Mexican cuisine is extraordinarily varied and has become one of the most popular in the world. Diana Kennedy, the foremost authority on the subject, has devoted her life to researching the regional variations in ingredients, cooking methods and typical local dishes.
The ingredients used reflect different climates and ecosystems (see Geo-Mexico chapters 4 and 5). For instance, corn (maize) tortillas predominate in southern and central Mexico while wheat tortillas are more commonly found in the north of the country.
Pork and hominy stew (pozole) is largely restricted to the Pacific coast states of Jalisco and Guerrero. The grilled beef of cattle ranges in the northern interior of Mexico contrasts with the seafood found along the coast.
Cuisines are strongly influenced by trade routes and migration, especially the arrival of immigrant groups. Mexican cuisine is a fusion of ndigenous and Spanish cooking, influenced in some regions by Cuban, Italian, French and other migrants.
On a more local scale, miners from Cornwall in the UK who came to work in the silver mines of Real del Monte in the state of Hidalgo brought with them their meat and vegetable-filled pastries called Cornish pasties. These were quickly assimilated into the local cuisine, and pastis, admittedly with some chilies added, are still sold in the town.
[Note: This post is an edited extract from chapter 13 of Geo-Mexico]
For more about Mexican cuisine, visit the amazing award-winning blog Mexico Cooks! and also browse the huge selection of recipes, articles and tips about all aspects of Mexican food and cooking in the “Cuisine” section of MexConnect. ¡Buen provecho!