Mexican food has become a family favorite in many American homes, and many now have regular taco nights. And chili, guacamole, salsa, and nachos are part of a staple diet. Even people who enjoy Mexican food may not be aware of its origins and history. The mixing of different cultural influences, including Aztec, Spanish, African, and more recently Asian, accounts for its fun and adventurous taste. The best Mexican food brings a cultural ambience of fun, music, and celebration with it.
Cultural influences on Mexican food
The unique taste of Mexican food is due to the mixing of different cultural influences. Ingredients like corn, beans, squash, avocado, tomatoes, vanilla, chili pepper and turkey are all native foods that are now eaten the world over. The Spanish, who conquered the country in the 16th century, brought with them domesticated cattle, pigs, sheep. and goats. These meats are now a staple of Mexican cooking, as are dairy products and rice.
African and later Asian influences added new spices and techniques. In fact, Mexican food represents a unique cultural mixing and has been designated as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Apart from the cultural significance, it also tastes delicious, with many and varied flavors. The combination of meats, vegetables, and dairy also make it a healthy choice.
Mexican restaurants have a fun ambience
Above all, the best Mexican food is about social occasions and relationships. This connection carries over into restaurants serving Mexican cuisine in the U.S., making them a fun place for parties and celebrations. Large portions, margaritas made with a special recipe, and friendly staff all add up to an atmosphere of celebration, no matter what day it is.
The fun atmosphere and delicious food with complex flavors has made Mexican food the third most popular type of cuisine in the U.S. Mexican restaurants make up as much as 8% of the total market share for eating out. Not surprisingly, the largest number of Mexican restaurants in the country are in California and Texas, comprising 36% of the total number in the country.
What to order
The best Mexican food goes with music, friends and margaritas. A cantina is a great location for any kind of celebration, such as a birthday party, an after-office bash, or a sweet sixteen. When ordering Mexican food, it can be a good idea to order for the table. Portions are large, and sharing dishes means that everyone gets to taste everything.
A typical meal might begin with nachos, flautas, and guacamole for appetizers. For the main course, tacos, tamales, quesadillas, and burritos come with a wide range of fillings, sides, and authentic Mexican ingredients. You may find an olive hidden in your tamales. It’s meant to bring you luck. Typical desserts are fried ice cream and flan or caramel custard.
The best mexican food is all about social relationships, family, and community. With its varied flavors and tasteful combinations, and accompanied by a margarita or two, it’s a great choice for celebrations.