This Wednesday, September 16th marks the 205th anniversary of Mexican Independence. On this day in 1810, Miguel Hidalgo, a Catholic priest in Dolores, Mexico cried upon his people to revolt against the Spanish Colonial Government. This cry or “Grito”, became known as the “Grito de Dolores” and marks the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence.
This September 16th, people around Mexico will celebrate their independence, and of course those celebrations will include plates and plates of delicious Mexican food! In the US, we commonly recognize Mexican food as tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, the sort of Tex-Mex influence that has become ubiquitous around the US. Authentic Mexican cuisine, however, is far more diverse and much more regionalized than the Tex-Mex version would suggest.
A fun way to scratch the surface into regional Mexican cuisine is through the diversity of the salsas. In Mexico, salsa (which means “sauce”) is meant to add flavor and life to the food that it accompanies. Salsa can be used as a dip, on meats, in tacos, on top of vegetables, and even in salads. Regional salsas typically reflect the produce that is grown there, and range from a simple 3-4 ingredient pico de gallo to a complex chocolate mole with 26 or more ingredients.
This September 16th, we encourage you to explore the diversity of food from our neighbor to the south with a few regional salsas that you may not have been exposed to before. We will have a simple recipe kit for each available in next week’s deliveries!
Chiltomate (Tomato Habanero Salsa):
This simple, sweet and spicy salsa may be the first salsa in the world to use cooked tomatoes. It originates with the Mayans in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. It has a spicy and fruity flavor that goes nicely over enchiladas, eggs or huevos rancheros, or a traditional Mayan dish like poc chuc!
Salsa de Cacahuate (Peanut Sauce):
A smooth peanut sauce from the southern region of Mexico (Puebla, Oaxaca, Chiapas). This region of Mexico is very diverse agriculturally, and has many unique dishes not found in the rest of the country. The peanuts combine with the spicy chilis for a nutty, flavor-packed, picante topping to chicken or shrimp. A perfect dipping sauce for chicken or shrimp kebabs on the grill.
Guacamole Taquero (Taco Shop Guacamole):
The avocado is available throughout Mexico. Even dishes we thought we knew, like guacamole, come in many different regional forms. This guacamole combines with a traditional salsa verde (tomatillo salsa) common in northern Mexico, where tomatillos predominate in the arid climate. Its smooth, creamy texture balanced with the acidity from the tomatillo make it the perfect taco guacamole!