So, you like Mexican food. Well you’re not alone. But how do you know if you are truly a Mexican Foodie or someone that just likes spicy food? After all, there is a big difference between liking and loving.
There is no denying that I have been a bonafide Mexican foodie for many years now. I know every local place and can tell you the name of the best taco place in every town I’ve visited from California to Kiev and everywhere in between.
Some of you will nodding your heads and laughing in shared camaraderie. You will be able to relate to many of these the things on this list. For those that are new on their Mexican Foodie journey I’ve also included tons of videos and a few links to help guide you.
When your love for Mexican food goes beyond a simple dining experience into a full-fledged lifestyle, then you’ve probably become a Mexican Foodie. They are the ones who live and breathe Mexican food, taking the obsession to a whole new level. Not sure if you are or not? Take a look at these 20 traits of a Mexican Foodie and decide for yourself.
20. You know Tabasco sauce isn’t Mexican
Tabasco sauce is actually from Louisiana (it says this right on the front of the bottle) where it was invented and has been bottled for five generations by the McIlhenny family. A true Mexican foodie knows that Tapatío, Cholula, El Yucateco, and La Victoria are the only bottled salsas that should ever touch your authentic Mexican cuisine. (Sorry, Chipotle. We still love ya in a pinch.)
19. Accepting that Fajitas are NOT from Mexico
For many of us that grew up in the states during the 1900’s, our first introduction to fajitas was when the Chili’s restaurant chain added the little known fajita to its menus in 1984. The spicy flavors and a unique sizzling presentation with the Mexican sounding name became an instant hit with American audiences who thought it was traditional Mexican cuisine.
Originally inspired by Mexican cattle hands working in West Texas, fajitas were actually introduced to the public in 1969 by Sonny Falcon, a restaurant owner from Austin, Texas. The now iconic sizzling plate presentation was introduced shortly thereafter with another Texas restaurant run by Otilia Garza in Pharr, Texas. We still love to eat fajitas but we also know that they are actually created to be modern Tex-Mex cuisine, and not part of traditional Mexican food culture.
18. You could eat Mexican food for…Every. Single. Meal.
It doesn’t matter if it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, you could go for Mexican every time. Huevos rancheros, burritos, enchiladas, heck even your snacking has a Mexican flair. You never seem to get tired of it, the simple ingredients and rich spices don’t ever get old or boring, and the flavors – oh the flavors! It’s okay that everyone else wants more variety, you know what you’re looking for.
17. Salsa is your ketchup
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have ketchup or mustard or mayonnaise as long as you have a stockpile of salsa on hand. It doesn’t just go with chips either. Salsa goes along with any type of dish, even if it’s not Mexican. Much like chile pepper, you put salsa on almost everything to add a little kick and boost the flavor. And you don’t go for the stuff that’s made in New York city, you make your own, and it’s dang good.
16. You are a connoisseur of Mexican restaurants
Everyone else may not know this but you do. You don’t go around to any Mexican restaurant willy-nilly as if they are all the same. You know the good ones, the bad ones and the great ones. You adamantly tell your friends which restaurants they should go to and which ones to avoid. You are a regular at many and probably even have a special table they seat you at.
15. No one asks you “Where should we eat?”
Why? Because much like the rule above, everyone already knows where you want to eat. And unlike you, your friends may not hold true to rule number one, and don’t want to eat Mexican food for every meal. They don’t want to ask you because you will invariably give them the same Mexican restaurants that you know have food to die for. That’s okay though, it’s their loss.
14. Cinco De Mayo is your #1 holiday
Sure, the others are great, but no holiday comes close to the celebration of Mexican heritage on the 5th of May, where your obsession as a Mexican Foodie can largely go unnoticed for a day. Being able to stuff your face for breakfast, lunch and dinner with amazing Mexican food and having your friends along for the ride is pure joy for you. You also know that Cinco De Mayo is actually not the Mexican Independence Day, as many people believe, and there is a great article on the holiday here at History.com. A special day where it’s all about Mexican culture, food, and number 7…
13. You only drink margaritas “on the rocks”
Yea that’s right, need we say more? Margaritas are like liquid heaven in your mouth and you can never get enough of them (until you do). The only way to really drink tequila is on the rocks, salted rim or not, you have the margarita routine down to a science. You can mix your own and even have special glasses that are just for margaritas. Yes, you can even blend them for non-believers that like to drink them served like a 7-11 slurpee.
When people come over, they know exactly what to expect, and you always have some ready for them. If you don’t have a recipe, you may want to try the Perfect Margarita from Mr. Margaritaville himself, Jimmy Buffet. Our dedicated team of ‘field researchers’ can attest to the smoothness and potency of this recipe. Proceed with caution.
12. You eat more tortillas than bread
As a side instead of toast in the morning, as a snack or even used for peanut butter and jelly (I’ve seen it happen), tortillas are a staple for a Mexican Foodie. You know that tortillas are not just for burritos, and like an all-around utility player, the tortilla comes in handy for sopping, wrapping and dipping just about anything. The best thing since sliced bread? Tortillas.
11. Travel planning is about finding good Mexican food nearby
When looking at potential vacation spots you always check the surrounding area for good Mexican restaurants, not wanting to stray too far even when you’re miles away from home. You know that major chain restaurants usually fail at authenticity, so you look for those little hole in the wall dives where you know you’re gonna score. Checking restaurant reviews is a good start, but then you have to check into the reviewers to make sure they know what they are talking about. It’s such a dedicated life.
10. You know what horchata is
If you’re a Mexican Foodie you already know, if not, horchata is a Mexican drink made of rice, cinnamon, vanilla and water. With a taste as smooth as a Jordan jump shot this drink will be your new addiction. Lots of people shy away when they find out what horchata is made of, but not you. You know that it is a sweet syrup made of happiness and you even have your own special recipe for horchata and love to share it around the office. For those who don’t have one, you can find an excellent recipe for horchata at Cooking Classy.
9. Your favorite smell is roasting green chile
You would make candles out of it if you could. That rich spicy smell floating through the crisp autumn air makes your mouth immediately start watering. The roasters don’t mind you hanging around all day because they are used to you by now, and they know that you will be handing out a giant chunk of change to get your ten pounds of green chile when you’re done hogging all the smell. If only they made those little tree air fresheners in green chile scent…
8. Rice and beans go with everything
Rice and beans are staples when it comes to side dishes for you, especially when they are refried beans. Like coleslaw to barbeque and french fries to a burger, rice and beans are synonymous with Mexican food. Every time you make a Mexican dish rice and beans have their mandatory spot on the plate and when you order at a restaurant you know you don’t even have to ask the server to add them.
7. Holidays = Tamales
Like many other Mexican dishes, tamales are made with either red or green chile, and you wouldn’t have a thankful Thanksgiving without tamales on the table. Being a Mexican Foodie, you probably make your own at home as well. Unwrapping the corn husk and adding more chile on top (because, of course) is almost a ritual for you by now. And if you don’t already have a great tamale recipe, this one from Food.com is about as close as you can get to authentic.
6. The hotter the better
It stands to reason that since you like to put chile on everything that the hotter the chile the better. Not only do you love the taste, but it is great for clearing the sinuses. It’s not a test of manliness or machismo, you genuinely love the heat. It makes every dish better plus it deters other people from picking at your food. Heat is a Mexican Foodie’s friend, it just comes with the territory, and you have never backed down.
5. You know your next meal is…
As a Mexican Foodie just reading this has you already thinking about your next meal. What you are going to prepare or what restaurant you are going to find your favorite table at. As a matter of fact, you probably already had your next Mexican meal planned out before you even began reading this. It never stops and you don’t want it to. This is your obsession and you love it. Don’t say sorry for it, embrace it!
4. You can name at least 5 types of tacos
Right now you are probably thinking “too easy”. But that proves the point that you are a true aficionado of these Mexican culinary delights. While your friends struggle at the counter staring hopelessly into the menu baffled by the various types of tacos to choose from, you take charge and seemingly by instinct effortlessly spit out your order faster than Speedy Gonzales can make Sylvester the cat jump out of his skin. You are in your element.
3. You order multiple types of salsas
Sure, you can enjoy delicious Mexican food without salsa. But why? You know that you should seize every opportunity to make your food swim in spicy goodness. That’s why you order enough salsa with every meal to make sure your food is swimming in it with every bite. The fun doesn’t stop there because you know to order the best types of salsas to compliment each type of dish. Not to mention you also know how to ask for the good stuff that any self-respecting Taqueria keeps behind the counter only for the most dedicated of Mexican Foodies.
2. Mexican Coca-Cola “It’s the REAL thing.”
You know that real Coca-Cola has been made in Mexico for years now. Some say it’s the nostalgia of the glass bottles. The need for a bottle opener to pop off the cap. But Mexican Foodies know that ‘Mexican Coke’ has a more spicy flavor with unique herbal notes. Coke switched to corn syrup in the 1980’s for its US production. You aren’t fooled by the glass bottles sold in the states. You know to look for the “Hecho en Mexico” on the bottle because you know that in Mexico they still use real sugar instead of the corn syrup, for now.
1. You can order your food “¡En español!”
That’s right, you’ve unlocked the next level of your Mexican food culture journey. Stepping up to the counter of your favorite food truck you fearlessly and effortlessly blast out your order in Spanish. All the while your friends and co-workers stand back in awe and amazement. You are no-longer just known as Jen from accounting. You are now the exotic and worldly Mexican Foodie that is most likely to start a traveling food show on Netflix.
If you are a Mexican Foodie, then trust me, you’re not alone. And it’s not that hard to believe, considering how delicious Mexican cuisine is. Loving everything about Mexican food is a passion, and finding those authentic dishes made at hole in the wall restaurants is your true love. So you keep on with your addiction, and don’t forget to put some chile on it.
More Mexican Foodie resources…
Are you a Mexican Foodie? Beyond learning about the traditional types of tacos, make sure you check out these stories to learn more about the most popular Mexican dishes, or our delicious fun facts about the origins of Mexican cuisine, and then head over and whet your appetite with these traditional Mexican sauces. And if you are really adventurous and want to try making these dishes at home then make sure to take a look at our list of Mexican spices before you start.