Many Mexican and Italian foods are very similar and still, the prepared dishes of each country have very distinct and bold flavors. Both countries use meats, grains, and produce that are grown locally to prepare their meals. However, Italian foods are regional and Mexican food is native to the whole country. Many of the spices for flavoring are the same, but they are used with a combination of different ingredients and the foods are prepared differently. Dishes from both countries often use sauces, but each country implements the use of their sauces differently to enhance the flavor of the final dish.
If you enjoy cooking or eating, exploring the similarities and differences between Mexican and Italian foods will tempt anyone’s palate. The origin and influences of Mexican and Italian foods Authentic Mexican foods are native to the country and the Pueblo Indians. Corn was grown by the Pueblo’s and many Mexican recipes require corn based specialties such as tacos, enchiladas, tamales and quesadillas. Beans are also a staple food in the Mexican culture. Produce that is grown in the country like avocados, tomatoes and green and red peppers are also used in their recipes to add zest to their flavorful foods.
The meat of choice that is used in many of their dishes is pork, but meat is rarely the focal point of the meal. It’s used more to add substance and flavor to the food. Authentic Italian foods vary by region. The Tuscan region uses local produced foods like produce, mellow cheeses, and game meats like boar, deer and rabbit. Beans are also a staple of that region. Rome is known for its hearty soups, lamb and pasta dishes. The main staples of Italy in more general terms are vegetables, grains, legumes and cheeses. The basic diet in Italy is called “la cucina povera” which mean “poor peoples food.
” The spices and oils used in Mexican and Italian foods Mexican foods tend to be spicy. Many people confuse the spiciness with the sensation of heat. Cinnamon, saffron, cumin is some of the common spices used in Mexican dishes. Lard is used in traditional dishes like tamales. Actually a very small amount is used in frying their food. Lard is preferred and actually necessary to produce some of the authentic flavors known to Mexican food. Some of the common spices used in Italian dishes are saffron, cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary and sage.
Cinnamon is used in a lasagna dish made with cinnamon scented and sauteed chicken gizzards called Vircisgrassi. Olive oil is a staple in the cooking process and on the table. Central and Southern regions prefer a dark green olive oil which is once pressed while Northern regions prefer golden olive oil. Preparation and use of sauces in Mexican and Italian foods Mexican dishes are generally fried or oven baked. Meats are usually boiled and shredded since they are mostly used in dishes rather than as a stand alone meal.
Sauces are often used in cooking, but rarely, is additional sauce added before serving. However, sometimes sauces are served on the side for dipping. The majority of Italian dishes are cooked on the stove top. Meats are usually grilled, wine braised or roasted. Italian dishes are known for their rich and thick sauces used in to top their pasta. Many people think of tomato based sauces when they think of Italian dishes, but in fact, many of the sauces are cream based. Mexican and Italian foods are very popular in the United States. American’s have adapted the recipes to their tastes.
Recipes that have been adapted are referred to as Mexican-American or Italian-American cuisine not to be confused with authentic Mexican or Italian dishes. Ethnic foods such as these are popular in the diverse American culture.
Works Cited Furfaro, Rosemary. “Ethnic Cuisine: Italy. ” 2008. Sallys Place. 13 October 2008 <http://www. sallys-place. com/food/cuisines/italy. htm>. Peyton, James. “Frequently Asked Questions About Mexican Cooking. ” 1999-2000. Mexican Food Cooking and Recipes. 13 October 2008 <http://lomexicano. com/faq_mexican_food_cooking__recipes. htm>.