Certainly one of America’s most popular ethnic cuisines is obviously Mexican. Just how far we have come from those hard, crisp tacos and lard-laden refried beans. Dating back to to the Mayan culture circa 1500 BC, corn and beans have formed the foundation of original Mexican foods and still comprise a major portion of their foods. They were plentiful and easily stored. Gradually, a variety of fresh ingredients have been added over the years, along with chicken, beef, pork and seafood, to delight the palates of the majority of everyone, from fast food to deltaco near me, and everything in between. But the basics which we adore probably the most still top our hit parade. So let’s check out the whole enchilada:
Around 5000 BC, possibly 7000 BC in Pre-Columbian history. the tamale (or “tamal”) is corn masa, individually wrapped in a corn husk and was an ideal portable food. Kind of your early fast convenience food, these were often carried by warriors, hunters and travelers as a kind of meal on the go. Early tamales were often loaded with turkey,frog, flamingo, axolotl (salamander), gopher or rabbit (would I make that up?). Homemade tamales are still a tradition at Christmas in Mexican homes, as well as their preparation is labor-intensive and time-consuming, usually steamed inside their husk but a significant part in the holiday meal.
Enchiladas go as far back to Mayan times, perhaps earlier, when the concept of rolling corn tortillas around other foods made for easy meals. Inside the lake region of the Valley of Mexico, the folks traditionally ate corn tortillas folded or rolled around small fish. As we know them now, enchiladas are still corn tortillas rolled around a filling, including various meats, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables or perhaps a combination and covered with a chili pepper sauce, topped with cheese.
In a class itself, Enchiladas suizas (Swiss-style) are topped having a cream-based white sauce, such as béchamel, which was produced from Swiss immigrants in Mexico who produced cream and cheese.
Burritos can also be rolled tortillas but produced from wheat, stuffed with rice, beans or meat, called ‘coçito’ in the Yucatán and ‘taco’ in Mexico City. Burritos may have been created in times of war, easily transported and eaten on the run, primarily during the Mexican/American strife from the early 1900s. Since they are enclosed and easily eaten standing upright, they create great street food.
Quesadillas certainly are a flat circle of cooked corn tortilla, warmed to soften it enough to become folded in half, and after that typically loaded with Oaxaca cheese (queso Oaxaca), a stringy Mexican cheese. They originated in central and southern areas of Mexico and can also contain chicken or shrimp.
Arriving late on the party, chimichangas made their look in 1946 because of Woody Johnson, founder of Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen, who claims he invented them when he put some burritos into a deep fryer as an experiment at his original Phoenix restaurant Woody’s El Nido. The name means “trinket” loosely translated.
For anyone cooks who want to re-create their favorite dishes in your own home, you may want to include these basics on the list:
Rice – brown, spicy or plain, an excellent accompaniment
Beans – both refried pinto beans and black beans
Salsa – a large number of combinations, both cooked and fresh
Avocados – either sliced or mashed with tomatoes and spices to get a tantalizing and delicious guacamole
Red or verde (green) sauces to squirt on the top or drown your favorite dish
Corn, white or wheat flour tortillas
Assorted peppers and chiles, both spicy and mild
Cheese (queso) usually crumbled or shredded blends, the most famous is cotija and anejo, even (drumroll) Velveeta now offers Mexican and pepper-flavored cheese blends
Tortilla chips for dipping
Although most cities and towns host the most popular fast food and chain restaurants, like Taco Bell, Del Taco menu, Chipotle, El Torito and Acapulco’s, frequently the best Mexican foods may be found in small, family owned shops, or perhaps in emdzgy area known as “Old Town” which can be an enjoyable mixture of restaurants and street vendors, all serving up our favorites. Buen apetito.