There are no buts about it: Americans love Mexican food. With so much variety and tons of crowd-pleasing elements, it's not surprising that Mexican cuisine is the most popular ethnic food segment in the U.S., accounting for 42% of all ethnic food sales. But as with most cuisines derived from other cultures, many Mexican restaurants in the U.S. have Americanized certain dishes or have added ingredients not found in authentic Mexican meals. There are also some misconceptions people tend to have regarding Mexican food, likely due to eateries that didn't provide authentic experiences in the past. We've compiled just a few of those widely held beliefs about Mexican cuisine so we can set the record straight.
MYTH: Authentic Mexican food is extremely spicy
Reality: Many Mexican style dishes served throughout the U.S. and Canada tend to be on the milder side. While food from Mexico is often a bit spicier due to the increased use of chilies, this is not always the case. In fact, a lot of the peppers used in authentic Mexican cooking are quite sweet. It's also important to note that Mexican flavors and ingredients change from region to region, and a lot of the time, the spiciness will come from the salsa served on the side (rather than the dish itself). If you don't have a high tolerance for spicy food, you can still enjoy countless Mexican dishes without fear!
MYTH: All tortillas are created equal
Reality: For some reason, many Americans don't realize that there is a big difference between flour and corn tortillas -- several differences, in fact! While both are delicious, a primary difference between flour and corn tortillas is how they are used. Burritos, enchiladas, and soft tacos will typically call for flour tortillas. These tortillas are fairly neutral in flavor, so they won't compete with fillings or other textures. Corn tortillas, on the other hand, are firmer and taste of (what else?) toasted corn. While they can also be used for soft tacos, they can be made into hard shell tacos, taquitos, or tortilla chips. Another difference between flour and corn tortillas is how good they are for you. Flour tortillas tend to be higher in fat, sugar, protein, and sodium, while corn tortillas have more fiber and are generally thought to be a bit more nutritious. But that doesn't mean that fried tortilla chips are a better choice than a fresh flour tortilla filled with veggies! While lots of people have a personal preference between the two, we think both are delectable.
MYTH: Mexican food is greasy and fattening
Reality: Some restaurants do serve dishes that fit this stereotype, but authentic Mexican food places a strong emphasis on fresh ingredients and offers lots of healthier options. If you're watching your caloric intake, you don't have to skip a dinner at your favorite Mexican restaurant! You'll probably want to stay away from most fried foods or non-authentic dishes that are smothered in cheese, but the nutritional benefits of Mexican food are well-noted. Black and pinto beans have lots of fiber, fresh veggies contain vitamins and minerals, meats contain ample protein, and hot peppers contain a compound (called capsaicin) that can lower blood pressure and cholesterol and may help improve blood circulation and nasal congestion. You can easily work Mexican cuisine into a healthy diet.
If you're looking for the best Mexican food in Miami, look no further than Peppers Mexican Grill. To whet your appetite, take a look at our menu and plan your visit to one of our locations today!