Mexican Week in our restaurant
Mexican cuisine is primarily a fusion of indigenous Mesoamerican cooking with European, especially Spanish, elements added after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in the 16th century. The basic staples remain native foods such as corn, beans and chili peppers, but the Europeans introduced a large number of other foods, the most important of which were meat from domesticated animals (beef, pork, chicken, goat and sheep), dairy products (especially cheese) and various herbs and spices.
While the Spanish initially tried to impose their own diet on the country, this was not possible and eventually the foods and cooking techniques began to be mixed, especially in colonial era convents. African and Asian influences were also introduced into the mixture during this era as a result of African slavery in New Spain and the Manila-Acapulco Galleons. Over the centuries, this resulted in various regional cuisines, based on local conditions such as those in Oaxaca, Veracruz and the Yucatán Peninsula. Mexican cuisine is closely tied to the culture, social structure and popular traditions of the country. The most important example of this connection is the use of mole for special occasions and holidays, particularly in the South and Center regions of the country. For this reason and others, Mexican cuisine was inscribed in 2010 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Mexican cuisine is as complex as any of the great cuisines in the world, such as those of China, France, Italy and Japan. It is created mostly with ingredients native to Mexico as well as those brought over by the Spanish conquistadors, with some new influences since then. In addition to staples such as corn and chili peppers, native ingredients include tomatoes, squashes, avocados, cocoa and vanilla, as well as ingredients not generally used in other cuisines such as edible flowers, vegetables such as huauzontle and papaloquelite or small criollo avocados, whose skin is edible. European contributions include pork, chicken, beef, cheese, herbs and spices, and some fruits. Tropical fruits such as guava, prickly pear, sapote, mangoes, bananas, pineapple and cherimoya (custard apple) are popular, especially in the center and south of the country. It has been debated how much Mexican food is still indigenous and how much is European. However, the basis of the diet is still corn and beans with chili pepper as a seasoning as they are complementary foods.