Mexican Cuisine is world famous and many people appreciate its spicy and rich flavored dishes. No wonder the culinary experience was one of the highlights of our Mexican travels.
Around the world, people tend to know tacos, burritos, nachos and guacamole as representative of the gastronomy of this country. I had eaten Mexican food before, mainly tacos and burritos, and was always confused to know the difference between all the dishes that come wrapped in a corn tortilla: tacos, sopes, quesadillas… When you start eating into this variety you start learning the differences between all of the above and many more. And that’s also when you start realizing that EVERYTHING revolves around corn when it comes to Mexican food!
The variety of snacks, dishes and even drinks that Mexicans developed around this cereal is absolutely amazing! One of my Mexican friends even told me that, now-a-days, the consumption of corn in Mexico is so extremely high that they are importing it from the USA, when historically it had always been plentiful in their own country.
So, let’s look into some examples of corn-based products present all over Mexico.
Start the day with some corn intake! If you are into savory flavors, you can have some tostadas (toasted corn tortillas) and top them up with local favorites like mashed refried black beans, eggs, cheese or, even better, all together!
If you are into something a bit more “international” and, you can buy corn flakes sold in different flavors and shapes.
If we were talking about Tex-Mex cuisine, these would be called “nachos”. But in Mexico, fried triangles of corn tortilla are totopos – the “good” version of Doritos, basically. Excellent to munch on any time of the day, specially dipped in guacamole or spicy sauce!
If you feel the desire to train your stomach to the corn intake you’d be about to have in your main meal, why not start with some cream of corn soup?!
This is where Mexican Cuisine has got its name!
For anything corn, you can dig into what Mexicans call “Vitamina T” (vitamin T): tacos, tamales, tortillas, tlacoyos… anything that feeds you, tastes good and starts with the letter T!
You sure don’t come to Mexico to loose weight!!
The nice thing about many Mexican dishes is that they are fairly small – no one has just 1 taco for lunch, for example. So you can always order something to start with and keep on having other items as you go. In regular restaurants these type of preparations are usually served very fast and extremely fresh!
I must say that vegetables wise, Mexico is not the N.1 country. Main dishes aren’t usually served with a big side of salad or vegetables. But, of you want to make your own food at home, why not include some sweet corn in your salads?
Corn snacks are also widely available on street vending carts: you can have corn on the cob (boiled or grilled) or boiled corn. Sometimes the toppings applied are so intense in flavor and spice level that you don’t almost know if you’re eating corn or something else!
If after corn starters, corn soup, corn main dish cooked in corn oil and who knows what corn-else, you have a sweet tooth… fill it with some popped corn! Mexican flavors are anything but boring! Savory, buttery, caramel, chile and lemon..
For dessert, breakfast or afternoon snack, give your kids a fulfilling preparation of flavored corn starch! I remembered my Mom preparing me something similar as a kid: back then, we didn’t use to have the flavored Maizena available, so you would take the plain one and ad some chocolate powder. Quite yummy, actually!
If you didn’t have enough corn for a day with all of the above, try to wash it down with some Chicha or end in a sweet note with some smooth Champurrado!
This is what I call making the most of the local resources! And in a tasty, oh-so-tasty way!
What other corn related products have you tried around Mexico?
Let us know!
(NOTE: We do not own copyright of some of the images included in this post.)