If you think you know about true Mexican flavor, then think again! Most outsiders conjure up images of chimichangas, tacos, and burritos when working up an appetite for Mexican food. But in actuality, that is Tex-Mex cuisine - still great, but slightly different. If you want to feast on more authentic Mexican dishes, you should try your hand at these five delicacies.
1. Tacos Arabes
"Arab tacos" are quite a hit with the folks in the village of Puebla, located within the greater Mexico City area, and populated with the descendants of Arabian immigrants. They feature pork (outside the Islamic faith, Arabs freely eat pork) seasoned with dried chili and pineapple. The pork is shaved on a spit and placed inside a flour tortilla called "pan arabe" (unlike most dishes on this list that favor corn tortillas). On top of the deliciously cured meat, you will find a flavorful tribute to Middle-Eastern culture in the form of garlic mayonnaise, fried potatoes, and dill pickles.
Interestingly enough, the dish became popular in the Mexican restaurants of the Arab world in the last decade. Of course, it was served sans the offensive pork, which was replaced with marinated chicken.
Like nachos, the American football and movie theater standard, chilaquiles contain a toasted corn tortilla base which is smothered in crema, a spicy native Mexican sour cream alternative, hot green salsa, and shredded chicken. Unlike the Tex-Mex institution, Mexican restaurants are not as keen on adding cheese or beans to the mix.
3. Torta Cubana
Tortas are specialized sandwiches made from warm soft bread filled to the edges with all types of meat and cheese and accented with avocados, pickles, mayo, and onions. They can be anything you want them to be - just like an American hoagie, sub, or poboy.
4. Enchiladas Verdes
Enchiladas verdes in Spanish means "green and covered in chili," and the dish certainly lives up to its moniker. The "green" in green enchiladas is the green salsa lacquered atop corn tortillas filled with chicken, and covered with white cheese and a touch of crema on top.
Pozole is ancient Aztec dish passed down over many generations. Pork, hominy corn, chicken, and veggies are stewed and simmered overnight until the hominy softens, and the broth absorbs the flavor of the meats. To serve, fill your bowl halfway and top your pozole with radishes, lettuce, chili, and onions. Then add different spices to the mix to influence the flavor and dot it with a bit of lime for good measure.
Do these meals sound good? If so, try any of these dishes today at one of your local Mexican restaurants and get to know the interesting culture and pride that stands behind true Mexican cuisine!