Due to its historical value and unquestionable wealth, traditional Mexican cuisine is one of the few cuisines that has a presence practically all over the world. Away from the American continent and beyond Europe, there will always be someone serving tacos. Especially now, in the 21st century, when “Mexican gastronomy is reaching a point of maturity finally reaching its own and full identity, which takes up the pre-Hispanic elements of respect for ingredients and endemic products”, says the director of Le Cordon Bleu Anáhuac, Luis Javier Álvarez Alfeirán, to Forbes magazine.
Recognized as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2010 by UNESCO, Mexican cuisine is a crucial element in the identity of Mexicans, among other things, for its collaborative preparation that relies on elements originating from their land, and that has been expressed creatively in each of its regions since ancient times.
With intense flavours, characteristically spicy due to the use of chili, it stands out for the use of typical products such as corn, beans, jitomate (variety of red tomato), sweet potato, avocado, cocoa and pumpkin, in whose preparations it also had Spanish cuisine is very influential. In addition to spices such as achiote, coriander, cinnamon and mint.
These are some of the most typical dishes of Mexican cuisine. Which one do you choose?
This typical dish from the Yucatan area, whose name derives from the Mayan language (where “pib” means “buried” or “cooked under the ground”), is made from pork marinated in achiote and wrapped in banana leaves. It is cooked in the oven and is characterized by its delicious seasoning and red colour given by the achiote (a condiment that the Aztecs also used as a natural colouring), as well as onion, orange juice, garlic, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and vinegar. It is usually accompanied by tacos and black beans. In addition to its incredible colour, its unmistakable flavour makes it an unmissable dish when it comes to getting to know this gastronomy. If you are on a trip or venture to prepare this recipe at home, we recommend serving it with a versatile wine such as Marques de Casa Concha Rosé. Due to the spices, onion and spiciness of this dish, a wine with balanced acidity is needed that brings out the flavours and is not overshadowed by the intense flavours.
More than a dish, Moles are sauces that are served to accompany meats and are characterized by their intense flavour given the mixture of different chilies, aromatic spices, seeds, nuts and sometimes cocoa. The ways of doing it are many and it will depend on the place of origin … so it is believed that its versions are countless. However, they are always complex sauces that need a complex wine. If the mole is very dark, hot and full of spices like the Mole Negro from Oaxaca, a robust red wine with black fruit flavour’s like Terrunyo Carmenere, it is a good companion. While for a Mole Rojo, a wine with notes of red fruits like Gravas del Maipo Syrah can work very well.
Another very popular dish that is easy to find on the streets of Mexico is tamales. It is a cooked corn dough, wrapped in the same corn or banana leaf, and can be filled with meat, seafood, vegetables or fruits. So, they can be sweet or savoury. Although they are prepared all year round, tamales are very popular to eat on February 2nd for “Día de la Candelaria”. Regardless of its filling, a creamy dough generally goes very well with white wines with good acidity and a mouthful. Therefore, we recommend you try them with Amelia Chardonnay from the Limarí Valley. This combination could be even more successful if you try it with the Sweet Pineapple Tamales.
Quesadillas with guacamole
The quesadilla is another of the Mexican antojitos that emerged after mixing with Spanish culture. Although it is said about their origins that these corn or wheat flour tortillas could be filled with anything, especially sweet, today what is most abundant in a quesadilla is grilled cheese. They are usually accompanied by salsa, onion or the typical guacamole (a mixture of avocado, tomato, onion, coriander, green chili and lime juice). Since the cheese and avocado are oily, it is recommended to enjoy these quesadillas together with a wine with rich acidity and citrus notes capable of supporting the intense flavours of coriander and onion. That is why we recommend Casillero del Diablo Pinot Grigio.