burrito – All You Need To Know About Rice In Mexican Cooking

Saturday May 22, 2010

All You Need To Know About Rice In Mexican Cooking

Rice is among the most heavily cultivated of all grains and is the cultivated crop, which is eaten by more people around the world than any other is. In much of Asia, Africa and South and Central America as well as Mexico. It is hard to imagine Mexican cuisine without rice; after corn, it is the most important staple of the Mexican diet, with a large number of Mexican rice recipes being classic examples of Mexican cooking.

As central as rice is to Mexican cooking, it is a relatively recent arrival in the grand scheme of things, having arrived in what is now Mexico with colonists and explorers from Spain and Portugal. The peoples of the new world took to the new grain with enthusiasm and rice was soon one of the most important staples in the Mexican kitchen. Some of the dishes, which are now considered to be traditional Mexican rice recipes date from the early days after rice, began to be cultivated in the Americas.

Traditional Mexican Rice Recipes

One of the best known and most popular of all Mexican rice dishes is arroz con pollo, which is also among the most popular Mexican chicken recipes. The name means “rice with chicken” and is the Mexican version of a classic comfort food combination.

Arroz con pollo is an excellent example of how recipes, which originated in Spain became Mexican recipes through adaptation to use locally available ingredients as well as to work in flavors and ingredients, which became popular with the European settlers. In the case of this recipe, tomatoes found their way in to the cooking pot, as did the more assertive Mexican oregano as a substitute for the European variety, which was unavailable in the country.

Spanish Cuisine Adapts To The New World

After the Spanish began to grow rice in Mexico, it quickly became a hit, working its way into dishes, which combined old and new ingredients, with some of the results now known as authentic Mexican rice recipes. One dish, which we think of as Spanish as can be is paella, but a look at the ingredients commonly, used in this dish reveal something very interesting. For example, tomato is a common ingredient; a new world ingredient, which must inevitably have found its way into a pot of rice and seafood long before a cook in Valencia, t
hought to do the same.

Not only is the tomato often featured in Spanish paella from the Americas, but also bell peppers, another new world crop are also often used. Here you have an example of the cuisines of Spain and Mexico having a sort of conversation with each other across the Atlantic Ocean, with European cooks finding the new vegetables and fruits from the Americas valuable additions to their own recipes and the people of Mexico making the ingredients and recipes of Europe their own.

Another well-known traditional Mexican rice recipe is the seasoned rice, which is often served along with bean dishes and almost everything else. This recipe is very similar to what is also called “Spanish rice” but just like paella, Mexico has its own version of this ubiquitous side dish and happens to be the original home of some of its ingredients!

An essential staple of the Mexican pantry and of the country’s cuisine, rice has assumed the same status in Mexico as it holds in much of the outside world. Rice is just one example of an ingredient, which came over to Mexico from the old world and was made into a part of something new and different. Mexican rice recipes may not have as long of a history in the Mexican culinary tradition as say, salsa, but it is clearly an addition to Mexican food for which the country’s cuisine is richer.

By: Chritine Kudra

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If you’re feeling like Mexican food tonight, give one of our recipes like our Mexican rice recipe a try. Just one of the many delicious Mexican treats on our site. If you’re looking for some great recipes, tips on cooking Mexican food. Whether you want a spicy burrito, mild salad, or salsa or another Mexican recipe.

Check out the recipes at www.MexicanFoodRecipes.org

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