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Common Mexican Food Terms
Mexican recipes are commonly based around corn and beans, the staple foods of Mexico, and can be mild to spicy. An authentic Mexican restaurant will have a variety of menu options to appeal to different tastes. Below are six terms to know when ordering food at a Mexican restaurant.
Fajita – Grilled meat, traditionally beef, with onions and bell peppers served on a tortilla. Fajitas are served with toppings like sour cream, guacamole, and cheese.
Tamale – A corn dough stuffed with a filling, wrapped in a corn husk, and steamed. Tamale recipes include many different fillings including meats, like beef and chicken, salsa, and sugar with dried fruit.
Torta – A type of Mexican sandwich that may be served hot or cold. Tortas typically have meat and garnishes and are served on a round, white bread roll.
Chorizo – A type of ground pork sausage that is made with chili peppers inside. Chorizo is a popular meat for tacos and burritos. It is sometimes cooked with eggs and wrapped in a tortilla to make breakfast burritos.
Chipotle – A jalapeño pepper that has been smoked and dried. Often, chipotle peppers are turned into powders, marinades for grilling, or used in sauces and salsa.
Empanada – Fried, wheat or corn based dough stuffed with meat, cheese, or sweet fillings. Empanadas may be on a menu as a meal or a as a dessert depending on what filling is used.
Horchata – A sweet, rice flavored drink served cold. Authentic Mexican horchata is made by combining rice, water, vanilla, and cinnamon. Oftentimes, milk is used in place of water to create a sweeter beverage.
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When you’re in the mood for something spicy, Mexican food is the way to go. From tacos and burritos to refried beans and rice, authentic Mexican food presents a cohesive blend of spice and savory flavorings, indigenous to Mexico. Just as there are vast choices when it comes to this type of food, so are there vast selections of venues to experience it. Fast food joints sell tacos, along with sides of beans and rice and authentic Mexican drinks like horchata.
If you prefer to eat Mexican food at home, you can pick up the ingredients from the market and make the grilled vegetables and toppings yourself. However, if you feel like going out to a fancy restaurant to eat, then head to your nearest Mexican restaurant to dine in.
This style of cuisine originates in Mexico. This type of food uses lots of rice, corn, tortillas and beans in dishes. Most dishes are available with toppings such as cheese and salsa. The tortilla in particular is a staple of the Mexican diet. It’s made from kernels cooked with lime, ground on stone slabs, and mixed with the dough which is patted by hand. Tortillas are not only used to wrap food in, such as authentic fajita dishes, but they’re also used as plates, as with tostadas.
Stop by a Mexican café for a fresh breakfast burrito or all the enchiladas you can eat. Enchiladas are generally made with chicken, cheese or beef. Top it all off with a native dessert like sweet tamales or coconut flan. The internet is a great place to get Mexican recipes and menus to grill up your own fare. Recipes and menus from your favorite restaurant are usually easily accessible to download and print.