Mexican Food

Taco

Traditional Mexican dish made from maize or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling.
Tacos are filled with meat, fish, vegetable and cheese. Eaten by hand with salsa garnish or vegetables such as onion, tomato or lettuce.

Tortilla

A thin unleavened flat bread made from finely ground maize or wheat flour.

Tortillas can be eaten plain or used as wraps to form dishes such as tacos, burritos and quesadillas.

Burrito

A tortilla wrapped or folded around a filling. The tortilla is lightly grilled or steamed to soften it.

Fillings include refried beans, Spanish rice, meat, lettuce, salsa, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream.

Burrito literally means "little donkey" in Spanish, derived from burro. A burrito is similar to a taco.

Enchilada

A corn tortilla filled and rolled , then covered with chilli pepper sauce. Enchilada means "in chilli".

Enchiladas are filled with chicken, beef, pork, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables, seafood or combos.

Chimichanga

Chimichanga is a burrito folded and chilled to allow the edges to seal. The burrito is fried until crisp.

Served over a bed of lettuce, topped with fresh tomatoes and avocado mayonnaise.

Fajita

Grilled meat served in a corn or flour tortilla. Meats include chicken, pork, shrimp and beef.

The meat is cooked with onions and bell peppers then dressed with shredded lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cheese and tomato.

Tamale

A steam-cooked corn dough (masa) filled with meats, cheese, sliced chillis or vegetables.

Tamales are wrapped in corn husks or plantain leaves and cooked by steaming until firm. Tamales can be eaten without a filling.

Tamales were used as portable rations by war parties in ancient Americas.

Tostada

A tostada is a toasted or deep fried corn tortilla. (Wheat tortilla not normally used).

Tostadas were created when tortillas went stale but were still fresh enough to eat. Not wishing to waste old tortillas. Beans, rice, meat, cheese and vegetables were spread on the tortillas like an "open faced" taco.

As their popularity spread, people began frying fresh tortillas to create the dish.

Tostada is Spanish for "toasted".

Gordita

A small thick tortilla made with masa harina (corn flour). Unlike the taco, which uses a thin tortilla. Gorditas are baked on a small skillet pan called a comal.

The gordita's thick tortilla is filled with soups, stews or casseroles, accompanied by different salsas.

Gordita is Spanish for "little fat one".

Quesadilla

A circle of uncooked corn masa folded in half and filled with cheese, then warmed until the cheese melts.

Stuffings include: pumpkin flower, sausage, chicken, ham, refried beans, potatoes, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, and hamburger. Salsas can also accompany the quesadilla.

Quesadilla is Spanish for "little cheesy thing".

Chilaquiles

Traditional Mexican dish. made from corn tortillas cut in quarters and fried.

Salsa or mole, is poured over the crispy tortilla triangles, called totopos. The mixture is simmered until the tortilla softens. Eggs and chicken are added to the mix and topped with cheese or sour cream then served with refried beans.

A popular recipe to use leftover tortillas and salsas.

Mole

Generic name for several sauces in Mexican cuisine.

In English it refers to the combined form "guacamole" (avocado mole). In Spanish by the more specific name mole poblano.

In Mexico, mole, the term is used for a number of sauces, quite dissimilar to each other, including black, red, yellow, colorado, green, almendrado, pipián.

Mole is Mexican (Spanish) for sauce. In Spanish it means bulk.

Nachos

Nachos are more "Tex Mex" than Mex. Invented by Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya, in the 1940s. Nachos are a layer of tortilla chips with melted cheddar cheese and jalapeño peppers