About Traditional Mexican Foods
Traditional Mexican foods have its roots in ancient Maya and Aztec civilizations.
Spanish arrival changed many things in traditional Mexican culture including food.
However Mexican food was, and still is, quite unique, healthy (depending on the region), tasteful and hot.
One of the best things about Mexico is that it is a country with much diversity. Among many things this diversity includes kinds of foods Mexicans eat which varies by region.
For example Mexican food in the north part of Mexico is quite different than the one in the south of the country. This is due to the cultural differences of these two parts of Mexico and their different geographical positions.
Northern Mexico's cuisine is famous for its meat dishes, especially the dishes that are beef or goat based. Southern Mexico is famous for its chicken based dishes, spices and sea food. In fact the sea food is very popular in all Mexican states that border the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific Ocean.
Dividing Mexico's cuisine into two main parts (Northern and Southern) is robust and unjust because almost every Mexican State has its own special culinary flavor and unique ingredients as well as specific way of preparing food; all of which makes it very difficult to generalize Mexican cuisine.
However, in order for this article to eventually has an end we have to be practical and that is why we choused this approach.
History of Traditional Mexican Foods
One of the greatest culinary legacies of the Aztec empire is chocolate. Spanish may have concurred Aztecs but Aztec's chocolate concurred Spain, Europe and the rest of the world.
Aztecs that lived in the Mesoamerica present Mexico enjoyed the magic of chocolate long before the rest of the world and they believed that chocolate had certain power, which is why they consumed chocolate in large quantities by drinking it.
Other traditional Mexican foods that originate from the Aztec empire are: corn based dishes, rattlesnakes, iguanas, avocado, guava, papaya, tomato, vanilla, maize, squash, turkey and so on.
Even though in present Mexico you will hardly find iguana served for diner there are many spices and ingredients that are used in present Mexican cuisine which originate from the Aztecs and other native people of Mexico.
If, however, you would really like to try the culinary legacy of the Maya and Aztecs you should go to the rural areas of Mexico. This is because in some Mexican villages you can find very exotic dishes such as roasted insects, rattlesnake, spider monkey and of course iguana.
When Spanish came in the 16th century they brought many things to Mexico, among many of them were certain foods such as rice, beef, pork, garlic, wine, etc. This had great impact on Mexican cuisine and it influenced many changes that had occurred due to the integration of these two cultures.
Mexican American Food
The last big influence on Mexican cuisine is done by the American culture which caused Mexican cuisine in the United States to be rich in fat and less healthy.
In fact there is a special name for this type of Mexican food TexMex (Texan-Mexican). Authentic Mexican food that is Americanized (Taco Bell) is very popular across the United States and many people enjoy it even though it is not the healthier food around.
On the other side, there are many benefits, regarding health, when traditional Mexican foods are used in diet. This is because authentic Mexican food is rich in vitamins with low calories and fat. Therefore if you would like to get in shape you should consider low fat Mexican foods as your diet.