3 Mexican Food Myths and Facts!
Mexican food is one of the most celebrated foods in the United States and abroad. It holds a wide appeal to people of all ages and ethnicities. Due to its vast popularity, many myths abound. Let’s take a look at some of those common myths and learn the truth.
#1 Mexican Food is Spicy!
Mexican food is rich with flavors. Many of those flavors come from peppers and spices. However, not all Mexican food is spicy. Tacos, burritos and enchiladas are not typically spicy unless you want them that way. If you don’t like the heat, learn a bit about peppers. Habanero peppers, for example, are extremely hot.
Many times the heat in a Mexican dish comes from the salsa. Don’t eat Habanero salsa if you don’t like spicy foods. Mole sauce, green chilies, and enchilada sauces are generally mild in nature. Jalapeno peppers are hot, while poblano peppers are generally milder. Whether you’re cooking Mexican food or ordering it at a restaurant, knowing a bit about the peppers used in the recipe will help you choose the right heat level for your preferences.
#2 Most Mexican Food Isn’t Authentic!
Mexican food has a very long and diverse history. What is considered authentic food now may not have been authentic 50 or 100 years ago. Authentic Mexican food should ideally contain ingredients found and used in Mexico. Those ingredients might include corn, beans, peppers, tomatoes, and beef or fish. 100 years ago they couldn’t buy chili powder at the supermarket. They combined the spices that were available. Today, you can buy chili powder at the grocery and still consider your Mexican recipe to be authentic.
Common traditional recipes include:
- Adobo sauce
- Mole sauce
- Chile Verde
- Refried Beans
If you see those ingredients in your recipe or on the menu, you can trust that the food is authentic.
Myth #3 Mexican Food is Simple and Basic!
While it’s true that many traditional Mexican dishes are uncomplicated and delicious, there are also many recipes that take a lot of time and effort. A traditional Mole sauce for example is a complicated process of roasting peppers and tomatoes. You then cook the ingredients, which includes a number of unusual ingredients like cocoa and peanuts, for several hours. It’s not like you’re whipping up a quick bowl of guacamole! This recipe takes a lot of time and energy. Refried beans have few ingredients but they too take several hours to prepare and tamales are a lengthy process too. So while some Mexican foods are quick and easy, many traditional recipes are time consuming, albeit worth the effort.