New Mexico food refers to the food and drinks consumed in the state of New Mexico, which is a sparsely populated state in southwest and western part of the United States. It is a combination of Native American dishes and foreign influences from Mexico, Spain as well as other parts of the United States. The food is known for its distinctive features quite different from neighboring cuisines, as well as for the pronounced use of red or green chili as an ingredient. Sopapillas and enchilada are some of the popular food items consumed here.
History of New Mexican Cuisine
The region has been a part of Mexico before the Mexican- American war, and hence the cuisine here has features of Mexican cuisines. The Spanish immigrants brought their food culture with them, and the food also got influenced by cuisines from the United States after it became a part of this country. Thus the distinct New Mexico food emerged after being influenced by many factors.
Ingredients Commonly Used in New Mexico Cuisine
Chili is the most important ingredient which gives a distinct character to New Mexico food. It may used in green or red form. It is also the most extensively grown crop of New Mexico. Green chili is used in various dishes like cheeseburgers, pizzas, French fries, burritos, enchiladas, etc. Other important ingredients used in food prepared here include blue corn, beans, cilantro, squash, hominy, tomatoes and plants like mesquite and cacti.
Popular New Mexican Cuisine Dishes
Here are some of the popular dishes that form a part of New Mexican food-
- Burrito: It is a rolled flour tortilla with filling of meat, sour cream, beans and green chilies. It is often smeared with red or green chili sauce and melted cheese.
- Atole: It is thick corn gruel.
- Bizochito: It is a cookie that is flavored with anise
- Chicharrones: It consists of deep fried pieces of pork rind having a thin meat layer.
- Tostada: It is a fried corn tortilla with a cover of meat, cheese and lettuce.
- Sopaipilla: It is a puffed and fried bread containing filling of honey, honey butter or sometimes meat, beans, chili sauce and cheese. It may be served with soups or as a dessert along with honey.
- Enchilada: A very popular New Mexico food, this is a corn or flour tortilla rolled and dilled with a meat or vegetable filling and covered with chili pepper sauce.