The Power of Pork in Mexican Dishes: 3 Incredible Dishes for Any Occasion
Mexican dishes have become quite the sensation throughout the world. You can find a Mexican kitchen anywhere in the world and people love the spicy dishes that this cuisine has to offer. Some of the central ingredients in Mexican dishes include meat, spices, and corn. Most Mexican dishes take meat very seriously whether it’s beef, chicken, or pork. So, let’s talk about pork and how it plays a role in the Mexican food canon.
What Mexican dishes use pork and how is it prepared? Let’s take a look at some of the most common examples.
Pork in Mexican Dishes
Mexico is a major producer and consumer of pork. In fact, it is only second to China. The people of Mexico love pork and, despite some setbacks, have continued to use pork products at high rates. Some would say that it is so central to their diet that they are far less squeamish about learning where their food comes from. In Mexico, a butcher will be well-versed and skilled in producing any custom-cut of the pig.
Pigs in the Cultural and Historical Mexico
A walk across a small town fair or market in Mexico and you’ll run into very clear displays of the animals from which the meat is coming from. In other words, pig feet, pig heads, and more. In the United States, culturally speaking, people are not that open to the display of their animals. In Mexico, every part of the pig is used.
Pigs, however, did not exist in Mexico until after the Spanish conquest. Before the Spanish came to Mexico, there were no pigs. Many people may be surprised to know that many of our staple foods are only a few centuries old.
According to some historians, pigs came to Mexico on Columbus’ second voyage, when they were introduced to this side of the world and eventually made their way to Mexico thanks to Hernan Cortes. Most of these pigs were Neapolitan or Celtic and became wild. The pigs were first brought in to feed the soldiers and the missionaries who were here in search of gold with Cortes. So after it was all said and done, the prized meat of Spain had crossed the ocean and become a staple of the indigenous Aztecs of Mexico.
The Spanish conquest of Mexico had deep-sweeping consequences and it changed the course of world history. Part of this change included the blending of some of the aspects of these two cultures into countries like Mexico.
4 Pork Dishes in Mexican Cuisines
There are a lot of pork dishes but all of them are prepared differently. Here are a couple of foodie favorites.
#1 Tacos al Pastor
This is popular in the streets of Mexico and has made its way into restaurants and high-end cuisine. The pastor is usually served on a spit, which is the revolving meat stick you see on the streets of Mexico or in films that depict small Mexican towns. The main attraction here is that the pork is cooked slowly. It is placed in a slow simmer. So while it is a slow process the juicy results are definitely worth it.
Directly translated to “little meats,” carnitas are a popular option for those who love street tacos. Carnitas is also thought about as a kind of pulled pork. The main point is that they are cooked slowly. One final step often added to the preparation of carnitas is after they are slowly simmered, they are placed in the oven and roasted in order to achieve a browning or crisping effect that adds to the flavor. The carnitas can then be used as juicy, flavorful, filling for burritos and tacos.
The name chicharrones entered the English lexicon around 1940. It quickly became a beloved comfort food from down South and gained popularity peak acclaim in the 90s when George H.W. Bush proclaimed this was his favorite snack. It makes sense because, after all, Bush was a native Texan who had been surrounded by the Mexican Tex-Mex cuisine his whole life. Chicharrones come from pork skin.
Interestingly enough, chicharrones are a protein-rich low-carb treat that has become quite the delicacy in some circles.
Can’t have a list of traditional Mexican dishes without mentioning pozole. This is a traditional brothy soup made out of white hominy and pork meat. While pozole can also be prepared with chicken meat, the traditional meat is pork.
Ready to Dive Into Traditional Mexican Food? Start With Delicious Pork Recipes
Here at Productos Real, we provide quality Mexican food ingredients so that people can enjoy the delicacies and deliciousness of good Mexican cuisine. Whether you are feeding a family of four or a large party for the holidays or summer picnics.
So where do you find quality ingredients for your Mexican dishes? Call us at Productos Real.