Last Updated on March 21, 2022 by Guillermina
Traditional Mexican food is delicious, but what kind of food do Mexicans eat? It is good to ask ourselves this question as we learn about the Mexican cuisine culture that has heavy influences from three continents. Mexican food is unique and a favorite throughout the U.S. It is hard not to find a Mexican restaurant.
The thing about what kind of food do Mexicans eat is that it depends! While we will be discussing general popular dishes throughout the country, the country of Mexico is huge! Each section, much like the U.S and other countries have distinct foods, traditions, and languages.
The History Of Mexican Food
Mexican food has a rich and interesting history. The history first began with the indigenous people who called Mexico and the Americas their land. During the time that they lived alone without conquistadors, this group of people cooked food through the means of agriculture and wild stock like turkey and large birds.
Something that was especially prevalent and constantly cooked with was corn. The indigenous people of the Americas found out unique ways to grow and cross breed corn. They then processed the corn in long processes to create a thin powder similar to flour to make a masa with.
The masa was something often ate on the outside of the dish. Stuffed inside were various different types of hot peppers as well as beans cooked and seasoned in a unique way.
When did the shift happen? When the Spanish came to Mexico, they took a lot of indigenous Mexican ideas and made it their own with a twist. As the Spanish came, so did their animals and plants which included cows, sheep, and chickens. Suddenly, the tamales, corn tortillas, and masa-covered food was stuffed with meat.
There is also an African influence as sadly slaves were common in Latin America. They brought their food, seasonings, and traditions which is still seen in traditional Mexican food now. For example, rice and plantains came from Africa, which is prevalent in Mexican food.
What Kind Of Food Do Mexicans Eat?
So, what kind of foods do Mexicans eat? Honestly, the list is endless! This answer also depends on where a person comes from. The food that abundantly grows in North Mexico, bordering the U.S, is different from southern Mexico bordering Guatemala and Belize.
As established above, the main dishes that Mexicans eat today are corn-based, not including the yellow-orange rice and frijoles. Corn-based dishes include dishes like tamales, tostadas, street tacos, and more. Mexicans are also known for their beans and peppers though!
Many parts of Mexico have fertile land where food grows easily. Not all of Mexico is a hot and dry dessert, contrary to popular belief. Where food does grow rapidly and naturally, you can find things like various types of beans as well as hot and sweet peppers.
5 Popular Mexican Dishes
Now that we have an understanding of what kind of food do Mexicans eat, we should review five popular Mexican dishes and a few tips and tricks on how to make them.
1. Street Tacos
You can’t forget street tacos when answering the question ‘what kind of food do Mexicans eat’! This dish is an exceedingly popular one in both Mexico and the U.S. Street tacos are served in the streets in stands and outside of cars. The people who make these tacos are quick and efficient.
Have you ever had Chilaquiles? This authentic Mexican dish is usually consumed for breakfast and has many moving parts that make me smile! The main thing about this dish is the rice, beans, tortilla strips, and eggs! Now you know what kind of food do Mexicans eat during breakfast, a hearty meal!
Tostadas are another unique dish that is a great way to answer what kind of food do Mexicans eat. It is delicious and simple to make! So simple that you can make this dish at home. Usually, it is something you would eat at home or at a restaurant as a small appetizer.
A tostada is a fried tortilla that is thin. On top of this tortilla is shredded meat, cheese, various hot pepper and tomatillo sauces, and onions with cilantro. While you can add lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream; that is more of a Tex-Mex dish!
4. Chiles En Nogada
Chiles en Nogada is a traditional dish often served during celebrations and the holidays. Using poblano peppers, meat is stuffed in the inside after the poblano pepper is soaked, cleaned, boiled, and pealed. Inside of the chiles is usually shredded beef marinated for days.
A white nogado sauce is poured on top. The white sauce uses cheese as well as walnuts for the extra flavor. It is subtle but worth it!
Who hasn’t heard about menudo by now! It is a soup or stew that cooks for hours and is treated like a family dish that you serve with loved ones. The soup is stirred for hours and has a light flavor. While some seasonings are added, there is not a lot.
In the Menudo soup, there is also pasta shells, heat, and cabbage as well as radishes. All of this is eaten together! Possibly the best part about menudo is what you add to it! The soup can come with a kick, which is why you should use lemon as well as more shredded cabbage for this dish.
Next time, when a person asks you ‘what kind of food do Mexicans eat’ you will know how to answer the question! Don’t be afraid to give them the interesting details and history behind popular Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. All in all, if you liked this article, let us know below! We would love to hear from you.
The same goes with family and friends on the topic of ‘what kind of food do Mexicans eat’. Do you know someone who is interested in learning about what kind of food do Mexicans eat? Share this article with them to continue spreading the knowledge!
What is Mexican cuisine known for?
Mexican cuisine is known for foods that are corn based. These foods usually use a corn masa to make tortillas, Chilaquiles, stuffed peppers, tamales, and more! Corn grows abundantly and is a rich part of Mexican indigenous history.
What is Mexico’s most eaten food?
Maybe not so surprising, Mexico's most eaten food and popular dish are tacos! They are easy to make and versatile. This street food is often served as a to go meal, and yet can be eaten in restaurants and from the comfort of your own home.
What is typical Mexican food?
Now, this is a hard question to answer! There is no one right typical Mexican food. However, to name a few; hot peppers, Chilaquiles, stuffed poblano peppers, and menudo.