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A culinary melting pot

 / Favorite Mexican food  / A culinary melting pot
13 Dec

A culinary melting pot

Here’s an interesting fact. A lot of ingredients used in authentic Mexican cuisine actually originated in Africa.

Historically, it began in Veracruz, where the struggle for Mexico began. Veracruz is still the most important port in Mexico, serving as a shipping hub. A unique intermix of Spanish and African foods happened right here.

African slaves brought peanuts, which they ground into a paste that they used on meats to be grilled. They pureed them with chilis and onions to make sauces that were similar to traditional Mexican pepianes (a main-dish sauce).

Plantains came from Africa. The leaves from plantain trees were actually used to make tamales. Besides making great fried chips, green and ripe plantains can be cooked and mashed with garlic, jalapeno chiles for machuca de platano (mashed plantains with pork rinds). Both green and ripe plantains are mixed with corn masa and turned into tortillas or gorditas infladas (fried, puffed tortillas).

The Spanish brought ingredients such as wheat, onions, garlic, olives, capers and almonds, as well as thyme, marjoram, bay leaves, cilantro, parsley, cloves, cinnamon and black pepper. When tomatoes and chiles were paired with onions, garlic, olives, and bay leaves, the classic salsa veracruzana (a sauce commonly used on fish) was created. Moles were created as well.

When you visit Suegra Tequila Cantina, try our blackened salmon with plantain mash or our jalapeno corn bread with napa mango slaw for some African-inspired tastes. You’ll also love our tequila shrimp flambé with plantain mash and chorizo-charred tomatoes.

Bring an appetite!

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