I have been going south of the border for many years now, ever since my buddy Javier Burillo moved down to Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca. One thing which I have always enjoyed is Mexican food and each time I go there, no matter how much I may have tried already, there are new dishes to discover and enjoy. I know that many nations have their own way of cooking and preparing food, but if you take most developed countries around the world, there is a much more international feel to their cuisine. So what is it that Mexico has done, which has helped them to preserve the hundreds of national plates which you can find? Let’s take a look.
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Not a great deal of the reasons as to why they still retain so much of their cuisine is are by design, and the lack of immigration is a large part of this. For sure you can find international cuisine in the country, but the cuisine is abundantly Mexican. If we look at the US for example, you will find that pizza is like a national dish despite coming from Italy. This happens because of the large number of Italian settlers who came to the country, and brought their cuisine with them. There are some adoptions of international cuisine here, tacos al pastor for example was brought by Arabic settlers to the country, and then even a Mexican twist. Generally speaking however Mexico is around 99% Mexican, which is what has helped maintain the cuisine here.
There is certainly an impact which the socio-economic conditions have had on Mexican cuisine. So many here live in poverty and eat from the land, and for many international cuisine was something which they simply couldn’t afford to buy. Whilst things are certainly better in most parts of the nation than they have been in the past, it is clear that this focus on eating whatever is available and making it taste delicious, is something that came about because of a lack of finances.
National pride has become a dirty word in recent years but there really is nothing wrong with being proud of what you are and where you are from, and this is felt throughout Mexico. Win my experience the US is great at making things their own and celebrating the mixture which they have, it is after all a city built on mass migration. Whilst the Spanish clearly had an impact on Mexico, in the centuries that followed that pride has stirred up and this is why they love to eat their own cuisine. This has helped to ensure that so many of those recipes and dishes have been passed on from generation to generation.
One thing is for sure, Mexicans love to eat and if you do too, there is an incredible amount of dishes which you can choose from when you are in Mexico.