Traditional Mexican Spices and Its Origin

Mexican spices – For Mexican cuisine, spices like earthly cumin and fiery chiles, among others, play an important role in perfecting complex dishes and stews. However, the beauty of Mexican cuisine lies in its rich color and flavor infused with culture and tradition.

If you’re a fan of Mexican food and are looking for a guide to creating better-tasting, traditional Mexican cuisine, we’ve compiled an ultimate guide to the Mexican spices and herbs you’ll need. But, have you ever asked yourself, what is Mexican spice?

Below we will explore all the different traditional Mexican spices, what is in a Mexican spice blend, their history, and their role in Mexican cuisine and Mexican spice for fruit today.

What are Mexican Spices? 

Are you wondering what is in a Mexican spice blend? From Tajín Mexican spice to Mexican oregano, check out the recipe for Mexican spice blends below.

Ancho Chili Powder

Cultivating and grinding Poblano peppers to make ancho chilies dates back to the Aztecs. Poblano peppers originate from the Mexican state of Puebla and are only considered ancho chiles after ripening and drying. 

Ancho chili powder is often described as mildly fruity with hints of plum, raisin, and tobacco. This makes it a perfect spice for meat, soups and even salad dressing for extra heat. It also goes well with cumin, cinnamon, and cilantro, which you can use to prepare family-friendly meals. 

So, what is in a Mexican spice blend? Ancho chili powder is one! If you’re up for making ancho chili powder at home, buy some dried Poblano peppers, pull off the stems, clean the seeds and grind them using a grinder.

Anise Seeds

At least 2,000 years ago, anise herbs were cultivated in Egypt and Greece, later finding their way to Central Europe around the Middle Ages. Plant historians claim that anise was a highly prized herb for the Ancient Romans. They turned the seeds into spicy cakes and served them at the end of feasts to prevent guests from developing flatulence, hiccups, and indigestion.

Anise has a licorice-like flavor, is sweet, mildly spicy, and tastes similar to fennel and tarragon. Due to its perfect pairing with cinnamon and vanilla, anise spice is present when baking sweet dishes like desserts, cakes, cookies, and sweetbreads. Anise is an essential part of the Mexican dessert tray for events like the traditional Day of the Dead bread in Mexico.

Avocado Leaves

Are you a big fan of avocado fruit’s luscious and savory taste? Avocado leaves are also edible, with flavors reminiscent of hazelnut and anise. 

In southern and Central Mexico, fresh or dried Avocado leaves add flavor to bean tamales. Are you roasting meat, steaming or grilling fish? You can throw in some avocado leaves, too! Avocado leaves are also very healthy as they are an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, zinc, manganese, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.


According to Science Direct, Coriandrum sativum, colloquially known as coriander, originated in Italy but is today cultivated widely in the Netherlands, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean. It has a floral, citrusy, and sweet flavor that is also widely used for its medicinal properties to treat disorders of the digestive, respiratory and urinary systems. 

As the star in Mexican cuisine, coriander pairs perfectly with cumin, thyme and black pepper. This makes it a staple recipe for Mexican spice blend to flavor chorizo, soups, and stews.


Cumin is a signature flavor in Mexican cooking, originating in the Mediterranean but especially popular in Latin American and Indian cuisines. Its bitter and toasty spice produces a subtle yet unique and irreplaceable flavor. Like other spices, freshly ground cumin is best, especially when added to red enchilada sauce, moles, and pipians.

The balancing flavor of cumin may make you want to add more of it to any Mexican dish you prepare, but be careful. Too much cumin can overwhelm the food with its strong, distinctive earthy flavor and bitter undertones.

Enjoy Authentic Mexican Spices At Benito’s Restaurant

If you’re still wondering “what is Mexican spice,” experience its authentic flavors at Benito’s restaurant! Whether you’re looking for a taste of Tajín Mexican spice or Mexican spice for fruit, we have authentic dishes that bring out traditional Mexican flavors.

The welcoming atmosphere invites fond memories with friends and family. Book now and celebrate with those closest to you in the traditional Mexican way.