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What Are the Most Common Spices Used in Mexican Food?

Burritos and tacos are favorite meals for many Americans and are almost inseparable from Mexican food truck catering. Part of the appeal comes from the herbs and spices, transforming simple dishes into a delicious main course. Mexican cuisine features a wide range of popular spices, including garlic, cinnamon, onion, and less-common epazote.

5 Common Spices in Mexican Food Truck Catering

Food trucks epitomize Mexican dishes and fast food. There’s no better place to experience the different flavors and spices on the go. You can also hire truck catering for events, parties, family outings, and banquets. Here are the top five most common spices used in popular Mexican dishes and fast food:

1. Garlic

Garlic is a popular spice in Mexico, present in various dishes. The spice comes in many forms, including fresh, jarred, and powdered. Fresh garlic offers a superior taste and quality, but powdered garlic is equally helpful when preparing Mexican dishes.

Most Mexican dishes incorporate garlic into taco and salsa seasoning. The spice is also essential in Spanish rice and many other Mexican recipes. Garlic is often used with fresh or powdered onions, a combination expressive of Mexican cuisine.

2. Cumin

Cumin's origin is in the Mediterranean, but the seed found its way into Mexican cuisine. It offers a strong flavor described by many chefs as pungent, earthy, warm, hearty, bitter, and toasty. Cumin is a popular seasoning for tacos, sweet vegetables, and mild bread.

The bitter flavor is hard to replace with any other spice, making cumin a quintessential spice for Mexicans. It contains high amounts of iron, with one teaspoon offering up to 20% of the daily recommended value. The herb also grows everywhere, explaining its global popularity.

3. Ground Chile

Ground chiles are ubiquitous in Mexican recipes and pack the proper heat. The typical chili powder includes dried, ground chiles, cumin, and oregano, and each product features a unique blend. You can also find powdered chiles with no additional ingredients.

The spice is common in meat and vegetable recipes but has many uses and comes in unique varieties. Popular examples include ancho and chipotle (dried, smoked jalapeno). Ancho’s rich dried fruit flavor is used in hot drinks, while chipotle’s robust flavor suits salsas and sauces.

4. Oregano

Oregano and cumin offer the signature Mexican flavor and add a fresh, earthy taste to your meals. Mexican oregano is a unique spice, different from the typical European and Mediterranean oregano (Origanum Vulgare) found in most shelves and Italian recipes.

Mexican oregano grows as a shrub and offers a delicate flavor, not as strong as the true oregano. It is commonly used with aromatic recipes and tomatoes but lends the flavor to many recipes. Powdered oregano is also common in chili powder and mixed spices.

Other Common Mexican Spices

Mexico is home to many other spices, including cloves, achiote, anise, cacao, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, sesame, and more. The cuisine also features herbs like basil, cilantro, epazote, hibiscus, rosemary, sage, spearmint, vanilla, and thyme.

If you are looking for Mexican-inspired dishes with rich flavors, herbs, and spices, you should try food truck catering, precisely what you’ll get with Taqueria Los Chilangos.

We offer professional expanded catering for all banquets, including office deliveries, corporate events, weddings, parties, and more.

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1 Comment

Gerardo Cano
Gerardo Cano
Jun 13, 2023

That is a lie! Cumin is not essential is mexican food! Only a few dishes use It! So… Cumin is essential in American pseudo mexican food!

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