The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire occurred in the 16th century. The basic staples since then remain native foods such as corn, beans, squash and chili peppers, but the Europeans introduced many other foods
Mexican foods are cooked similar to how you cook your everyday meals. They can be fried, boiled, and grilled. Mexico has cooked their foods differently in the past.
Long ago, the natives of Mexico did not have ovens like we have today. They would have to cook foods by an open fire pit.
They would hold the foods in iron pots and pans. It cooked like how we grill our foods on the barbeque. Before the Spaniards introduced the iron pots, the Aztecs used to steam and boil foods in two-handled clay pots which were called xoctli. The pot was filled with the food and heated over the fire. Frying foods was a popular way to cook. Many Mexican dishes still use this method.
Today in the present, it is a lot easier to cook Mexican dishes. It takes less time to prepare the foods. If someone wants to make homemade tortillas, there are iron pans that make it easy. Flan can be made simple using spring form type pans. Long ago, it was a long process to make masa, which is a dish that includes a certain type of corn that has to be grinded. Nowadays you can purchase a metal grinder that helps grind the masa.
The oven is perfect for making many Mexican foods. It makes cooking vegetables and meats a snap. They can be placed in a pot of water with added spices and simmered for hours. Bigger steaming pots make tamales easier to cook. You can make many tamales and steam them all at once, making it very convenient. Tamales take a long time to make, so big pots are perfect.
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Grilling on the barbeque is also a great way to taste authentic Mexican foods. Long ago foods were made this way and called Barbacoa. It consisted of steaming meat that was suspended over boiling water in a deep pit. Before steaming the meat cactus and banana leaves were wrapped around it. These days, barbequing allows the spices and sauces to burst with flavor. It tastes similar to how the food once was cooked over open flames. Fajitas are great on the grill!
Centuries ago, the natives used what was called metate y mano. It was a large tool that was made out of lava rock or stone. The surface was slightly concave. The tool was used to mash the ingredients. Another tool they used to mash ingredients was molcajete. It was mortar and pestle. When cooking, you have to be able to stir. Wooden spoons have been used for centuries and still are. Today different types are available for you to use, depending on what type of dishes you are making. Some are made for stirring thicker foods, while others are thin for stirring foods such as onions and garlic.
Mexican food has a rich history behind it. The methods might have been modernized, but the food is still traditional. Depending on how the foods are cooked, you will taste different flavors and textures. There are many Mexican dishes to cook and enjoy.