MEXICAN FOODS THAT ARE COMMONLY USED
The staples of the Mexican diet are:
- Chilies: as many as 92 varieties are available, each varying both in hotness and flavor
- Chorizo: a fresh sausage made from pork and seasonings
- Frijoles: beans of many varieties but most commonly the small black beans which are usually well cooked then mashed with lard and reheated before eating
- Tomatoes and Onions
- Tortillas: flat, pancake-like bread made from specially ground cornmeal called masa harina. High in calcium content since it is made with lime water.
These staples are popular with every class level and are present in every day’s meal. In fact, there is seldom a meal that does not have tortillas and frijoles on the table. Canned milk is favored over fresh, and mild cheeses are used mostly as a grated garnish to other dishes. Fish and seafood are plentiful especially in coastal areas.
Fresh fruits and many seeds and nuts are used for snacking. Dried or candied fruits (and sometimes candied vegetables such as pumpkin or squash) are enjoyed but many prefer the taste of salted foods or spicy ones rather than sweet. There is a knowing hand with many types of seasoning and these are usually according to local tastes. Soft drinks and local beers are popular as well as tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. Restaurants featuring foods of many lands, as well as local traditional specialties, can be found in cosmopolitan Mexico City.