Mexico: An International Culinary Star

Mexico: An International Culinary Star

This will come as no surprise to anyone who enjoys the varied and delicious food that Mexico has to offer.

According to a 50-nation ranking compiled by TasteAtlas, the international food guide website, Mexico has the seventh best cuisine in the world.

Mexico was the only Latin American country in the top 10 of the recently updated culinary ranking by TasteAtlas. The list was dominated by Europe: Italy, Greece, Spain, Romania, and France made up the top five. Japan was sixth, while Croatia, Portugal and India were ranked eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively. The USA was 13th on the roster.

Mexico’s most popular dishes on TasteAtlas are tacos, tortillas, nachos, tamales, and burritos. The country’s most popular drinks are tequila, margaritas, mezcal, licuados (smoothies), and aguas frescas (flavored waters).

Tacos are the national dish of Mexico, dating back to the Mexican silver mines of the 18th century, when the word taco referred to gunpowder that was wrapped in a piece of paper and inserted into rocks. It was used to excavate precious ore from mines and was called tacos de minero, or miner’s tacos. Today, the word signifies the leading street food and fast-food item in Mexico – thin, flat griddle-baked tortillas topped with numerous fillings, folded and eaten without any utensils.

A taco is basically anything eaten on a soft tortilla. An infinite variety of taco proteins and garnishes are found throughout Mexico. Tacos de pescado, or fish tacos, originated in Baja California. Typically, corn flour tacos are filled with fried or grilled pieces of fish, vegetables such as cabbage or lettuce, and a variety of toppings. A dash of hot sauce is optional. While tacos of all kinds are available in Los Cabos, they’re also simple and easy to make. Here’s a tried-and-true recipe for Baja Fish Tacos from the 196 flavors website:

Ingredients (16 servings) 

  • 16 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 limes
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 (12 oz.) bottle dark beer (e.g. Negra Modelo)
  • 1 lb. fish (fresh sea bass or snapper), cut into strips 3 inches by 1 inch
  • ½ head green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 avocado (ripe), sliced
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

Preparation

    • In a bowl, mix the mayo, sour cream, milk, garlic and the juice of half a lime.
    • Cut the rest of the limes into quarters.
    • Pour the oil into a skillet and heat it to 350 degrees F over a medium-high flame. Mix flour, beer, and salt to make the batter. Dip the pieces of fish into the batter and fry them 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown.
    • Drain the fish using paper towels. Season with a bit of salt.
    • Position the tortillas on plates or on taco racks. Put a piece of fish into each tortilla. Top with shredded cabbage, an avocado slice, and several cilantro leaves.

  • Serve with lime wedges on the side. Pop the top on a frosty Mexican cerveza. Buen provecho!