When we talk about authentic Mexican food, what comes to our mind instantly include beef burritos, cheese dip, nachos and fajitas. However, according to the myths, the authentic Mexican food never used these ingredients. The history of the original Mexican cuisine is long, pre-dating the Republic itself by the centuries. Many kinds of the foods found in Mexican pantry carry old pedigrees. Tomatoes, cheese, beans, chili peppers and corns all rank as the world’s first cultivated foods and were considered the staples of ancient Mayans and Aztecs.
Peanuts, squash and avocados are also considered as native to Mexico. In late 1500s, the conquest deeply affected the Mexican cuisine we are familiar with today. The Spaniard took here in the livestock and dairy products such as cheese. Sheep, cows and pigs had never been here in the Mexico. The Spanish also brought spices and herbs including cilantro, sugar came and garlic.
Here are some of the popular ingredients used in authentic Mexican food:
- Corn (Maize)
Corn, also called the Gifts of the Gods, is a main ingredient of a Mexican cuisine. It is seen in almost every authentic Mexican food recipe, including enchiladas, tortillas, stews, tacos and soup. Once the hull is removed and corn is treated with the alkali, it gets hominy, a prime ingredient in posole. Masa harina, called the dough flour in corn tortillas and tamales, is made from the ground dried hominy kernels.
- Rice (Arroz)
The Spanish brought the rice to the Mexico for the first time, in 1522. Besides corn, rice is also the important ingredients in Mexican food. Red rice, also called Mexican rice is made with the blanched rice cooked in a hot oil with broth and tomatoes. The green rice includes chilies and parsley. Arroz con pollo is the rice-made chicken casserole. The rice flour is mixed with cinnamon and sugar to make a famous Mexican drink called horchata.