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Friday, 13 May 2016

Mexican Cuisine

The Maya people were fond of liquid chocolate drinks with a foamy, frothy top. The consumption of chocolate was mainly restricted to the society's elite. The beverage was made by mixing ground maize (corn) and the roasted, crushed cocoa beans.

A Maya lord forbids an individual from touching a container of chocolate.

The Aztec peoples ate maize, beans, turkey, fish, small game, insects and a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, pulses, seeds, tubers, wild mushrooms, plants and herbs that they collected or cultivated.

Maize was the staple food of the poor Aztecs so much so it was inter-linked with their religion in which they worshiped Cinteotl, a maize god and Chicomecoatl, a maize goddess. Tortilla pancakes made with maize were eaten with every meal.

Wealthy Aztecs ate plenty of spicy food made from hot chillies and sweet peppers, especially tortillas made from corn. For meat they ate deer, rabbit, turkey, even dog with beans and as a snack roasted ground seeds.

Aztec men sharing a meal as depicted in the Florentine Codex.

The Aztecs used avocados, onions and chopped tomatoes to make a sauce called "ahuaca-mulli", a sort of guacamole.

After the Conquest, the Spanish introduced a variety of foodstuffs and cooking techniques from Europe. More importantly, they introduced domesticated animals, such as pigs, cows, chickens, goats and sheep for meat and milk, raising the consumption of protein. Cheese became the most important dairy product. The most important cooking technique introduced by the Spanish was frying. Despite the domination of Spanish culture, Mexican cuisine has maintained its base of corn, beans and chili peppers.

The word burrito means "little donkey" in Spanish.  Burritos were so named because they carry a lot of ingredients, and a little pack donkey carries a large load. They originated south of Los Angeles.
If you fry a burrito, it becomes a chimichanga.

A Los Angeles restaurant, the El Cholo Spanish cafe, opened at 1121 South Western Avenue in a courtyard with a mission-style fountain in 1930. The Proprietress Rosa Borquez's menu popularized Mexican food such as enchiladas, tacos and burritos.

View of a taco stand in the Tacubaya neighborhood of Mexico City. By Thelmadatter - Wikipedia Commons

In 1943 Ignacio Anaya, a chef at the small Mexican town of Piedras Negras assembled the first nachos, a combination of tortilla pieces with jalapeño peppers and melted cheese, for some Texan ladies who were on a shopping trip.

Taco Bell founder Glen Bell began with a hamburger stand called Bell's Burgers, which he funded by selling his sister's refrigerator for start-up cash. Bell introduced tacos to his enterprise in 1951, and before long, they were outselling the burgers.

Bell decided to open a stand-alone Mexican restaurant, which is how the proto-Taco Bell, "Taco Tia", came to be. (A friend convinced him to call his restaurants Taco Bell in 1962)

The Cuisines of Mexico, an influential cookbook by food authority Diana Kennedy published in 1972, drew the line between authentic interior Mexican food and the Americanized Mexican food many eat at commercial Mexican restaurants in the United States. Kennedy begun referring to Americanized Mexican food as "Tex-Mex," a term previously used to describe anything that was half Texan and half Mexican.

Doritos were created at Disneyland in an attempt to use up old tortillas that would otherwise be thrown out.

You’re almost 4,000% more likely to find breakfast tacos in Texas than in the U.S. as a whole.

While filming The Blair Witch Project, if one of the actors wanted to break character, he or she would say “taco.”

Mole ( from Nahuatl mōlli, "sauce") is the generic name for a number of sauces originally used in Mexican cuisine, Mole poblano is considered Mexico's national dish.

Mole poblano. By Elelicht - Wikipedia Commons

The town of Oaxaca, Mexico, has a festival every December to celebrate radishes.

Source Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

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