The Origins of 4 Popular Mexican Dishes

Mexican cuisine is one of the most popular dining choices in the United States of America. In fact, Mexican food continues to hold a 42% market share of all ethnic food sales throughout this country. Considering the popularity of Mexican cuisine, it’s understandable to wonder about the origins of some of your favorite dishes. Many believe that Mexican food can trace its origins to the Mayan Indians who lived on this planet nearly 2,000 years ago. With that in mind, here are the origins of four popular types of Mexican food.

  • Burrito

    The burrito is a staple of many Mexican restaurants. While you’ve likely tried this food, it’s understandable to want to learn more about it. The burrito as we know it in the United States actually translate to little donkey in Spanish. It is believed that the first recorded history of a burrito took place in the 1890s. It was during this time that the burrito was especially popular throughout Mexico. Many believe that the first restaurant in the United States to serve burritos was the El Cholo Spanish Cafe in the 1930s. Today, the burrito is a food that has gained popularity far beyond the country where it originated from.
  • Enchilada

    An enchilada differs from a burrito in several ways. Traditional enchiladas are almost always prepared with a corn tortilla. In addition, enchiladas are also usually topped with a chile sauce while burritos are not. The enchilada first gained popularity throughout Mexico with the help of the Mayans. This dish would continue to rise in popularity from both local and travelers sampling enchiladas. This food was so popular throughout Mexico that it was featured in the first cookbook released throughout this country in 1831.
  • Tamales

    It’s hard to talk about authentic Mexican food without mentioning the tamale. This food has long been a staple of Mexican restaurants throughout the world. The history of the tamales extends far back beyond most Mexican dishes. Many believe that the tamale originated between 5000 to 7000 B.C. During these times, tribes throughout Mexico were facing war from other groups and needed to be ready to move fast. As a result of this situation, women began using plentiful corn crops around them. It was this idea that led to the creation of tamales, a dish filled with vegetables and meats that is wrapped in a corn husk.
  • Guacamole

    Many Mexican restaurants have guests that order a dish or two of guacamole. This popular Mexican dip dates back nearly as far as the tamale. The Aztecs deserve credit for helping to bring this delicious food to the world. During the 1500s, the Aztecs began creating a dish called ahuaca mulii. This translates to avocado mixture and would become guacamole as we know it today.

To summarize, Mexico is a country filled with a fascinating culinary history. While these foods have become popular across the world, it’s important to choose a restaurant that specializes in authentic Mexican food. Dining at authentic Mexican restaurants helps to ensure that you’re enjoying these dishes as they were meant to be eaten.

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