Mexico is home to Native Americans, Spanish, and Europeans, and they’ve all influenced the language, culture, and food to some extent – but Spanish is now the main tongue, and corn, chilli, and beans the main staples.
As Europeans we are already well versed on Westernised versions of Mexican food, but the reality is much fresher, tastier, and traditional – in fact, after living in Mexico, the days of chilli con carne from a can will be well and truly gone!
Yes, the food can be spicy, but your little cherubs will get used to it, and in no time they’ll be challenging their European friends to chilli eating competitions! So, what’s on the menu?
You’ve no doubt had this dish as a dip with corn chips at various social gatherings, but in Mexico, this mashed avocado, garlic, lemon juice, tomato, and chili sauce (aka salsa) accompanies most meals – and it’s so tasty, your kids won’t even realise they’re eating one of their ‘greens’.
These are a much healthier snack than crisps – and much tastier too. Tortilla chips, small fried flatbreads made from corn flour, are served with melted cheese, guacamole, and often sliced jalapeno peppers.
3. Huevos Rancheros
Also known as ‘rancher's eggs’ across the U.S. border, this is the real breakfast of champions! This traditional farmer’s start to the day consists of fried eggs, corn tortillas, tomato sauce, refried beans, and often avocado, rice, and guacamole – now that should keep your kids going for a day or two!
This traditional Mexican dish is made up with a crisp folded tortilla and served with fillings of all sorts in its place of origin. Everything but the kitchen sink can go in these handy edible containers, from beef, pork, chicken, seafood, cheese, and vegetables, and with toppings of guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa. Expect great things from this former peasant food – but don’t expect cutlery!
Quesa is from the Spanish for cheese, and this soft flour tortilla sandwich is packed full of it, but the more modern version adds other ingredients like chicken and vegetables to make it into more of a meal.
6. Mole Poblano
What kid can resist meat with a chocolate sauce on it? Yes, this national dish of Mexico is made with over 20 ingredients including chocolate! Of course it’s not the type you’d put on a Sundae, and to be honest you can hardly taste it, but the novelty factor will win out every time – and with 99% of the population saying they eat it, 120 million people can’t be wrong!
These crispy fried doughy sweet tasting sensations will be a favourite of the kids – and the adults won’t say no either!
8. Cajeta aka Dulce de Leche
This thick caramelly creamy pudding like dish is similar to Angel’s Delight, but without the preservatives and fake colouring!
9. Just Juice
Mexico is abundant with all sorts of exotic fruits, which make the best juices around. Add a dash of tequila for a healthy adult version!
So, there you have it, a snapshot of just some of the taste sensations your progeny can look forward to eating in Mexico – just make sure you know how to order them! Brush up on or test your Spanish level before heading off. What are some of your favourite Spanish dishes?