Crossroads of Cultures: Mestizo Foods

Cruce de Culturas: Alimentos Mestizos

This month that we celebrate October 12 as the beginning of miscegenation and the birth of our country, it is valuable to remember the cultural consequences that accompany this phenomenon. Apart from ideological debates that accompany the date of the discovery of America, it is undeniable that this is the starting point for what we know today as Mexico. On this occasion we want to talk about the mixture of cultures... but in the kitchen arena.

The diet of the Mesoamerican peoples was extremely homogeneous. It was based on grains such as corn, beans, and wheat, and is supplemented with protein obtained from the meat of animals typical of that geography, especially venison and xoloitzcuintle. The pozole was one of the typical dishes, particularly in the Aztec culture. Used in ceremonies with human flesh (yes, human) or in festivities with animal flesh. The dish was a success for the Spanish palate, so much so that it is one of the few from the Aztec diet that still remains in our current culture. Of course, with the nuance that the meat that is now used is pork, an animal that the Spanish brought, and the topping are vegetables that are also they brought (lettuce, radishes and onion).

Going from savory to sweet, traditional Mexican sweets could not exist without the presence of both pre-Hispanic and Spanish elements. Sugar cane was one of the agricultural innovations that the Spanish brought to New Spain. Its combination with corn and cocoa led to the development of delicious chocolates or peanut candies, vital elements for any Mexican party.

But we don't have to go too technical. If we think about one of the simplest dishes, if it can be called that, that involves both the colonial and the indigenous, we have the famous quesadilla. A delicious tortilla made from nopal or corn, stuffed with cheese. The dairy process arrived with the Spanish, while tortillas were a staple food in the Mesoamerican peoples. A simple quesadilla ironically brings together these two factors in a food that absolutely every Mexican home has tasted.

Mestizo foods are part of who we are: two sides of a coin. This mix of ingredients, customs and processes make us have a culture rich in options, flavor and tradition. Lio Mart seeks to be part of that history. We are sure that as time progresses, you will find a way to incorporate our flavor into the gastronomic culture of your home.

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