Mexican cuisine encompasses a wide variety of recipes from the different regions of Mexico. This type of food commonly uses beans, rice, tomatoes, chilies, and tortillas in many dishes. Proteins, such as beef, chicken, and seafood, are also common ingredients in Mexican recipes. Mexican food is generally flavorful and well-seasoned. When preparing Mexican food, it is usually best to use fresh ingredients that are in season.
Mexico is a large country with many regions. Each of these has a distinct cuisine based on the ingredients that are available there. For this reason, Mexican food recipes generally taste best when fresh ingredients are used. This type of cooking uses many vegetables, herbs, and spices, which can generally be purchased at a farmers market or supermarket. Many large cities have Mexican markets that carry some of the more obscure ingredients that may be called for in native dishes.
Tortillas are often a part of Mexican recipes. These can be made from corn or flour, and may be used to make dishes like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. Tortillas may also be served in the same manner that other cuisines serve bread with a meal. Homemade tortillas usually taste the best, but high-quality tortillas can also be purchased from a Mexican bakery or market.
A number of authentic Mexican food dishes have a spicy taste due to the use of chili peppers, like jalapeños and habaneros. When making a dish that requires spicy peppers, care should be taken to not touch the face or eyes after handling them. If a recipe is too spicy for a person's taste, the cook may cut the top off of a pepper and remove the seeds for a more mild taste. Chilies can also be roasted to enhance their flavors.
Many Mexican dishes are served with rice and beans. Refried beans made with lard are very popular, but whole black beans are also common in Mexican cuisine. Mexican rice is usually cooked with tomatoes, onion, and seasonings, which results in a fluffy rice dish with a lot of flavor. Rice and beans may also be used as a filling for tacos or burritos.
Beans and rice are staples of Mexican cooking, but many Mexican food recipes also call for a type of protein. Chicken and beef are commonly used, and there are many recipes that call for seafood, such as shrimp or fish. When cooking Mexican food, the protein is often marinated for maximum flavor. If the proper ingredients are not available to make an authentic Mexican marinade, meat that is pre-seasoned and marinated can often be purchased from a Mexican butcher or grocery store.