There is a strong bond between food and countries’ traditions and culture. Food has always played, and still plays, a key role in sketching societies’ history. The native ingredients, way of cooking, and how some foreign ingredients arrived from other lands have defined the traditional meals people know and eat today.
This is why every single dish, international or local, that you have eaten is a true representation of a country’s culture. You can taste in traditional meals an incredible backstory and people’s idiosyncrasy.
Countries have distinctive dishes that express their history, notable flavors go hand in hand with traditions. This is so remarkable that people can identify them around the world.
Mexico is a famous country recognized for its food. It has the most iconic and historic cuisines in the world. Almost all Mexican dishes tell you an interesting story of the cooking techniques, delicious components, time and way of eating.
Knowing Mexican cuisine
Mexican cuisine is colorful, spicy, and rich expressing European influences mixed with native ingredients. Every Mexican dish represents its population lifestyle and vibrant feelings.
Its colorful meals contain a wide range of vegetables such as cauliflower, corn, potatoes, zucchini, jitomate, spinach, onion, garlic, green tomato, chili, mushroom, pepper, nopal, huitlacoche, avocado, and so much more.
The flavor is accentuated by strong spices and herbs like coriander, cloves, cumin, thyme, oregano, cocoa, and cinnamon.
Chicken, beef and pork are always the most common meats. Moreover, there are some dishes that combine those three.
In addition, salsas (sauces) are an essential complement for all Mexican dishes, and they are very popular too. Depending on the preparation, some of the most traditional sauces are green salsa (made of tomatillos), Pico de Gallo (red tomato, coriander, and chili), red sauce (tomatoes), and guacamole (fresh vegetables like onion, chili, and avocados).
In all cuisines, some ingredients are considered the preferred ones. In Mexico, corn and rice are the most used staples. Corn is found in practically all doughs for making dishes like pozole, atole, tortillas, burritos, and tamales.
As for rice, it is the perfect side dish in practically all meals. Mexican rice and cilantro-lime rice are typical accompaniments for meats or chicken. Rice can also be prepared as a complete dish like sopa seca, sopa aguada, rice casserole, and so on. It is also frequently used in desserts like Arroz con Leche and drinks like horchata.
Mexican dishes in the world
Enchiladas, tacos, burritos, or quesadillas are only some of the most popular Mexican dishes known and prepared worldwide. Some countries have versions of iconic Mexican dishes, but usually adapt them using their native and own cooking techniques.
Restaurants around the world offer a wide range of dishes with authentic Mexican flavors. They try to replicate in the best way some of the most iconic Mexican preparations like tacos, enchiladas, red rice, or cilantro-lime rice.
One example is the rice dishes cooked in Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants. They used high-quality and genuine Mexican ingredients like those used in Chipotle Mexican Grill brown rice. This delightful rice-based dish is fresh, healthy with a remarkable citric taste.
A cilantro-lime brown rice recipe
If you are not able to try Mexican food in a restaurant, you can cook it at home. There’s a wide range of meals you can choose that are really easy to prepare.
Let’s try an authentic Mexican rice dish.
Cilantro-Lime brown rice (4 Servings)
- 2 cups of long-grain brown rice.
- 4 cups of water or vegetable broth.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- ½ cup of minced fresh cilantro.
- ⅓ cup of fresh lime juice.
- ⅓ cup of fresh lemon juice.
- ½ cup of minced fresh cilantro.
- 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
- 1 bay leaf.
- Salt to taste.
- In a saucepan, pour water or vegetable broth, and cook at high heat until boiling.
- Rinse rice until water is clear. Incorporate rice, olive oil, bay leaf, garlic powder, and salt in the saucepan. Stir very well.
- Lower the heat and cook until rice is tender (that would be about 12 minutes).
- Remove the bay leaf and strain the rice.
- Put it in a large bowl, and add lime and lemon juice and the fresh cilantro. Add more salt if needed.
- Serve hot as an accompaniment for beef, fish or pork.