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Mexican National Foods

Samina.Tapia's picture

Mexican National Foods

For all my amigos and gringos who want to know what the Top 10 Mexican National Foods are, here is a list of foods that you must try when visiting Mexico.

Popular Mexican National Foods

  1. Mole is considered as Mexico’s National dish, originating from the three states of Puebla, Oaxaca and Tlaxcala. Pronounced “mole-ay,” it is the generic name for a sauce used in Mexican cuisine, as well as for dishes based on this sauce. There are many varieties of mole, using 20 or more ingredients and spices, usually containing chocolate. Mole Poblano, is called the National dish of Mexico and has been voted as the Number one of Mexican dishes. This dark chocolate and chili pepper sauce is most often served over turkey, over shrimp cakes and chicken at all festive and holiday events.


  2. Tamale, is a dough made from hominy, called masa, stuffed with a sweet or savory filling, wrapped in corn husks or plantain leaves and steamed until firm. It is said that there are thousands of different types of tamales found in Mexico. This Mexican National food is a favorite street and comfort food, eaten for both breakfast and dinner.


  3. Pozole, a traditional dish of Guerrero is a Mexican dish cooked in every house on Independence Day and other special occasions. It is a soup or stew made from nixtamalized cacahuazintle corn, (Hominy) with a meat, usually pork, chicken or turkey, pork rinds, chili pepper, and other seasonings and garnishes.


  4. Enchilada is classic Mexican national food; a corn or flour tortilla rolled around a variety of fillings, covered with various types of colorful moles and topped with cheese or sour cream. It is popular and a cheap street food.


  5. Tacos, a popular Mexican national food popular through out the world. Its composed of a corn or wheat tortilla, folded or rolled around a filling, accompanied by salsa, guacamole, cilantro, tomatoes, onions and lettuce. Traditional tacos are Tacos de Asador ("spit" or "grill" tacos), Tacos de camarones ("shrimp tacos"), Tacos dorados (fried tacos, literally, "golden tacos") Tacos Al pastor/De Adobada (shepherd style or shawarma style).


  6. Chilaquiles are fried corn tortillas topped with red or green mole or salsa and with scrambled or fried eggs and chicken, and topped with queso fresco cheese and or sour cream, served with refried beans. The equivalent to the American ‘nachos’.


  7. Chile relleno, "stuffed chile," originated in the city of Puebla . It is a cornflour batter fried, roasted fresh poblano pepper with a stuffing of queso cheese or pork, raisins and nuts, served with sauce. Chiles en nogada is a similar, non-batter fried pepper filled with picadillo topped with a walnut-based cream sauce and pomegranate seeds, giving it the three colors of the Mexican flag.


  8. Cochinita pibil also called puerco pibil, is a traditional Mexican marinated and slow roasted pork dish cooked wrapped in banana leaf, from Yucatán.


  9. Menudo is a soup or broth made with tripe (beef stomach) with a red chili base. It is usually eaten with tortillas or bolillo.


  10. Carnitas is a type of braised or roasted pork, a dish by itself, or used as a filling in tamales, tacos and tortas.


So for those of you who think that Mexican food is tacos, fajitas, burritos and margaritas, you only know the Tex-Mex favorites. These are the true Mexican National foods that are symbolic of Mexico’s authentic flavors.

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Vinay's picture
Its great to see this excellent blog which speaks of authentic Mexican dishes, rather than the "Tex-Mex" fast-food which is unfortunately passed off as Mexican food in most of the world! The real Mexican food is very different from what most people think to be Mexican food. I lived in Mexico City for a few years, and had never set eyes on burritos and nachos there except in American fast food chains in the malls! Authentic Mexican food is characterized by a rich variety of ingredients, use of maize, and careful painstaking preparation from age old recipes passed down the generations. The important dishes from the rich culinary heritage of Mexico have been very well summarized in this blog (the moles and Cochinita pibil being my personal favorites). Street food like quesadillas, huaraches and gorditas deserve a mention as well. Some interesting ingredients unique to Mexico are nopal (cactus leaf), cuitlahoche (corn smut), pumpkin flowers, and the vast variety of chillies including the fiery habanero. PROVECHO!! :)
Samina.Tapia's picture
It's good to know you have had a chance to sample some of Mexico's most authentic and traditional foods. Do share more information about other Mexican National foods, which I may have missed out and other Mexican foods which are your favorites. You could also share names of a few popular outlets and places where you ate these foods in Mexico City, for others to visit, when traveling to Mexico. If you like to cook, do try the easy recipes of Mexican foods, available on
Anonymous's picture
Wow, I love Mexican food and I do like these interesting information on Mexican foods. Would surely love to taste all of these authentic Mexican preparations. Thanks a lot.
Priam's picture
Samina,enjoyed reading, certainly got an insight into authentic Mexican cuisine...
Sudipa's picture
I simply love fried tacos... and Mexican Tacos are simply the best. In other parts of the world, we probably get its different sub-varieties.
chockyfoodie's picture
This is one of the best blogs I have ever read.
emilyvyomahallaway's picture
delightful to read!!1
thot4food's picture
And I thought Tex-Mex was the ultimate in spicy food. want to try them all
shantihhh's picture
One of my favourite Mexican snack foods is sope! A sope (pronounced "SOH-peh") is a traditional Mexican dish originating in the city of Culiacán. They are an antojito. The base is made from a circle of fried masa of ground maize soaked in lime (also used as the basis for tamales and tortillas) with pinched sides. It looks a bit like a crumpet. This is then topped with refried beans and crumbled cheese, lettuce, onions, red or green sauce (salsa, made with chiles or tomatillos respectively), and acidified cream. Sometimes other ingredients (mostly meat) are also added to create different tastes and styles of sopes. Most sopes are roughly the size of a fist and are usually eaten out of hand-yummmmmmy!
Samina.Tapia's picture
Thank you for your valuable addition to this Mexican national food list
Johnny English's picture
@shantihhh - love the sopes! a bigger version is the huarache... loaded with meat! yummmm
Johnny English's picture
some more indigenous/ pre-hispanic mexican dishes are Tlacoyo (something like gordita) and Tlayuda (giant sopes from Oaxaca state). Both are mouth watering. the Oaxacan cheese on the tlayudas rocks... !! Viva Mexico!!
Mexican National Foods