Most likely the first thing that comes to your mind when talking about Mexican food are tacos with a rich salsa. Did you know that for thousands of years corn, chile, and beans were consumed in Mexico? It sounds incredible that these three basic elements of Mexican cuisine have persisted into the 21st century. Which is one of the reasons why in 2010 UNESCO declared Mexican cuisine a World Cultural Heritage.
Mixture of flavors
Before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors the indigenous people had a great diversity of fruits and vegetables that had been used in the Mexican cuisine of yesteryear: squash, tomato, onion, avocado, etc. Likewise, the way of cooking them was equally varied: roasted on hot stones, hollowed out holes in the earth where meat was wrapped in banana leaves and placed, steamed such as with the famous tamale, etc. Seeing such a culinary variety, the Spaniards could not resist mixing their Moorish cuisine with what had been learned in America. Spain was not the only one to feel the influence of Mexican food, it has also given the rest of the world reasons to delight in its palate; Delicacies such as chocolate, chewing gum, avocado, tomato, vanilla, chile and sesame, among others.
From the Customs to the Palate
It is fascinating how several dishes of Mexican cuisine have been the result of a tradition, ritual, or celebration that has transcended time and in some cases, borders. Let’s talk about the Aztecs who consumed a rich drink of hot water with cocoa beans that was sweetened with honey and gave you a lot of energy. This drink was called Xocolatl and was consumed only by the noble and was known as “the drink of the gods.” Hernán Cortes wrote to Carlos V about this delight and exported it. It is thought that it was the Spaniards who wanted to replace the water with milk making known through Europe as the rich hot chocolate that we consume today.
Chiles en Nogada
Chiles en Nogada is usually only prepared during the month of the Mexican Independence, in September. It all began when Agustín Iturbide on August 25, 1821 signed the Treaty of Cordova where Spain officially recognized the independence of Mexico. Wanting to give a very peculiar feast, the Augustinian nuns invented this recipe where the colors of the flag are reflected in the Chiles en Nogada: green, white and red. And that is the story of this delicious dish and 195 years of tradition.
Mexican Gastronomy Day
As you can see, the culinary and cultural richness of Mexico is so wide. That is why this November 16, 2016 will be the first time to celebrate the Mexican Gastronomy Day, recognized by UNESCO. It is worth mentioning that it is the only country in the world that has a day of culinary recognition.
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