Guadalajara is a gastronomic center of this region, thanks to its strong agricultural and cattle-raising industries. Black beans and chocolate are also popular, while a variety of seafood is enjoyed on the coast. The overwhelming majority of global staple foods are grains. Tamales: Moist Oaxacan tamales are wrapped in banana leaves rather than corn husks. The dried spices are pulverized, then turned into a paste by adding acidic fruit juice, vinegar, oil, or water. The city of Veracruz is the cultural centre of the region and has long been the country’s major nonpetroleum port. Learn. After the paved Transpeninsular Highway opened up the length of the peninsula in the 1970s, tourism began to thrive, especially at Cabo San Lucas and other sites in the far south. Corundas: Similar to tamales, corundas are usually triangular or spherical in shape. Traditionally, the whole sheep would be cooked in a pit and covered with maguey leaves. Corn - 19.5%. Machaca: Traditionally made by rehydrating dried beef, modern machaca is usually made from well-cooked, shredded beef that is simmered in its own juices and spices. It is generally served with turkey on special occasions and holidays. Key dishes: Cabrito, machaca (dried shredded meat), burritos, carne asada, aguachile, chilorio (a pulled-pork dish from Sinaloa), guacavaqui (a Sonoran stew). Both have high rainfall, fertile soil, and beaches. Mexican cuisine, which had been influenced by many countries’ cultures and ingredients, absorbed and became a unique cuisine that is popular around the world today. The Yucatán Peninsula, also called the Southeast region, was a centre of the ancient Maya civilization. Rice, pork, and spices form the foundation for most dishes. vanilla, avocados, cocoa, squashes, and tomatoes. As it borders the Gulf coast, seafood figures prominently in most of the state. Habaneros are another distinctive ingredient, but they are generally served as (or part of) condiments on the side rather than integrated into the dishes. Some restaurants focus on pre-Hispanic cuisine, like dishes with insects as the main protein component. Most of the population is mestizo, but indigenous groups are still found in the more-isolated portions of Michoacán, Hidalgo (notably in the Mezquital valley), and Puebla. Mexico is one of the world’s more biologically diverse countries, encompassing vast deserts, tropical rainforests, mangrove swamps, and alpine ecosystems and supporting a wide range of reptiles and mammals, as well as myriad other types of animals. This is also the area where most of Mexico’s haute cuisine can be found. Harkening back to those days on the range, grilling is a popular method of cooking. The food of the Yucatán peninsula is distinct from the rest of the country and is based on Mayan food with influences from Cuba and other Caribbean islands, Europe, Asia and Middle Eastern cultures. The cuisine of Mexico has evolved through thousands of years of blending indigenous cultures, with later foreign elements added after the 16th century. Chiapas chiles – the best known being the small chile de siete caldos, are among Mexico’s most fiery. The Aztec’s staple foods consist of corn, legumes, fruits, vegetables, turkey, deer, rabbit, and beans. Michoacán cuisine is similarly influenced, but also draws from a strong indigenous Purepecha cultural tradition. Tabasco, a state that embraces vast deltas and estuaries, offers much more than the famous hot sauce that bares its name. Key dishes: Mole poblano, chiles en nogada, cemitas and chanclas (Poblano tortas, the latter soaked in salsa), chiles capones (simple cheese-stuffed chiles) and more mole poblano. This ritual was fundamental for the natives. Fun fact: Vanilla’s origin has been traced to Veracruz state, around the city of Papantla. The Afro-Cuban influence also includes peanuts and can be tasted in dishes such as pollo encacahuatado or chicken in peanut sauce. Popular foods in the city include barbacoa (a specialty of the central highlands), birria (from western Mexico), cabrito (from the north), carnitas (originally from Michoacán), moles (from Puebla and central Mexico), tacos with many different fillings and large sub-like sandwiches called tortas. Mole poblano: Known as the national dish of Mexico, mole poblano is perhaps the most well-known type of mole. These days, it is commonly made with pork shoulder or pork loin that’s been marinated in sour orange and achiote, then wrapped in banana leaves and slowly roasted until tender. The Europeans introduced several other Foods to Mexicans, That state’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. However, in mountain areas with a strong indigenous influence, corn is still a staple. The crescent-shaped state of Veracruz stretches over 400 miles along the Gulf of Mexico, so seafood is the star, though the inland cities of Xico (home of a famously rich, sweet mole) and Xalapa (home of the jalapeño) are considered gastronomic jewels.