Mexico is America's neighbor to the south and is a place of wonders. Mexican culture consists of incredibly lavish traditions and festivals and the landscape of this beautiful country features a warm and tropical climate, but one of the best things about Mexico is undoubtedly its food. Mexican food is world-famous and goes beyond the traditionally simple food featured in restaurant chains such as Chipotle. There is a lot more to Mexican food than simple tacos and burritos and there is so much for tourists in Mexico to experience. Without further ado, here are 5 Mexican dishes everyone should try.
Tamales are a traditional Mexican staple that is made of corn dough called masa. This steamed masa is filled with a variety of ingredients such as meats like chicken or pork or simply vegetables. In addition to the meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, and even peppers can be added to these steamed pockets. Following the filling process, tamales are then wrapped inside of a dried corn husk and steamed to perfection. The end result is a delicious corn crust filled with juicy ingredients. Tamales are eaten by discarding the corn husk and can be enjoyed with side dishes and sauces as well.
Next up on this list is a dish known as birria. Birria is certainly not a popular dish outside of Mexico and chances are you have never even heard of this dish, but it is one of the best Mexican dishes that everyone should try. In its essence, birria is a simple stew-like food that usually involves meat such as goat or mutton which is then simmered slowly in a sauce rich with spices. The final result of this process is a delicious stew with tender, juicy meat in it. While poultry, beef or port is not usually used, it can be.
In Spanish, carnitas means little meats which, in a sense can be construed as true. Carnitas refer to pork that has been cooked to a point of tenderness that it can be torn away with a fork into tinier pieces of meat. Carnitas is a food that is well known outside of Mexico and is featured in popular restaurant chains such as Chipotle who use this tender concoction to stuff tacos and burritos. Along with the tenderness, the carnitas is usually fried prior to serving so parts are often crispy on the outside while remaining juicy. Carnitas make for perfect taco stuffing.
Following carnitas is a dish known as Molcajete. Molcajete is often referred to as a lava bowl due to the way it is presented for consumption. For starters, a molcajete is a bowl of steaming vegetables and meat, it can even be referred to as a stew. Molcajete is served in a steaming hot bowl that is actually a mortar and pestle, and both the dish and the food are hot to the touch. Due to the extreme temperature of this dish, it is advised that tourists do not consume this dish on a hot day unless in AC.
Next up on this list is a food referred to as a mole. While most people choose to describe this dish as Mexican curry, in reality, it refers to a family of sauces which are produced in different colors. These different colors each have different tastes and even come in different spice levels. The preparation of each of these sauces starts with the same basics, a chili pepper of some sort is used as the base of this sauce and many other spices are added on later. Some moles even contain traces of chocolate to add a tinge of sweetness.