Mexican food enjoys a rare status in the United States -- it is a staple across the entire country. In fact, at this point, Mexican food is American food. And while there are a few holdouts who will say that they don't enjoy Mexican restaurants, they are the exception to the rule. It helps that no matter where you live, it is widely accessible. Here in the States, there are 67,391 restaurants that serve burritos, and one out of every 10 U.S. restaurants sells Mexican food, making it the most popular international cuisine in the country.
But most of the Mexican food you can find in the country is a far cry from authentic meals in Mexico itself. Partly to appease the particularities of the American palette, and partly because of the popularity of Tex-Mex, a fusion of two cuisines, many self-proclaimed Mexican food lovers actually don't know too much about real Mexican food.
When you eventually visit Mexico itself, or go to an authentic Mexican restaurant, you'll want to know how to order. Check out these suggestions for some delicious and original Mexican dishes:
Enchiladas date back to Mayan times, but the dish has changed. Corn or flour tortillas are filled with meat, cheese, beans, or seafood and are then smothered with a chili sauce. The meaning of enchilada is pure deliciousness.
When people think of mole sauce, they usually think of one made with cocoa beans, but there are in fact a myriad of mole sauces, containing around 20 ingredients and including one or more varieties of chili peppers. Several different regions specialize in the sauce -- the seven moles of Oaxaca include: Negro (black/chocolate mole), Rojo (red mole), Coloradito (brown mole), Amarillo, Verde, Chichilo and Manchamantel.
This pre-Hispanic dish is claimed by anthropologists to have been part of ritual sacrifices once upon a time, but nowadays this delicious soup is available with chicken, pork, and vegetables for any occasion. It is traditionally stewed for hours, or preferably overnight, and once ready to serve it's sprinkled with lettuce, radish, onion, lime, and chili.
So, the next time you go out searching for the best Mexican food, scan the menu for these dishes. You may just be at one of the few authentic Mexican restaurants in the States.