Mexican Food Origins

If anything defines Mexican food, it is a tradition of experimentation and innovation, of new flavors emerging out of new circumstances. At Caffe Di Fiore, we honor this tradition and appreciate that we have the chance to show our neighbors what every proud Mexican chef knows to be true: there is much more to Mexican food than most Americans know.

Long before the Spanish arrived in Mexico in the 1500s, indigenous people enjoyed a rich array of native foods, such as beans, squash, chiles and corn. Incredibly, corn and beans, which form the foundation of Mexican food, together create the building blocks of protein. This may be why the Aztec and Mayan cultures were able to thrive. When the Spanish Conquistadors did arrive in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in 1519 – now the modern capital Mexico City – they found not only a new world of everyday food, but something even more amazing: the Emperor Moctezuma introduced them to a drink made from honey, vanilla and chocolate. Vanilla and chocolate were new wonders for the Europeans, who would adopt them and help the two delicacies become international treasures.

With their arrival in the 1520s, the Spanish not only encountered new culinary wonders but also introduced their own. The Conquistadors brought a vast number of foods to Mexico that would inspire an infinite number of new Mexican recipes. These included animals such as chickens, pigs, and cattle. They also introduced the Mexicans to spices such as cinnamon, the coriander plant (which produces cilantro), oregano and black pepper.  In addition to spices, they also introduced various nuts, and vegetables to include:   rice, wheat, barley, almonds, lettuce, carrots, cauliflower and potatoes.

Since the 1520s, Mexicans have worked to constantly create ambitious new recipes that employ all the ingredients available to them. From the mole poblano, believed to be the work of 16th century nuns in Puebla, Mexico, to the sopes and quesadillas found in any street market, everything we think of as standard Mexican fare was once a radical blend of those ingredients native to the region with ingredients that later came from other countries. Even the French, who held power in Mexico for a mere three years in the 17th century, had a lasting culinary impact reflected in popular dishes like chiles en nogada (stuffed chiles in walnut sauce).

The unusual interplay of cultures has given rise to a very particular cuisine which has managed to keep its essence intact like no other.  The chile is without a doubt the condiment most characteristic of the Mexican gastronomy, although it is not the only one.  There are plenty of varieties and they are used in all kinds of dishes.  A unique blend of heat and spice has emerged as an intrinsic feature of Mexican food.

This is why, at Caffe Di Fiore, we make Mexican recipes in its truest sense. We create exciting new foods from what we find fresh around us, and we put our best chefs to the task of making them unlike anything you’ve tasted before. Honoring the origins of Mexican cuisine while blending different regional tastes and techniques has served as the inspiration for our menu and can be seen in items such as our mole and green enchiladas, Acapulco shrimp cocktail, pescado a la Veracruzana, Tampico style carne asada, guacamole, sopes, ceviche, cochinita pibil, pozole, tacos and our Mexican rice, salsas and sauces.


Species and seasonings of the Mexican food

There is no doubt that Mexico have gathered some of the more developed and enigmatic cultures in the history of civilization cultures, leaving influences in all kinds of social factors, including cuisine, making this country a genuine cluster of varied textures and sensations.

Mixture of cultures

The unusual interplay of cultures has left one cuisine more than unique. Striking and widespread throughout the world, but with not so much "institutional" leverage the truth is that the Mexican food has been influenced in his origin and historical foundation by the different civilizations that were cited in this country. The Aztecs and  the Mayans, all together with the later arrival of the Spanish and French have given rise to a very particular cuisine, which has however, managed to keep its essence intact like no other.  The chile is without a doubt the condiment most characteristic of the Mexican gastronomy.

The truth is that as there was a mixture and interrelatedness of cultures, in Mexican dishes also there is a wide variety of sauces, textures and flavors, which are given by the wide variety of condiments that often garnish the dishes of this wonderful country. Usually the cuisine is nothing more than a reflection of society and the history of each region. Mexicans are warm, friendly and passionate, its cuisine is a living reflection of their society. As already mentioned, the chile is one of the privileged food pf this cuisine and also one of the oldest indigenous products. There are plenty of varieties and they are used in all kinds of dishes, to the point of becoming one of the standard-bearers of the Mexican cuisine.

But in addition to the chile in the typical dishes, we can also be find garlic, ginger, coriander, the hierbabuena… all spices of very specific flavours that make Mexican recipes authentic flavors.

Dishes typical of the Mexican food

Mexican food has many pre-Hispanic roots. Among the most common spices is the chile, perhaps most characteristic of Mexican cuisine; but also abundant spices based on pumpkin seeds and beans and onions are very important.

The chile is actually the generic name for a series of spicy peppers of different types and degrees of itching. Mexican food is highly seasoned with hot spices. Beans are served as a complement to almost all meals. In Mexico the most popular are the black beans and the Brown. The tortillas are very thin masses of round shape, which consumed baked either as a complement to the food or in the form of cubes and are traditionally prepared with corn flour.

The guacamole is a  characteristic sauce that is prepared with avocados, tomatoes, garlic and onions and garnished with a little oil. The avocados are usually ground and other ingredients cut into very small pieces. Another sauce is made with onions, chili and tomatoes which sometimes garnished with oil and vinegar. Both sauces are used as accompaniment to meals and tortillas.

The mole is a pre-Hispanic preparation that blends a number of seeds of pumpkin, cocoa, chocolate and chile, and serves as a basis for preparing fraying meat or chicken dishes.

The tacos are tortillas filled with different preparations and are accompanied by some of the previous sauces and also of a paste of refried beans, according to the taste of the diner. Preparations to fill tacos are very varied; but usually prepare on the basis of chicken, beef or pork.

The fajitas are very similar to tacos, with the difference that usually bring the ingredients to the table to fill tortillas and each diner fills them as it sees fit, as opposed to the tacos, which are usually filled with a single ingredient and come prepared. The quesadillas are tortillas stuffed with cheese and some other ingredient, such as ham, chicken or zetas, served hot.