Mexican Food History

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Mexican food has enjoyed great popularity in America for years. From burritos to enchiladas, Mexican recipes are the pride of many an American cook and the colorful, spicy, delicious dishes grace many a table. Nevertheless, what is the story behind the cuisine? A little Mexican food history can spice up your kitchen and shed some light on the roots of many or our favorite dishes.

Case in point: when the Spanish invaded Mexico in 1521, they brought with them many new varieties of livestock including pigs, cows and sheep, the likes of which Mexico had never seen. The Spanish explorer Cortez introduced Mexico to these and other foods such as dairy products, garlic and other spices as well as dairy products like cheese. Mexican food also has strong
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Mexican? Nope. These items are actually Spanish foods. The world famous hot sauce made from chili peppers, however, is truly Mexican. Another tasty little tidbit of Mexican food history is that many of the spices that are traditionally considered to be Mexican actually hail from Spain. Cinnamon, coriander, black pepper, and oregano are all popular spices used in Mexican cooking, but they actually come from Spain.

The French are yet another chapter in Mexican food history. Under a brief French occupation in the 1860's, Mexico was introduced to other new foods and cooking methods. This resulted in popular dishes like stuffed chilies in a walnut sauce, known as chiles en nogado. These dishes, French inspired with a strong Mexican flair, have made their way through the various cultures to meld together and create dishes that the world can enjoy.

While Spain and France have had strong influences in Mexican food history, perhaps one of the most popular has been the influence from the Southwest United States. Texas, to be exact. This interesting style of Mexican food, "Tex-Mex" is served in many restaurants the world over and is considered "Mexican food" although this is not necessarily the case. It is an often spicy, delicious blend of both cultures and has become widely accepted the world

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