mexican food

The flavors of Mexico

This time of year tends to be connected with spice and flavoring our foods with a kick.  Mexican food is near and dear to our hearts, as much as our native El Paso, TX.  If you are preparingMexican dishes in your home, you will want these spices in your cabinet.  In addition, we sell small batches of homemade spices and spice blends.  Stop to our Ketchum, ID bistro to see what we have on the shelf, as our offerings rotate.

First there is garlic. Salsa, taco seasoning and Spanish rice are just a few recipes that use garlic.

Next is onion, it is commonly used in conjunction with garlic.

Other common flavors are oregano, cumin and chili powder. Mexican oregano gives a dish a rich earthy flavor. There are other types of oregano such as Mediterranean. You are probably familiar with this version used in Italian cuisine. Oregano pairs well with tomato based dishes and lends an interesting flavor to other recipes.

Cumin has been around since the beginning of history. It's origin lies somewhere in the Mediterranean but has expanded in popularity because it is easily grown all over the world. It has a toasty yet somewhat bitter taste and gives Mexican dishes a certain flavor that can't be replaced.

Chile powder is actually a blend of dried, powdered chiles, cumin and oregano. Other spices are sometimes included in the mix, but those are the key ingredients. It is used primarily for seasoning meats and vegetables but has other uses as well.

Ancho chile powder is another wonderful Mexican flavor. It is almost sweet and has rich dried fruit flavors.

Another chile powder commonly used and gaining popularity outside of Mexico is Chipotle. It is actually just a jalapeno that has been dried and smoked. Chipotle has a distinctive flavor that goes well in many sauces and salsas. It is also the primary flavor in Adobo, a marinade.

Cinnamon, cloves and anise are also used to add unique dimensions of flavor to Mexican dishes.

Cocoa is used in several dishes to add a very rich warm flavor. Spices combined with small amounts of cocoa and peanut butter are used to make Mole, a thick sauce often served over chicken. Raisins can also be used to flavor certain dishes.

Try using a combination of these different flavors to season your next masterpiece!