National cuisine is regarded as an integral part of each culture. In modern conditions, each national cuisine is characterized by its desire for separate identity and uniqueness. The authenticity of Mexican food seems to be identified owing to an extraordinarily rich variety of spices.
I remember savouring the culinary delights of Mexico at the age of 10, when I visited my aunt. Although I vaguely remember all the ingredients, the air was so pungent with the smell of spices. Besides, my aunt used fresh herbs to get the authentic Mexican taste. Mexican cuisine is a wide assortment of flavors. Being rich in vitamins, chili delight the eye and the stomach in various dishes. The ancient methods of cooking the leaves with pork, beef, goat, lamb or chicken are not only the delicious, but also rather useful pleasure. Sea and lakes provide a rich selection of fish and seafood. The highlight of Mexican cuisine lies in its simplicity and almost unlimited possibilities of variations and combinations (Arellano, 2012).
Mexican cuisine is rich in spices and sauces, particularly there are about 80 varieties of chile pepper, characterized by the color and the spicy flavor. It is believed that the use of chile pepper in large quantities has beneficial effects on digestion. The culinary style, which today is called Mexican. Over time, it has become original and easily distinguishable, even though it is a fusion of various culinary traditions. Since Mexican food has its roots in the ancient civilizations of the Aztecs and Mayas, whenever I consumed extremely spicy meal, a sense of honour and respect overwhelmed me.
Salsas is a so called fiery hot sauce, optionally containing pods of chili and tomatoes (Fordham & Cruz, 2012). It is served with boiled fish, meat, poultry, beans and eggs. Mexican dishes are richly flavored with various spices and herbs as well as unique sauces all shades of color, smell and taste. The most famous is definitely the burning chili sauce. Probably several hundred varieties of chili are used in varying degrees, namely fresh or dried, as well as from mild to fiery and devilishly hot. Some canned peppers make a fresh, sweet and sour syrup, while others are stuffed with minced meat and cheese.
Interestingly, chili is present in almost all Mexican dishes, in addition to desserts and sweet pastries. Fordham & Cruz (2012) argue that the hottest sauce is called salsa, which is a paste of finely chopped tomatoes, onions and chili, seasoned with coriander and garlic. Interestingly, the salsa can be prepared from the fruit, but still with hot pepper. Besides, I recall my aunt making a cream at home, beating the usual cream with a teaspoon of natural yogurt. The hot climate of Mexico determines a large selection of beverages, thus Mexicans quench their thirst with a variety of fruit drinks.
Mexican nature has given the world such a wonderful fruit like avocado. Under dark green, bumpy skin hides a gentle oily flesh, which is enough to mash with a fork to get the finished dish. Avocado seasoned with lime juice, finely chopped onions, herbs, salt and chile is the recipe of Guacamole, one of the most delicious Mexican sauces. It is usually served with tortillas. Avocados are a part of many salads, sauces, as well as it is added to meat, fish and poultry. I recall a soup of avocado with chicken broth turned out to be a delicious one. In general, soups appear to be an indispensable part of Mexican cuisine.
Modern views on the quantitative and qualitative human needs for nutrients are reflected in the concept of a balanced diet. According to it, people get the required amount of energy through certain nutrients, such as proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates and fats, fatty acids, mineral salts, and vitamins. The uniqueness of meat is due to its high energy, balanced amino acid composition of proteins, the presence of bioactive substances and high digestibility. From the consumer point of view, it is the raw material, which can be used to prepare thousands of dishes, meeting the needs of any gourmet. According to Arellano (2012), Mexican cuisine uses mostly pork and beef, which are prepared using extinguishing sauce. Meat is the main supplier of protein, as it contains vital building tissues of the human body amino acids that are ideally balanced and provides a comprehensive synthesis of tissue proteins. Fats that are in meat cause the high energy value of meat products as well as the formation of aroma and taste.
When it comes to snacks, corn tortillas is particularly popular, as it is used for creating numerous recipes. Spicy corn tortillas stuffed with vegetables and enchilada sauce, and rolled in a special “envelopes” are called burritos. It is worth noting that Mexican cuisine is characterized by not merely by being pungent. Not all Mexican dishes are spicy and strongly flavoured, some of them, such as vegetable soup, have a delicate, mild flavour (Fordham & Cruz, 2012). If spices are added, and then a sense of proportion, the taste will be soft and harmonious. Not all dishes contain chili, and even those that do, can be prepared in an acute or in a bit milder form. Hot pepper sauce, prepared from a mixture of different varieties of spices, tends to add a specific flavor and sharpness.
It is worth noting that Mexican cuisine is characterized by not merely by being pungent. Not all Mexican dishes are spicy and strongly flavoured, some of them, such as vegetable soup, have a delicate, mild flavor. If spices are added, and then a sense of proportion, the taste will be soft and harmonious. Not all dishes contain chili, and even those that do, can be prepared in a bit milder form.
Each of us, smelling the aroma of particular dish, immediately draws the picture from a distant happy childhood. Food memory, namely the memory of the taste and smell is probably one of the most durable, since a person tends to draw an instant vivid picture from the past. Mexican cuisine, it is used in various foods and sometimes unexpected combinations, forming a wide variety of food flavors. A distinctive feature of Mexican cuisine is seductive aromas of spices added to food, which indicates the richness of taste. Mexico is a country, where every person feels the atmosphere of joy, happiness and unforgettable adventures. Spicy food, refreshing drinks and delicious deserts make Mexico even more appealing. One of the indisputable advantages of Mexican dishes is that they are easy to prepare at home, since recipes for simple ingredients, with a few exceptions is relatively easy and there are not too complex garnishes and decorative elements.
Arellano, G. (2012). Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. New York NY: Scribner.
Fordham, B., & Cruz, F. F. (2012). Real Mexican Food: Authentic recipes for burritos, tacos, salsas and more. Ryland Peters & Small.