with herbal medicine. It claims to help with the properties of: laxative, hypertensive, antibacterial, and more. Mexico is one of the top producers when it comes to Pineapples. Pineapples are the second most popular tropical fruit, with bananas being the first. Pineapples take 18 months to grow from a seed into a ripe fruit. The fruit has to be harvested at the right time, because it softens while it ripens and does not get any sweeter after it is picked. Pineapples carry many vitamins, minerals, fiber and enzymes that are a plus for the digestive system. It is healthy and tasty. Experts believe that pineapples hold micro-nutrients that can protect against cancer, and also prevent blood-clots. It is also said to be good for the heart. It is also believed that pineapple juice triggers the kidneys and helps remove the toxic elements that are in our bodies. Although avocados are in many dishes with vegetables, they are a fruit. Avocados are native to Mexico and Central America. They grow on trees in tropical climates. Avocadoes are extremely good for your health. They are packed with many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is a must-have fruit for people of all ages, including babies and children. Avocadoes can be mixed with other fruits such as in a salad, made into a dip, and much more! Fruits in Mexico are healthy and unique. They can be found at grocery stores and food markets in America. Are you tired of the same old oranges and bananas? Need new fruits in your life? If you have not ever tried these Mexican fruits before, purchase a few to sample. Check that the fruit is ripened and enjoy the new flavors! What is the Holiday Food Rosca de Reyes? Rosca de Reyes started as a tradition in France. They would offer gifts to the baby Jesus around the holiday season, usually in the beginning of January on the three kings day. These gifts consisted of fruits, eggs, nuts, and more. Some of these gifts were baked into a sweet roll that was made into a crown shape, which was to remember the kings that went looking for Jesus. In recent times, the Rosca holds miniature statues of the baby Jesus which people are supposed to look for in the bread. The event is for the whole family. People gather and have a great time. Once they are informed that there are dolls in the bread they can start cutting the cake. The cutting represents the danger that Jesus was in. Whoever finds the doll first has to put on a party in February for Candlemass Day. That is a celebration of the nativity scene being put away, with some of it being given to the person who found the doll in the rosca. The person is responsible for making a gown for the baby Jesus on that day. Afterwards, there is usually a dinner with tamales and atole being served. Atole is a drink that is served around the holiday season. It contains masa, which is also found in tortillas, water, vanilla, cinnamon, and chocolate or fruit if wanted. Rosca comes in different sizes. Some are enough to feed two to three people, while others can be large enough for twenty people. Many types of rosca have fruit on the top. Local Mexican grocery stores carry the bread around the holidays, with Mexicans having an extended holiday season until February. There are also many recipes to make your own at home. Rosca de Reyes is the day when children in Mexico, Spain, and other Latin countries receive majority of their holiday gifts, instead of from Santa at Christmas. Before the children go to sleep, they set out their shoes, or a box that is filled with grass for the kings' camels. They also have a wish list placed where the gifts should go. The next morning, the shoes and boxes are filled with toys and candies that the three kings left for the children. In other countries, three kings day is also celebrated. In Germany they make a cake that is called dreikonigskuchen. It consists of fruits and pecans. In France the cake is called galette des rois which is typically a puffy pastry that is filled with an almond cream and has icing made from syrup. In Mexico the cake is flavored with lemon and orange, brandy, and almonds giving it, it's unique flavor. The United States is also familiar with the type of cake that is common in Mexico. Join in this Mexican tradition. This is a great celebration in honor of baby Jesus and the Kings. If you never have celebrated this before, try it this upcoming holiday season. Your guests will learn a new tradition from centuries ago and have fun while doing it.
What Are Some Mexican Soups? If you love soup and you love Mexican food you are in luck. There are many different Mexican soups to discover and try. These would be perfect for special occasions such as Christmas dinners, and also anytime of the year. Some are sweet, while others are hot and spicy. Some are for dinner, while others are deserts. There is a soup that will please anyone! Cream of Jalapeño soup is perfect for a cold day. It includes ingredients such as avocados, tomatoes, garlic, and of course jalapenos. Even though it calls for jalapenos, the soup isn't extremely spicy. Another popular Mexican style soup is the Tortilla soup. There are different recipes for the soup, some making the soup creamy. Tortilla soup is a favorite, which is not a surprise. It contains many tasty ingredients. You will find the soup filled with different vegetables, chicken, and of course strips of corn tortillas. Menudo is a traditional Mexican soup. It is usually full and spice and tripe. Long ago, poverty among the campesinos was common. This meant that when it came to food, they were not picky about what they had. They used just about everything from the cattle. This meant internal organs, brains, tails, hooves, and so on. The stomachs happened to be the lengthiest part of sheep and cattle so was used for the soup. Other foods that are added to this soup include onions, lime juice, oregano, and fresh cilantro. It takes a long time to cook tripe in order for it to be good enough to eat, so typically Menudo is cooked in large batches and sold on certain days. In the Mexican state of Chihuahua, a soup called Pozole similar to Menudo is made, but uses a meat that is easier to cook. Menudo is so popular in Mexico, that the country gets shipments of tripe from the United States and Canada. This soup is often helps when someone is battling a hangover. It can also be seen served at special occasions. Vegetables are throughout most of the soups. Pozole soup calls for traditional corn called maiz blanco. It is a large kernelled corn found throughout Mexico. The corn is soaked in a special solution of lime. The soup also includes pork, chilies, onions, and a variety of spices and seasonings. This soup is eaten in both Mexico and also the Southwestern United States, especially the state of New Mexico. Mexican soups are also for dessert. Atole de Fresa is a strawberry desert soup. It includes milk, masa, cinnamon, and of course strawberries. The soup is usually served warm. Atole de Fresa can be found in Mexican restaurants. There are so many more soups in Mexican cooking. Some include pumpkins, others include coconut. Before trying to make your own bowl, try a few different types at your local Mexican restaurants. Once you find one that you enjoy, try to make it at home for your family and friends to enjoy. It would be a crowd pleaser at your next party celebration. What Are Some Types of Candy in Mexico? Children in Mexico have a huge selection of candies to choose from. The candies are abundant. Anyone is sure to please their sweet tooth. The candies are not just sweet, though. Many of the candies pack heat! That is right, chili. Mexican's like to include chili in many of their foods, so it is natural to find candy with it. There are also chocolate candies, gummy candies, and chewing gum. It is obvious that Mexicans have different preferences when it comes to candy. The hotter, the better! A newer item in Mexican candy is called Salsaghetti. The package has straws of watermelon that look like pasta. They are spicy and come with a sauce to pour over it. The sauce is called Gusano Tamarind. Tamarind is a fruit that is typical in Asia, but widely grown in Mexico. Many candy items contain Tamarind. Salsaghetti looks like a pasta meal, but unfortunately there is no candy meat balls included. Lollipops are a lot different than what you would taste in other countries. In Mexico they can come very hot. The candies are Jalapeño hot. Americans are used to spicy candies that are full of cinnamon, but children from Mexico love the lollipops with chili powder on the outside. The inside can be different flavors. Mango is a big hit because it offers a different taste than the chili. There are also flavored chili-peppered lollipops. Other flavors include pineapple, watermelon, strawberry, cherry, and more. You would expect since Mexico gave the world chocolate, back when the Aztecs shared with the Spaniards that Mexicans would eat a lot of candy bars and other chocolate candies, but in Mexico these types of candies are rare to even purchase. Instead, Mexicans enjoy chocolate in their drinks or in traditional dishes such as mole poblano. Sometimes you might find someone enjoying a chocolate pattie candy that may include cinnamon, grounded almonds, and sugar. A popular candy throughout Mexico is known as Dulce de leche. It means "milk candy". It is milk-based syrup that is similar to caramel by how it looks and tastes. It can be as a sauce, or as a caramel-like candy. It is simple to make, simply by boiling milk and sugar. Besides being in candy, it is also used in cakes, cookies, and ice cream. People even spread it on toast. It is very popular in other countries besides Mexico. Even Starbucks have recently started selling lattes with the flavor of dulce de leche which is making it popular amongst Americans. Even dulce de leche ice cream is sold in grocery stores throughout the Southwestern states of America. Mexican candies can be found at local Mexican grocers. Let your taste buds try some new treats. If you cannot find any stores close to where you live, many online stores sell Mexican candies. If hot is not that type of candy you would enjoy, there is also different chocolate, and caramel candies. Give it a try today! You might just enjoy a new sensation. What Are Some Mexican Chilies? Chilies are popular in many countries, but Mexico enjoys them the most. Chilies have been used for thousands of years as an ingredient in Mexican dishes. There are about 140 different types of chilies grown in Mexico. People tend to shy away from chilies because of their powerful heat when eaten, but not all chilies are unbearable to many. Chile peppers are known as being a vegetable, but they are actually a fruit. They contain high amounts of vitamins as well as iron and fiber. There are many types of flavors available. Since regions in Mexico vary, so does the chile peppers and food dishes. Chile peppers come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes. They also come in different amounts of hotness. A good way to tell the strength of the heat is by the size of the chile pepper. The smaller the pepper, the more it will pack a punch of heat. Chiles are the main ingredients for salsa. The salsa will vary in hotness depending on which peppers are used. Chile peppers also can be used as a meat rub to add flavor. With so many peppers to choose from, do some research before adding them to your meals. Some types of peppers include Jalapeño. They turn from green to dark purple, and finally to red when they are ripe. They are very hot and a good choice for salsa. They are the most well known pepper. Habanero peppers are the hottest of all. They are orange in color, but look similar to sweet green peppers, only smaller. They are also used in salsa. Poblano peppers are the biggest peppers used in Mexican food. They can be mild or hot and are often used in a sauce. Ancho peppers are dried Poblano peppers. They carry a mild flavor and are reddish-brown in color. Ancho peppers are the most common chile peppers used and commonly found in sauces. Another pepper that is found in Mexican cuisine is the Fresno pepper. It looks like a smaller version of a sweet green pepper. You can find them in guacamole and also in dishes that include black beans. Chipotle peppers are another pepper found in Mexico. It is gaining popularity in the United States. It is actually Jalapeno peppers that are dried by being smoked. They add a smoky flavor to dishes. One other pepper is the Serrano. They are bright green in color with a very spicy hot taste. They are often used in salsa. You can find dishes using different chiles such as chilate. Chilate is a drink that includes chile peppers, chocolate, and toasted ground corn with water. Another food is Chilis en nogada. It consists of green peppers that are stuffed and fried and covered with cream and pomegranate seeds. You will be able to find many recipes which include chile peppers. Remember that when handling and cutting the peppers, use gloves because the heat of the pepper can bother your skin and throat. Also try all you can to not rub your eyes. Enjoy experimenting with different Mexican cuisine and have fun while doing it! What Are Some Popular Mexican Desserts? When it comes to Mexican deserts there are many to choose from. Flan is a common and popular dessert. It is caramel custard. The dessert includes rich custard with a layer of soft caramel on top. The dish is known as flan in most of the world, even though it is a French word. Flan is simple to make and usually consists of vanilla flavored custard. You may be able to find them made in other flavors such as coconut, lemon, and other fruits. Empanadas are another dessert found in Mexico. It is a stuffed pastry that contains different sweetened fillings depending on the country. Some fillings you can find in Mexico are cream, pumpkin, and a variety of fruits. In some states in Mexico, the empanadas are filled with different meats. Empanadas can be served as a dessert and also a breakfast food. Chocolate has a rich history in Mexico. The Aztecs adopted the use of chocolate from earlier Mayan culture. Chocolate played an important role for the Aztecs. They used it both as a food and as currency. One of the items that the Spaniards acquired from the Aztecs was chocolate. The Spaniards took the chocolate back to Spain where it became the King's official drink. The Aztecs made a variety of drinks with the chocolate which also included nuts, seeds, and honey. Champurrado is a chocolate drink that is very popular at breakfast time in Mexico. It is warm and thick. You can find people in the morning buying a cup by street vendors. It is also considered a dessert which can be served with Churros. A dessert found in the Yucatan is called sapotes dulces. Sapotes are a fruit grown in Mexico. It is very rare to find the fruit in the United States. Sapotes have an orange flesh that has a unique flavor of being juicy, creamy and can often be said simmiliar to the flavor of coconuts, and vanilla. Sapotes dulces is a dessert using the fruit and mixing it with orange juice, rum, and sugar and served chilled. It is easy to make and has a great flavor. Cajeta is syrup made in Mexico that's main ingredient is caramelized milk. The process of making the syrup consists of slowly cooking down the sweetened liquid until it is thick. Sweetened milk is the most common ingredient of the syrup. Cajeta is eaten by itself, on pastries, and even as a topping on ice cream. The Hershey Company introduced their own cajeta targeted for Mexican food lovers that live in the United States. There are many more Mexican desserts to please your sweet tooth. There is a wide variety of chocolates, cakes, cookies, candies, just to name a few. Recipes can allow you to experiment and discover new sweets. If you would like to sample them before making your own, some local authentic Mexican restaurants include these desserts. You may also have luck finding them at a Mexican grocer in your area. It will be easy for you to get hooked on these tasty and enjoyable treats. What Are Some Mexican Spices? Mexican spices are used in many dishes found in Mexico. Some are spices you kind find anywhere, such as Garlic. Others give unique flavors. Epazote is a spice that is not as common. It is also known as "Mexican tea". It is used to flavor beans and other foods, but should be used sparingly because it can be poisonous in large amounts. Even though it is strong, it is said to be good for intestinal discomfort. Chile powder is a popular spice in Mexican foods. It is used to add flavor to vegetables, and meats. Another Chile powder that is popular is Chipotle. It is made from Jalapenos that have been dried and smoked. The flavor is one of a kind and goes well with many dishes. It is gaining popularity outside of Mexico. One other type of chile pepper is Ancho. It is different from the other peppers because it has a sweet flavor similar to dried fruit. Common spices used in Mexico are Cumin, and Oregano. Mexican dishes that include tomatoes are perfect with oregano. It gives the dish an earthy flavor. Cumin gives Mexican dishes a taste that cannot be matched. Cumin takes three to four months of a long summer to grow. Cumin is a dry seed from the herb Cuminum Cyminum which is a member of the parsley family. This spice is the key component in curry power and chili powder. Cumin can also be boiled and served as a tea which is called "cumin cider". Cumin is a spice that has been used for many centuries and will continue to be used by the people of Mexico. Recado rojo is a special blend of spices that are from Mexico. It was used as long ago as the Mayans. It the spice mixture is red because of the added annatto seeds, which give food a red look to them when added. The blend contains spices such as cinnamon, clove, cumin, oregano garlic, and more. This blend is associated Mexican foods found in the Yucatan. It would be very easy to make this from your own home. Achiote is the shrub that the annatto seeds come from which is added to the recado rojo mixture. This shrub is grown in Southeast Asia and was introduced to the Spanish in the 17th century. It is consider an inedible fruit that is used for its seeds. Long ago American Indians used the seeds to make body paints. Parts of the shrub can be used in medical remedies for health problems such as headaches and burns. If you want to try these spices from your home, they are available at major grocery stores. You can even make your own blend of Mexican spices. Gather a few of the mentioned spices in this article, along with paprika and salt, and blend them together for a sensational burst of flavor. This is a great blend in chili. It can be added to foods that are baked, broiled and barbequed. It is perfect on chicken and pork. It is an excellent addition for your next barbeque. Let the grilling begin! How Healthy is Mexican Food? If you ask majority of Americans on when the last time they ate Mexican food, usually it is within the last week. Mexican foods have become very popular in the United States. The problem is that the Mexican foods in America are not the same as they are in Mexico. Americans have added super fat and super sized the meals. If you go down to Mexico, you may not even find the same dishes because the dishes were created in America. Authentic Mexican food is rich in fresh vegetables, protein, and nutritious vitamins and spices. Taco Bell comes to mind as a popular food chain that serves Mexican foods. You will find tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. People in Mexico usually do not eat big platters of tortilla chips in their everyday meals. Because of the food sold in the United States, it is not very healthy. The Mexican foods in America are not as rich in nutrients. It contains high fat, sodium, and calories. It also does not include as many fresh vegetables. Most traditional Mexican dishes have less fat and calories. This doesn't mean you cannot enjoy the foods served in American restaurants. You can add more healthy foods to the dish. Tomatoes are high in vitamins and have lycopene which has cancer-fighting properties. Tomatoes can be added to many Mexican dishes. Beans carry high protein and fiber. Instead of eating the beans refried, try getting them whole. It cuts back on the fat. Corn is another vegetable that is healthy in Mexican foods. It is high in vitamins and contains fiber. Adding these to your Mexican dishes will make them healthier than what you are served at Taco Bell. You may be wondering if people in Mexico eat healthier foods. In America we have the choice to go to health food stores where we can find organic foods and foods not as fattening. The only drawback is that not everyone can afford to buy these foods whenever they grocery shop. In Mexico, healthier choices are available. Each year the health food market in Mexico makes over $500 Million. The consumers make up 5 percent of Mexico's population. Their age range is from 20 to 50 years old. They usually live in metropolitan areas and can afford to buy these types of healthier foods. If they cannot afford it, they still are not getting all the fats and calories that we find in American foods, especially fast-foods. Authentic Mexican foods still carry many vegetables and ingredients that are good for your body, and also the way the food is cooked is healthier. You are probably wondering again, is Mexican food healthy for me. Authentic Mexican dishes are, because they carry many vitamins and are generally low in fat. America has fattened up the Mexican dishes making them not a good choice. If you want to go out to eat, try avoiding the major Mexican food chain restaurants. Find a restaurant that serves authentic dishes. It is healthier and will taste even better knowing you are giving your body good foods. The Beginning of Nachos And What They Have Become! Nachos are one of the most popular snack foods. They can be found at home, festivals, and sporting events. They do not take much effort to prepare. People add different toppings and enjoy the warm cheese. It may be a surprise to know that nachos came about less than 100 years ago. It all started in 1943 at the military base, Fort Duncan in Eagle Pass, Texas. A few military wives decided to take a visit to Mexico, which was not far away at all. The wives grew hungry, so they stopped by a restaurant, demanding food and drinks. The only employee available, who was nicknamed "nacho", brought out tortilla chips. He melted Wisconsin cheese over it and cut jalapenos for a topping. The women enjoyed the snack so much that they went back to Texas and it spread like wildfire. Texas was the only area that knew about this special dish. It was not until 1977 when a man named Frank Liberto decided to sell nachos at his concession stand. He found a way to keep the cheese soft and served it with tortilla chips. One day when it was Monday night football, a few of the hosts tried the nachos and fell in love with the new snack. Whenever the hosts were on the air, they would talk about nachos any chance they got, which spread the word all over the United States. These days' people all over the United States enjoy this snack. There is a never ending variety of toppings that can be served on the nachos. Some include guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce, olives, and ground beef. Some people enjoy the nacho cheese so much that they put it on other foods. Have you ever tried nacho cheese on ice cream? How about on sausage, and fish? Maybe these people enjoy the cheese a bit too much. Different parts of the United States serve nachos differently. In the south, you can usually find nachos at barbeque restaurants. The toppings include barbequed beef with the sauce on top of the rest of the toppings. Restaurants in other parts of the country refer to some nacho platters as "loaded nachos". It is usually an appetizer. Loaded nachos are abundant in toppings. You can find these at bars and restaurants. Outside of America also enjoy nachos. If you go to Ireland you will find "Irish nachos". Instead of tortilla chips, they use French fries or potato wedges. The rest of the toppings are the same as regular nachos. Nachos are simple to make from your own home. There are many different recipes available. Some include chicken instead of beef. Others have many different vegetables with a dab of sour cream on top. Let your imagination go wild. If you would prefer to have it already made, some grocery stores have the nachos pre packed with the nacho cheese in a separate container next to the chips. A great way to have authentic nachos is by having lunch or dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. The nachos can come really big and piled with many toppings. It may be messy, but it is worth it! What Are Some Types of Mexican Bread? There is a wide variety of breads found in Mexico. Wheat was first introduced by the Spaniards. The cereal was cultivated throughout all of Mexico. Nowadays, wheat is abundant. Some bread is for special occasions such as Day of the Dead, and Christmas. Other breads are made especially for breakfast. Some of the breads originate from many centuries ago. People in Mexico bake their own breads from scratch, or purchase them at food markets. Bolillo is salty bread that is originally from Mexico, El Salvador, and other Latin American countries. The bread is shaped like an oval and baked to about 6 inches. The crust is crunchy with the inside being soft. Bolillo is the main ingredient in different kinds of tortas. Molletes is bread found in Spain and also Mexico. It consists of bolillo by it being cut in half and covered with cheese, beans, cream, and salsa. The bread can be eaten with eggs, and beans. Some people drink milk and chocolate milk with it. Torta ahogada is a sandwich that includes bolillo bread. This sandwich is popular in all of Mexico. The sandwich is covered with a very spicy sauce made from dried chili peppers. Since it is so spicy, only people that are used to eating very hot chili peppers are able to eat this sandwich. There are less-spicy versions of this sandwich available which uses a tomato sauce. Fillings of the sandwich include pork, chicken, beans, and cheese. It comes with a side of onion rings, avocados, or chili peppers. If you crave something sweeter, there is Pan Dulce. It is also known as Mexican sweet bread. Pan Dulce is dome-shaped sweet rolls. They have a sugar topping with the flavors of vanilla, chocolate, and sometimes strawberry. Traditional flavorings include cinnamon, anise, and dried fruit. Some of the rolls have designs on the shell. Pan Dulce is made year-round in Mexico, and can be found in Mexican bakeries. These rolls can be eaten as a desert or snack. Another food that involves bread and your sweet tooth is Capirotada, Mexican bread pudding. The pudding is popular at the Lenten season in Mexico. It is typically made with small bread rolls, or the bread mentioned in this article, bolillos. It also includes fruits and raisons. Cinnamon and anise add spice to the dessert. The pudding is simple to make and is known for being a desert. Some people add roasted peanuts and aged cheese, making the pudding a great breakfast or brunch addition. Capirotada would make a great dish for the Christmas holidays because of its rich, elegant taste. There are many types of breads, with unique names. Some are named after horns, bald ladies, policemen, keys, and pigs. Whatever type of bread you prefer, they will have in Mexico. If you would like to try the breads fresh, find a local Mexican grocer to purchase a loaf, or a few rolls. You will be able to find the type of bread you enjoy, either for lunch, dinner, dessert, or a snack. Favorite Drinks of Mexico Mexico offers quite a few unique drinks. Some include fruits, and nuts while others include milk. Some are served warm, while others are chilled. These drinks have become a favorite in Mexico. There are traditional drinks, some of which originate from Spain. Horchata is a drink that originates from Spain. It is very popular in Mexico. It is perfect for hot days. Nuts are used for this drink. They are ground and mixed with water, sugar and sometimes lemon juice. The mixture is then put through a filter process. The drink is served ice cold. It refreshes and cools down the drinker. Horchata is also popular with rice added. It can be found at Mexican restaurants in the United States along with Mexican grocery stores. Aguas Frescas are another popular drink found in Mexico. It consists of water, fruit juices and sugar. Many vendors in Mexico sell Aguas Frescas. Flavors you may find are Watermelon, Mango, Pineapple, and Strawberry. These types of drinks are also made in other countries under different names. In Mexico you will still find brands for soft drinks that are familiar in America, such as Coca Cola, Sprite, and Pepsi. They also have their own brands, on being Sidral, which is apple-flavored. Coffee is also another popular drink in Mexico. You will be able to find Espresso and cappuccino in the cafes. For something more exotic there is the drink, cafe de olla. It is made by being stewed for hours with the ingredients being cinnamon and sugar, which gives it a sweet and rich flavor. Outside of the cafes, it is common to find people making instant coffee. Mexicans also enjoy tea. The tea of choice is usually mint or chamomile. Mexico also offers many drinks of alcohol. One that is much known in America is the Margarita. Tequila is the alcohol in the drink. Margaritas come in a variety of flavors and colors. It is served with ice, or blended with ice making it a frozen drink. There are a few tales on who is the original maker of the margarita. It is known that people in the 1930s were enjoying these drinks. This drink is still popular to this day. Mexico also drinks beer. They have several brands, the biggest being Cerveza. Mexican-made brands that are popular in the United States include Corona and Sol. Pulque is a milky style beer that is popular amongst the poor. It is made from sap and is thick. It usually takes some time to get used to drinking. A drink that makes people think of Mexico is Tequila. It consists of agave cactus and is produced mainly in the Mexican state of Jalisco. It is served with a side of lime and salt. There are many more drinks that are found in Mexico. There are recipe books that can help you create new drinks. Next time you are planning a backyard fiesta, try adding some new flavor. Your guests will not be disappointed to quench their thirst with south of the border drinks. What Are Some Mexican Frozen Treats? It can get very hot in Mexico. Mexicans have a variety of cool treats to enjoy. From ice cream sandwiches to popsicles, they have many to choose from. The treats consist of chocolate, cinnamon, and different fruits. Some men even sell the treats up and down the streets similar to in America where you will see ice cream trucks in the summer selling cold snacks. Popsicles are popular in Mexico. Paletas which mean "little shovels" in Spanish can be found in Mexican grocery stores. They come in regular shapes, but their flavors are what differs them from American popsicles. Some paletas include milk and tropical fruits, while others are full of more ice and more tart flavors. Some flavors that are not very common in America are chili, and cucumber. The chili one is a bit spicy, so pepper lovers would enjoy this flavor. Paletas are easy to make at home and carry little fat. If you would prefer to buy them, paletas are sold at many street vendors in Hispanic neighborhoods. A California-based company named Palapa Azul makes paletas to sell to a much wider market, not just for Hispanics. You might even be able to purchase paletas at Walmart! Mexican fried ice cream is another mouth watering treat. It is somewhat Americanized. You can find fried ice cream at Mexican restaurants in the United States and also at festivals. The ice cream used is more frozen than majority of ice creams. The ball of ice cream is rolled with different items such as cookie crumbs and then cooked in the deep fryer at a very low temperature. This allows the ice cream not to melt. Once it is fried, toppings can be added. Cinnamon is a common topping. Fried ice cream has become so common that it is also served in Chinese and Japanese restaurants. They add different flavors to the ice cream. You might find it green tea flavored. If in the mood for just regular vanilla ice cream, cajeta would be a great topping. Cajeta is a Mexican confection of syrup most commonly made from caramelized milk that is sweetened. The syrup is made by the sweetened liquid being cooked slowly and breaking down until it is very thick. Some people use different liquids instead of sweetened milk. You might find cajeta made with juice or a different sweetened liquid. Different parts of Mexico may know the milk candy by different names such as leche quemada and dulce de leche. It is topped on ice cream. Even the Hershey Company produces cajeta which is targeted for Mexican food lovers. Cajeta is a great addition to ice cream, especially on a hot day in Mexico. These cool treats are easy to make from your own home. Do some research on the different flavors and try to make a few. If you have a child, have some fun and both make them together and of course eat the finished treat. These are perfect on a warm day, but can still be enjoyable anytime of the year. What Are Some Mexican Cookies? Special occasions call for special treats. There is quite a variety of Mexican cookies. Some are for anytime, while others are made at celebrations. Some are served at holidays while others are found at weddings. Whatever the time, they are sure to make anyone's mouth water with the sweet aromas and delicious tastes. Wedding Cake cookies are traditional Mexican cookies. They are made out of shortbread. Some of the ingredients include different nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and pecans that are ground. These cookies are very popular. They are served around Christmas, but also at Mexican weddings and anniversaries. Throughout the world, there are different variations of these cookies. Russia and Sweden refer to the cookie as Tea Cakes. Biscochitos is another popular cookie in Mexico. It originated in Spain. When the Spaniards came to Mexico, they also brought the cookie. They are made with anise seeds and sprinkled with cinnamon. Depending on the maker, some of these cookies include different ingredients. You might find some biscochitos with orange juice and wine taste for added flavor. The cookies are cut with cookie cutters or made into diamond shapes. Some people even drink wine while eating them. Marranitos is a cookie with different names. It is also called cochinos or puerquitos in different Mexican-American communities. It is known as "gingerbread pigs" even though there is no ginger in the cookie. The cookie is shaped like a pig. Traditional marranitos get their spicy flavor from molasses. In Mexico, the bakers make their own molasses syrup by taking brown sugar and placing it into cones. It is then boiled with the right amount of water. Once it has turned into the syrup it is then added to the dough for the little pigs. The cookie is very moist and rich in taste with a flaky top. Originating from Spain, Churros are tasty fried cookies that are seen in both Mexico and other countries. It is made from a light paste that is sweetened. The paste is piped into oil and fried until golden brown. Cinnamon is added to make it taste even sweeter. Churros are best when eaten warm. It is typical to find street vendors selling Churros. They can make them fresh right on the street. Year ago, it used to be hard to find Churros outside of Hispanic areas, it used to be only sold at carnivals, and sporting events, but with the popularity of Latin food, it is now easy to find Churros in local restaurants and Mexican grocery stores. Some companies even offer the Churros that have an inner filling. You can find different flavors such as strawberry, apple, and chocolate. Churros are enjoyed in the United States by consumers of all nationalities. There are many types of Mexican cookie recipes. If you are new to these types, you might want to visit a local Mexican grocery store and try a few that are fresh from their bakery. Once you enjoy them, you will want to include them for your own celebrations. These cookies would be a hit at any party! Foods Eaten Around Easter in Mexico Mexico has many Easter customs. Many of these customs derived from Spain. These customs vary throughout the different regions and cities. Catholics are forbidden to eat red meat on certain days during Lent, so meals that exclude it are consumed during these times. Dishes that involve fish become popular. The Nopal is also a popular food eaten during this time. Nopal is a type of cactus that has flat leaves. It is very flexible. Part of it is considered a vegetable, while the other being a fruit. The nopal can be made fresh, canned, or dried. There are many dishes that include nopal. Salads with added shrimp are great when fasting during Lent. Eggs with nopal are common. They can also be put into tacos. Nopal is rich in fiber and vitamins. Romeritos is another vegetable eaten during Lent. It is a green leaf that resembles rosemary. It is made with whole shrimp with a touch of chile sauce or powder. Naturally since corn is a popular vegetable in many Mexican dishes, it is eaten a lot during Lent. Chacales is a dish made that is dried white corn that is broken into pieces and prepared into a soup. One other vegetable that seems to top all other vegetables in popularity is the Italian squash. The squash is cut and placed in a cloth which is then laid out in the sun until the squash is fully dried. Once it is dry, the squash is fried with tomatoes and onions. Cheese is placed on the top of the vegetables and not served until it the cheese completely melts. Fish is an easy way to fast from meat during this time of year. It can be prepared in many different ways. A fish soup that is made around this time includes lima beans with the fish in pieces. Shrimp is also eaten. Shrimp can be served raw, or even made into shrimp patties. These patties can be covered with a traditional Lenten sauce called Pipián. Pipián is made of different spices, and also pumpkin seeds. One of the most well-known desserts served around lent is known as capirotada. Capirotada is a Mexican bread pudding. This pudding varies from home to home. It usually consists of toasted French bread, cheese, milk, butter, peanuts, and raisons. It is soaked in syrup that includes water, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a variety of other ingredients. Another dessert that is popular around Easter time in Mexico is Empanadas. They are turnovers with a flaky crust that is filled with fruit in the middle. Some fruits inside are cherry, and strawberry. They come in a variety of flavors, but the favorites are apricot, apple, and blackberry. Even though Lent is a time to fast, that doesn't mean the people doing the fasting cannot enjoy what they eat. There are many more foods that are eaten during this time. Some dishes date back from many centuries ago. It is no surprise as to why these dishes are still popular. Which Foods are Common for Mexico's Day of the Dead? Mexico welcomes departed souls that come back to earth, at Day of the Dead celebrations. This occurs every year on November 1 and 2nd. Families gather at their homes and cemeteries to remember their relatives. Many Americans have seen Skeletons when reading about the celebration, and automatically think it is Mexico's version of Halloween, but it is not meant to be scary, it is a time to reflect and honor the deceased. Many Americans have no idea of how much effort is put into this holiday. Women spend hours organizing flowers for gravesites. Music can be often heard, because families play the deceased favorite songs. Food is a very important part of honoring them. In homes, families make alters and cover them with flowers and burn incense for the spirits to enjoy. Usually there are photos of the deceased and statues of saints. Also on the table are fruits and vegetables along with other foods that are later given away and eaten. The food is made to please the spirits, so naturally the best foods to make are the ones that the deceased enjoyed the most on earth. Families make the deceased favorite dishes. It is popular to see Moles and Tamales made for the Day of the Dead celebration because they are hard to make dishes and are usually for special occasions. Breads are common in Day of the Dead celebrations. The breads are sweet and rich with eggs, but they vary in different regions of the country. Bakeries hire extra workers to make more bread during this time. The breads are made into different shapes. Bread that is round shape is the most common, but they can also be shaped as people and animals to represent the deceased. Sugar Candy skulls are popular amongst children. It is a big treat for them similar to Christmas and Easter candies. Sugar skulls are traditional folk art that is from central and southern Mexico which is used every year to celebrate Day of the Dead. Vendors sell many colorful sugar skulls the week before the celebration. The skulls are made by the sugar being pressed into molds and then dried. Once the skulls are dried, they are decorated with colorful icing and even sometimes with non-edible items such as colorful feathers and sequins. Although the skulls are popular, traditional Halloween candy is now competing with the sugar skulls making the skulls hard to find in the South of Mexico. Besides the sugar skulls, chocolate is another common favorite. Pumpkin candies can also be found where there are children celebrating the day. It consists of big green Mexican pumpkins that are grown for specifically making the candy. It takes much planning and hard work to take part in this event. It makes the families proud to remember and honor their family members. If ever in Mexico, try to visit during this time of year. It is beautiful to see how much love and respect people have for their loved ones that have passed away.
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