The Mexican Cupboard

Everybody loves tacos. When you ask to an ordinary Mexican, “what did you eat today?” it’s very potential that the solution will certainly be tacos.

Tacos are viewed as the foundation of Mexican food all over the world, along with tequila. But our food is intricate in ways that very few foods worldwide are. Our social history, in some cases basic, various other times disorderly, has actually honored us with ingredients and methods that individuals currently may call blend food; but in earlier ages, this was simply whatever was offered at a specific time as well as place.

When you dig deeper into Mexican food, you understand that tacos are not so much a dish as a way of eating a wide variety of meals that collectively compose the food. If you are on a trip of discovering Mexican food, right here are a couple of standard active ingredients and also devices that you will certainly need.

You can find these foods in any type of Latin American market. Progressively, a lot of these can additionally be located in the “worldwide” or Latin American area of your regional supermarket. Rancho Gordo is an exceptional resource for both dried out beans and also chiles. And also for something unique, take a look at our checklist of smaller sized Latinx food brand names.

Dried Foods as well as Staples

  • Beans, black or pinto, dried out: These are main to many prep work. The type of bean you make use of might depend on whether you intend to prepare central-south Mexican food (use black) or northern (pinto). Naturally, you can constantly make use of tinned, but starting from dried out returns better texture.
  • Chiles, dried out: An essential element of the flavor of Mexican food comes from dried out chiles. Their appeal most likely arose because it’s easier to store chiles dried than fresh. There are a number of ranges of completely dry chiles, however if you’re starting your pantry, try ancho, pasilla, arbol, morita and chipotle.
  • Chocolate: Mexican chocolate is created with seasonings, generally cinnamon, and also in some cases chiles. The solid blocks are dissolved in water (or milk) to make a hot drink that’s perfect for a cool evening. Enjoy it with some frying pan dulce. Mexican delicious chocolate is also made use of in some moles.
  • Masa harina: In Mexico, we constantly use fresh masa, however a great replacement is masa harina from nixtamalized corn. This is a must-have active ingredient for a lot of Mexican street snacks.
  • Piloncillo or Panela: This raw sugar, similar to molasses, is formed right into blocks you break apart and liquify in liquids. A lot more recently, it’s become available in powdered kind to make it less complicated to utilize. This commonly-used sweetener has a richer, extra caramelized flavor than fine-tuned white sugar. It’s the preferred sugar for coffee.
    Rice: Lots of people do not think that rice is such a crucial component for Mexican food, but it’s been part of the cuisine for 500 years. We understand that rice is the ideal active ingredient for lots of soups and the perfect side dish for mole.

Canned Foods
Chipotles in adobo: The smoky, pleasant flavor and also moderate spiciness that these chipotles have are perfect for including a little warm to lots of meals.

Hominy/ma íz molido/cacahuazintli: This range of nixtamalized corn is used in pozole and also menudo. When it’s Christmas or Freedom Day or any type of birthday, pozole is the perfect meal.

Pickled jalapeños or rajas: These are the perfect condiment for any kind of variety of dishes. Sometimes they’re marinaded with other vegetables, like carrots and cauliflower.

Tomato puree: A vital base for a huge selection of salsas, soups, moles, rice, and also meat-based preparations.


  • Allspice: This is an essential spice, particularly when you prepare food southern of Mexico. It can be used as a substitute for black pepper.
  • Bouquet (dried bay fallen leave, thyme, and marjoram): These three aromatic natural herbs are used religiously in so many prep work.
  • Cinnamon: This flavor is used in both treats and in savory recipes. In the U.S., cassia is one of the most commonly used selection. Yet in Mexico, where cinnamon is called canela, mellower Cinnamon verum is utilized.
  • Cumin: This dried out seed is necessary to north Mexican cuisine, in particular. Acquire the entire seeds, instead of the powder, for much better flavor. As well as always salute before making use of.

Dairy products

  • Quesillo: A white cheese from Oaxaca with a structure comparable to mozzarella, quesillo is excellent for quesadillas and in any kind of meal where you want dissolved cheese, from tacos to tortas.
  • Queso cotija: This dry, crunchy cheese gets sprinkled at the end of several recipes. It includes the perfect amount of brininess. You can call it the Mexican parmesan cheese.
  • Queso fresco, or panela: This fresh, light, and also extremely versatile cheese is utilized cubed or thinly sliced in salads, on tortas, in soups, and much more.

Fats and also Oils

  • Pork lard: Rendered from pork fat, lard is one of the keys to the flavor of Mexican food. If you enjoy refried beans and tamales, lard (or manteca) might be the reason. Utilize it as a food preparation fat for dishes that don’t require a heat to fry; never ever deep fry with it.
  • Grease: This is made use of mainly for deep frying. Mexicans similar to this oil due to the fact that it does not transform or affect the flavor of the dishes. It is neutral and mixes the tastes with each other.

Comal: This is a flat steel, rock, or cast iron pan made use of for food preparation fresh, hand-made tortillas (or reheating store-bought ones). You can additionally utilize it for roasting chiles and spices. A cast-iron frying pan is an adequate substitute.

Tortilla hand press: If you want to eat the best corn tortillas, constantly make them fresh using a tortilla press. You can likewise utilize a press to make quesadillas, sopes, gorditas, and also huaraches.

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