Mexican cuisine presents a mixture of the indigenous cooking of North America combined with with European cooking – Spanish, in particular. They arrived to the northern American continent after the 16th century. The staple foods include tortillas and spices. Chile peppers take special place among them as Mexican dishes acquire distinctive flavor thanks to chilies. Several dishes are prepared on the basis of tortillas such as burrito, enchilada and chimichangas. The egg is also cooked on tortillas. Tortillas are made of corn. Corn is also boiled in Mexican cuisine to get a hearty corn stew called pozole.
Mexicans often use corn, beans, tomatoes, tomatillos (green tomatoes), avocados, nopales (from the prickly pear cactus), rice to cook staple dishes. Some foods are indigenous: avocados, cocoa, squashes, corn, chili peppers, vanilla etc. Others were brought to the continent by the Spanish, for instance rice. They also introduced dairy products, meats of domesticated animals, herbs and spices. They brought much and European culinary traditions mixed with traditional Mexican cuisine. By the way, Mexican cuisine was recognized Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2010.
Before Spanish brought cheese and meat to the continent, native people ate very little meat and did not consume dairy products. They ate only domesticated turkey. The Spanish also brought the technique of frying in pork fat. Now Mexicans eat different kinds of meat: beef, pork, chicken, sheep and goat. Also, dishes of fish and seafood are popular.
Mole poblano is prepared for festive occasions. It is a very complicated and time-consuming dish. Tamale is another festive dish. It is a filled cornmeal dumpling that is steamed in a banana leaf or some other wrapping.
As for street food, there are such Mexican dishes as tacos, different variants of Quesadilla, Pambazos, Al Pastor (derived from shawarma), Huarache, Alambres, etc.
Tacos are not eaten as the main meal. It is a snack eaten in the morning or late in the evening. Any filling can be wrapped in a tortilla. You can also see a very big flour tortilla called sobaquera. It can be an arm long.
Torta is also popular street food. This is a roll stuffed with filling. Fresh fruit juices are easily available in the streets. You can buy the drink from street vendors. The popular beverages include Sangria and beer. Café de olla is Mexican coffee that is served sweet and spiced.
Mexican cuisine includes dishes of edible flowers as well.
According to the Mexican tradition, woman is in charge of cooking in Mexican families so all women can cook.