The history of Mexican cuisine is as rich as its food’s flavours. The coming and going of various cultures helped create the Mexican dishes of today. Yet, tradition is held at its highest despite the evolution and refinement of Mexican cuisine through the ages.
Mexican food is regarded as an entire experience. It’s more than just a meal; each dish has a story to tell. After you learn about Mexican Food History, you’ll understand why UNESCO dubbed Mexican cuisine an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Mexican Cuisine Origin
Throughout time, different cultures have shaped the Mexican cuisine you know and love today. However, the roots of Mexican food are from Mesoamerican cuisine. Spanish and French conquistadors also made their respective contributions to this cuisine.
The origins are tales told by indigenous tribes and historical colonizers. Here’s how they all influenced Mexican food with their rich cultural backgrounds.
Influences of Mayan Indians and Aztecs
The Mayans and Aztecs have greatly influenced Mexican meals. From cooking methods to the ingredients used, glimpses of both cultures are reflected in Mexican dishes.
Mayan Indians included corn, beans, and other wild fruits and vegetables in their diets. On the other hand, Aztecs brought chocolate, honey, salt, and chilli peppers to the table. Whether from the Mayans or the Aztecs, traces of Mesoamerican cuisine are found in Mexican dishes today.
Influences of the Spanish
Spaniards introduced chicken, pork, and beef. Additionally, garlic, onion, wine, and rice also made their way into cooked dishes. With the introduction of domesticated animals came the creation of other goods.
Cows provide people with protein and have also paved the way for cheese, butter, and yogurt.
Meat from domesticated animals and Spanish cooking techniques allowed Mexican meals to create interesting and flavorful dishes.
Influences of the French
The French contributed as well. They acquainted Mexican people with baked goods. Bolillo and other sweetbreads were from the French. Apart from baked food, the French left a few cooking know-hows too.
Influences of Other Cultures
Aside from the Spanish and French, other parts of the world have given their fair share of culinary styles to Mexican dishes. Parts of South America and West Africa shared their cooking methods. The Caribbean, Portuguese, and Filipinos also helped shape Mexican cuisine.
Mexican Food We Know Today
Mexican cuisine has truly evolved throughout the years. The Mesoamericans are most thankful for giving Mexican meals such an exceptional foundation.
The Spanish and French colonizers and the other global influencers of Mexican meals have added unique cooking techniques and ingredients.
The Mexican dishes known today owe their existence to cultural cuisines worldwide. Of course, Mexican food still stays true to corn, beans, chilli peppers, and tortilla wraps. However, meat, rice, and other spices have made this cuisine even more flavorful.
Learning about Mexican Food History elevates the experience of eating their food. Each bite is filled with culture, tradition, and history. This cuisine truly is a world heritage.