When you think of Mexican food, your mind usually jumps to tacos or guac doesn’t it? But there’s much more to Mexican cuisine than burritos and queso dip! There are actually seven different regional Mexican styles, with their own distinctive characteristics.
Seven whole regions––doesn’t that sound exciting? And, finding out more about these regional Mexican cuisine variations may just inspire you to try something new. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous regional Mexican cuisines you will find in Mexico.
This part of Mexico has a strong ranching tradition so, you guessed it, beef is a top choice on the menu. Grilling is popular, as are staples like retired pinto beans, rice, and dried beef. Burrito is another firm favorite, think meat and flour tortillas served with rich, porky beans. And, the coastal towns certainly have had their sway too, with spicy ceviche (aguachile) and fish tacos being first on the list.
The cuisine of this area was less affected by Spanish colonialism, but the first to experience the food cultures of the European. And it shows. Much of the cooking traditions have strong ties to the indigenous Mixtec and Zapotec people. Here you will find many variations of mole (it is considered a technique, not just a recipe) and their version of mozzarella, called Oaxaca cheese. If you’ve got a big appetite, you’re in luck, the empanadas, tamales, and tortillas are very large. And, since corn is a staple of the region, tortillas are eaten with every meal. There’s a rich seafood cuisine here too.
This is where seafood is king and corn is less popular here than in other parts of Mexico. And, while African and Caribbean influences are strong, Mediterranean ingredients play a starring role in this Mexican food – alongside a variety of native tropical fruits. The hallmark dish is Pescado a la veracruzana, with tomato, capers, and olives.
The Mexican cuisine of the Yucatan Peninsula is probably the most prized after Oaxaca. With renowned French, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern influences, these regional flavours are very distinct from the rest of Mexico. There is also a strong Mayan culinary tradition in the Yucatan food. The spice achiote is a notable seasoning, giving foods a characteristic reddish color. Also standard are Habanero chile (used as a condiment in many dishes), sour orange, plums, red onion, allspice, and seasoning pastes called recados.
Looking for Mexico’s more iconic dishes? This is where you’ll find them; Mole poblano (a complex sauce of dried chiles, seeds, nuts, and chocolate) and Chiles en nogada (picadillo-stuffed chiles with a walnut space and pomegranate seeds) top the pile. Street foods like tacos and tortas are popular and, as this area is an urban hub, you’ll easily find specialities from around the country. Another thing the state of Puebla is good at is innovative and diverse antojitos.
The regional Mexican food of Jalisco state reflects its rich natural and cultural resources; a long coastline, Mexico’s largest freshwater lake, arid plains, and snowy peaks. Non-food traditions the state can boast of are mariachi, charreria, and tequila. Essential dishes include chile-stewed lamb (birria), fish soup (caldo michi), and a ground-meat and chile patty (pacholas).
This seafood-based cuisine in Baja is similar to typical Cal-Mex cuisine. But there are also a few immigrant influences to look out for, Russian in Valle de Guadalupe and Chinese in Mexicali. Another upmarket fusion to try is Baja Med. Try tempura fish and shrimp tacos, you won’t go wrong, and make sure to serve it with a margarita. Salud!
Are you looking for great authentic Mexican food and legendary margaritas? Come to Benito’s in the Fairmount area of Fort Worth. Well known for our breakfast dishes, pico de gallo, fresh gauc, queso flamedo and margaritas, you’ll experience true Mexican cuisine with us, at Benito’s.
To book a table, call us at 817-332-8633, to find out more go to our website.