Have you ever turned down an invitation to dine with friends at a Mexican restaurant because you are not familiar with Mexican cuisine? Perhaps you do not care for spicy food and worry Mexican may be too hot for your taste buds. Fortunately, you do not have to turn down another invitation when you understand the basics of Mexican cuisine.
Hot and spicy myths
One of the common misconceptions about Mexican food is that it is hot and spicy. While some Mexican foods are hot and spicy, many menu selections are seasoned moderately or mildly to suit all tastes. Most menus list dishes that are hot or contain spicy seasoning.
You will be surprised to find many foods on a Mexican menu are mild. Less spicy menu items, such as refried beans, chicken tacos, and tortilla chips with cheese sauce can be enjoyed without worrying about the heat. Those who enjoy hot foods can spice up any entrée by ordering moderate or hot Picante sauce to spoon over the less spicy items.
Not all Mexican cuisine is high in fat
You may imagine all Mexican food is overflowing with rich cheeses, high fat sour cream, or deep-fried in oil. Some Mexican cuisine is high in fat and calories but there are many options available for those who are watching calories. Most Mexican restaurants have a menu section for healthier options.
Some healthier options include fish or chicken tacos, which consist of meat, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, and sour cream served in a corn or flour tortilla. Ask your server to hold the sour cream to reduce calories and top it with salsa instead.
Taquitos and burritos
Some menu items sound similar to Mexican cuisine, but knowing the difference between a taquito and a burrito will give you confidence when ordering. Burritos are a popular menu item loved by many and consist of a flour tortilla typically stuffed with seasoned beef or chicken. Toppings include lettuce, sour cream, cheese, and salsa. A taquito consists of a small tortilla filled with meat and or other fillings, rolled up, and deep-fried. It is not uncommon to see mini taquitos on the appetizer menu.
Learning a few basics about Mexican cuisine will help you be prepared to accept your next dinner invitation to a Mexican restaurant. Whether you prefer hot or mildly seasoned foods, you can rest assured there will always be something to delight your taste buds on the menu. Getting to know Mexican food will help you order like a pro and enjoy all the great food offered at Mexican restaurants.