Mexican Food History
The Conquest of Mexico in 1521 gave rise to one of the richest culinary revolutions in history.
When the Spanish explorer Cortez and his followers came to the new world in search of fortune, they found a wealth of culinary
specialties such as chocolate, peanuts, vanilla, beans, squash, avocados, coconuts, corn and tomatoes. In turn the Spanish
brought to the Americas products such as pork, beef, lamb, citrus fruits, garlic, cheese, milk, wheat, vinegar and wine.
Montezuma, the great Aztec emperor, was previously warned that one day bearded men mounted on animals like giant deer would
come to take over his domain, so when Montezuma heard that men had landed at Veracruz he was not surprised. He made every
effort to keep them in Veracruz by offering them great riches, but after seeing the riches it spurred them on to see where
the riches came from. On November 8, 1519, Cortez entered Montezuma's capitol along with seven thousand native soldiers he
had recruited along the way. He was received by Montezuma and given a great feast, but the cordial relations between the
Spanish captain and the Aztec emperor were short lived. After many bloody battles, on August 13th 1521, Cortez claimed the
capitol. The conquerors systematically destroyed the Aztec empire and replaced it with Spanish structures and Institutions,
but they never succeeded in extinguishing the native culture and traditions, which are still part of Mexico today.
emerging Mexican cuisine was constantly being enriched from many different countries. Recipes and ingredients from Africa,
South America, Caribbean, France and the orient found there way through the Spanish - Mexico conduit.
The Mexican Cuisine roots come from an indian and spanish mixture, the most evident sample of it
are the " antojitos". The Spanishs, who brought the beef, pork and chiken meat, the cream of milk and the cheese,
liked very much the mexican original food such as the "tortillas" , beans, peppers, tomatoes, green tomatoes and
aromatic herbs such as "epazote", coriander (cilantro),and the "hoja santa".
The " antojitos"
merged from the union of all these elements, having as its base the flour and the corn tortilla.
are served at the traditional mexican celebrations. all religious events, fairs and atriums are invaded by "antojitos"
selling spots, where the mexicans eat at all hours.
At all of them, the corn cultures creativity is manifested,
because the classic "tortilla" is made with many different shapes, wich are very difficult to classify.
mixture of cultures can be seen also at the " tamales" served at breakfast or dinner along with the " atoles".
Many different varieties existed at the prehispanic period, because cooking with the use of the steam was known by the aztecs
" mexicas" , and in the colony new ingredients were implemented, meat was put inside the corn tortillas.
fat of the lard is the reason why these " antojitos" must be eaten with moderation despict of their delicious taste,
and they should not be your only food.