A country is the result of its history, its people and its traditions. Traces of the ancestors can be found in its culture in harmony with modern, materializing beliefs, customs and the natural wealth of the territory. It is therefore to be expected that a country like Mexico, with so many mixed generations and exchanges, has a vast culture that is evident in its various corners.
One of the most characteristic cultural expressions of our country is its gastronomy, which was declared an intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2010 by UNESCO., recognizing the richness of its aromas and flavors that remind us of the ancestral homeland of its origin and millennial history. There are only four cuisines in the world considered in this way, as culinary skills and wealth are sought to be associated with transcendental cultural and social values: French, Mediterranean, Japanese and Mexican cuisine, the latter being the pioneer in registering in this way.
Our food is not only delicious but colorful and visually appealing in a syncretism of local and European ingredients and culinary techniques.
There are staples such as cacao, chili, nopal, avocado and corn that are mixed with fruits, grains and spices that have come from across the ocean to enrich our food. Likewise, it represents pre-Hispanic practices and rituals that have survived time and adapted to modernity without having written records before the conquest, as it was passed down mostly orally, from generation to generation.
Thanks to this, we can daily taste dishes that had a mystical ritual component of great importance, such as pozole, considered one of the flags of our famous cuisine. Originating from the Nahuatl, its name means foam, as it was originally prepared from the kernels of a special corn that was previously cooked in such a way that the kernels lost their shell and opened up, taking on the appearance of foam. The color and specific ingredients of pozole vary by country; it is believed that there are at least twenty variations of this dish in our country. This dish was reserved only for emperors and priests of the highest rank, as it contained a very specific accessory: a human thigh. Over time, human flesh was replaced by pork and its consumption became popular, making it a delicacy that is now so common on our tables, especially during the national month.
Like pozole, there are dozens of examples of dishes that have been adapted to present-day Mexico with a certain historical continuity, restoring some of its preparation rituals in an industrialized world, keeping alive the collective development and representative supply chains of our country that prioritize consumption of the local and native on our lands. It is also considered a balanced diet that includes elements from the various food groups and has worked for millennia as the sustenance of entire generations.
Our gastronomy has become a faithful companion of modernity: we have favorite dishes for events in our lives, adapting traditional production with the help of new technologies and best practices based on the blue economy, seeking sustainability and survival of communities and jobs. As a priority pillar of the economy, it is estimated to represent an economic benefit of 2% of gross domestic product and generate 1.7 million direct jobs, in addition to 3.8 million indirect jobs and half a million businesses.
This has given rise to a new type of tourism similar to ecotourism: gastronomic tourism, for which there are at least 18 gastronomic routes made up of 155 destinations where you can taste and learn more than 1500 typical dishes and drinks from our territory. As part of the economic, social and cultural importance of Mexican gastronomy, it is also emphasized that 3 of the 50 best restaurants in the world are Mexican and the International Gourmet Festival is celebrated on our territory.
As if it were not enough to find such a variety of dishes with different characteristics and ingredients, we also produce drinks that can be the perfect companion to our gastronomy: beer, mekal or wine. Our food is alive, adaptable and unique, a delight for the senses, full of taste, colour, smell and love that reflect the hands that prepare it, the mouths that feed it and millennia of stories, adaptations and intermingled generations. This national month is full of occasions that work as a perfect pretext to celebrate our roots, explore the depths of Mexican gastronomy and its symbolism, while also remembering the industry’s priority for our country.