Popular Mexican Dishes

Mouthwatering and delicious Mexican cuisine with its indigenous Mesoamerican cooking style and Spanish influence is a favorite all around the world. It is elaborate and deeply tied into Mexican culture, rituals and celebrations. Most of us (including some staunch Indian cuisine lovers) have always found Mexican food appealing as the flat bread, ingredients are very similar but flavors still unique giving us rightfully what we require every weekend - something to break the monotony but yet satiating like our very own Indian Cuisine. Slowly catching on in popularity, Wicked Spoon Confessions lists some popular Mexican Dishes to dig into this weekend. 


One of the most popular Tex-Mex items on the menu, Burrito is a rolled tortilla (type of soft, thin flatbread made from finely ground wheat flour) with meat or other ingredients such as Mexican rice, beans, lettuce, salsa, guacamole, cheese and sour cream.  There are quite a few stories on the history of burrito. One of the popular folk story is about a man named Juan Méndez who sold tacos out of a donkey cart. To keep food warm Méndez wrapped the food in large homemade tortillas. As this quick and easy food grew in popularity it was called burrito (means little donkey in Spanish) as it was sold out of a donkey cart. Some also say the name is a result of burritos resembling a bit like donkey’s ears or the bedrolls carried by donkeys. The strongest evidence though is the entry of word burrito in Diccionario de Mexicanismos as early as 1895.


A fajita commonly refers to grilled meat tossed with grilled vegetables being served rolled up in a soft flour tortilla with sour cream, guacamole, cheese, and *pico de gallo or salsa. However the original true fajitas created by the Spanish cowboys (also known as vaqueros) in the 1930 were made from marinated, grilled skirt steak. The vaqueros were given meat as part of their pay and most of the meat they got were of undesirable parts. However to ensure nothing was wasted, they pounded the meat and grilled it over a bed of **mesquite. Little did they know that it would become one of the most popular items on a Tex-Mex menu in modern times? Fajitas today are made with chicken, pork, shrimps and vegetables such as sliced grilled portobello mushrooms or grilled tofu.

* In Mexican cuisine, pico de gallo also called Salsa Fresca, is a fresh, uncooked salad made from chopped tomato, onion, coriander leaves, jalapeños, salt, and key lime juice.
** Tree or shrub, used in grilling or barbecuing food.

Image Source: Vimeo - Creative Commons


Enchiladas are corn tortilla rolled with fillings such as meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables and covered with chilli sauce. Enchilada is the past participle of the verb, enchilar (Spanish) meaning "to season with chilli”. There is much evidence that traces the history of enchiladas to the Mayan civilization. Corn tortillas were a staple diet of the Mayan people and precursor to enchiladas were tortillas that had fish rolled in it. Enchiladas are deep rooted in Mexican language, rituals and traditions as it is served as milestone meals in baptism, graduation, marriages and after funeral get together.

Image Source: Steve Dunham Creative Commons


Quesadilla (kay-suh-dee-yuh) are toasted tortillas containing cheese (queso means cheese in Spanish) and the name in Spanish literally means “little cheesy thing”. It also contains a savory mix of vegetables-meat and is often cooked on a griddle and then folded to form a half moon shape and then cut into wedges before serving with salsa, guacamole, and/or sour cream on the side.  Quesadilla’s origin is colonial Mexico but as most Mexican cuisine, the dish is now available in several variations.

Image Source: Fado Irish Pub Creative Commons


Tacos are a staple of Mexican cuisine and consist of tortillas folded (half-moon or U-shaped) or rolled around a filling such as meat, seafood, vegetables and cheese and garnished with salsa, guacamole, chilli sauce, cilantro, tomatoes, onions and lettuce. The origins of taco can be traced to the indigenous people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico who traditionally ate tacos filled with small fish and predates the arrival of Europeans in Mexico. In modern Mexican cuisine, tacos are also available as hard shell tacos, soft shell tacos and crispy tacos. 


Nachos consist of tortilla chips covered with cheese or a cheese based sauce and is a very popular snack commonly called “loaded nachos” or “super nachos” on a restaurant menu.  “Well who wouldn’t like a huge pile of nachos piled with grated cheese, refried beans and served with spicy salsa with beer on a lazy afternoon”.  Nachos can also be combined with meat and other ingredients to create an elaborate version which can be served as a main dish.

Nachos were first created in 1943 by Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya. The original dish had fried tortillas covered with cheddar cheese and then topped with jalapeno peppers.  Click here to reach some fun facts on Nachos.

Don’t forget the Michelada when you are trying these dishes and remember most restaurants offer localized Mexican dishes and if you are craving for authentic Mexican Cuisine (or Tex-Mex) be sure to check out the restaurant before you make plans.


  1. Love the nachos, tacos and quesadillas! Mexican dishes spices up every gatherings because of its authentic taste. Something that my associates from http://www.urgentessaywriting.com/write-my-essay-for-me enjoy eating over monthly meetings.


Post a Comment