Mexican Food Glossary at

Mexican Food Glossary in alphabetical order:

Achiote Yucatan-style paste made from ground annatto seeds, spices and lime juice or vinegar.

Adobo: A smoky, chile-based sauce with tomatoes, onions, garlic and spices.

Albondiga or albondigas Meatball.

Al carbón: Meat (any type) cooked over charcoal or wood coals.

Al Pastor Meat (any type) cooked over a spit Middle Eastern style. Tacos al Pastor Adobo Oven.

Anaheim Long, thin green chile used in the USA to make chile rellenos. In New Mexico, when they ripen and turn bright red they're dried in ristras, or strands and used in sauces. Green chiles, chile california or chilaca.

Check the Mexican Food Video - Some Like It Hot: Cuisines of Chili Climates with Rick Bayless (VHS) Chiles - Mexican food video

Ancho Dried poblano chile.

Annatto Seeds: Small seeds ground up and used in Yucatan's Achiote Paste.

Asada Broiled (as in Carne Asada is meat broiled over hot coals).

Agave: A native Mexican plant with broad, flat leaves that come to a point on the end and grow a single tall flower at maturity. The heart of the blue agave plant (piña) is used to make high quality tequila. Miel de Agave.

Barbacoa: Meat cooked in an underground pit, usually wrapped in banana or agave leaves.

Birria Jalisco's barbacoa specialty. Usually made from lamb or goat, or a combination of both.

Bolillos: Bolillo is a coarse, crispy white roll of bread in the shape of a bobbin.

Borracho: Literally, drunk. When used in a culinary sense, it denotes foods and sauces where a type of alcoholic beverage is an ingredient, such as beer or wine.

Burrito or Burritos Pretty much anything rolled up in a big flour tortilla.

Cajeta A specialty of Guanajuato and San Luis Potosi. Confection of goat's milk simmered with sugar. Dulce de leche. Try Cajeta Coronado at Cajeta

Carne: Meat, beef or pork.

Carne Asada Broiled meat, usually skirt or flank steak cooked fast over hot coals.

Carnitas A Mexican food specialty of Michoacán. Pork simmered in fruit juices and used in tacos and burritos.Carnitas (Espanol):Carne, generalmente de puerco, frita; los tacos de carnitas se encuentran entre los más populares y sabrosos.

Ceviche Raw fish marinated in Mexican lime juice and mixed with tomatoes, onions, chiles and spices. Served as an appetizer.

Cerveza: Beer. Try MicheMix Michelada Beer Mix at MicheMix

Chayote: A type of squash.

Chicharrones Deep fried pork rinds.

Chilaquiles Fried tortilla pieces topped with mild red sauce and cheese. Served as an appetizer or for breakfast.

Chile rellenos or Chiles rellenos Ancho or Anaheim chiles, with skins removed, dipped in batter, stuffed with cheese or meat and covered with lightly spiced red sauce.

Chilorio: A meat filling from northern Mexico (Culiacan, Sinaloa) made with boiled, shredded pork that's fried with ground chiles and spices.Chilorio en Espanol: Especialidad norteña de Sinaloa, a base de carne de puerco desmenuzada condimentada con chiles y especias.

Chimichanga or chimichangas Deep-fried, meat-filled burrito.

Chipotle or Chipotles Dried, smoked jalapeno chile. Try Chipotles at Chipotle

Chorizo: Fresh, highly seasoned sausage flavored with chiles and spices.

Cilantro: Corriander. An herb used all over Mexico for Mexican food seasoning.

Comida: Meal.

Conejo: Rabbit.

Cordero: Lamb.

Costillas: Ribs.

Cotija: An aged, crumbly white cheese.

Crema: Cream

Dulce: Sweet or candy.

Elote: Fresh corn.

Empanadas Pastry turnover filled with spicy meat or fruit and sweets. Empanadas are very popular in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Spain.

Enchilada or Enchiladas Lightly fried corn tortilla dipped in red sauce and stuffed with cheese or shredded chicken or beef.

Epazote: A wild herb that grows all over North America. Used to flavor Mexican food soups and stews.
Epazote (Espanol): Es una hierba de color verde obscuro, de hojas largas. Olor muy particular ligeramente picante. Es de origen mexicano. Se utiliza mucho en la cocina mexicana para la elaboración de salsas para pescados, mariscos, carnes, frijoles. Ingrediente de muchos guisos y tamales. Poderoso anti-helmíntico.

Escabeche: Mixture of oil, vinegar, herbs and seasonings used to pickle jalapenos and other Mexican foods.

Esquite: A corn based snack called esquite is made of Mexican corn kernels in a plastic cup and your choice of toppings: grated cheese, chile powder like Tajin, Lime Juice, salt and creme or Mayo - Mayonesa. Eskite.

Flauta: Long corn or flour tortilla filled with beef or chicken and deep fried.

Frijoles: Beans (usually kidney, bayo, pinto or black).

Guacamole: Dip served with tortilla chips of mashed avocado with onions, chiles, tomatoes, lime juice and spices.

Guajillo: Medium hot dried chile.

Gusanos de Maguey: Worms living in agave plants that are considered a delicacy when fried. Also found in bottles of mezcal to denote the particular type of agave plant.

Habanero Hottest Mexican food chile pepper out there.

Harina: Flour.

Helado: Ice cream.

Horchata Soft drink made by blending ground rice with water or juice and melon seeds.

Huitlacoche or Cuitlacoche In Mexico, Huitlacoche or Cuitlacoche is a Mexican food delicacy to be savored. Also called corn smut, maize mushroom, Mexican truffle or Mexican caviar. The kernels have a smoky-sweet flavor.

Hueso: Bone.

Huevo: Egg.

Jalapeno or Jalapenos Medium hot chile pepper. jalapeno peppers

Jícama: A crunchy, delicious white root, served sliced and sprinkled with lime and chile powder.

Langosta: Lobster.

Leche: Milk.

Leche quemada: Burnt milk. Also known as cajeta.

Lechuga: Lettuce.

Legumbre: Vegetable.

Licor: Liquor.

Maguey: Agave. Miel de Agave. Agave Nectar.

Mariscos: Seafood. If you like abalone try our abalone type shellfish from Royal Crown.

Masa: Dough of ground corn meal, lime and water used to make corn tortillas.

Menudo: Robust, medium spicy soup with tripe, hominy, onions and spices.

Mezcal: Distilled liquor made from juice of several types of agaves. Mescal.

Mojo de ajo: Cooked in garlic sauce.

Molcajete: Stone mortar used mostly to grind chiles for salsas. Buy your Molcajete here.

Video Salsa Mexicana hecha en Molcajete receta de Chef Ana Martorell

Mole: Complex dark sauce with chiles, nuts, spices, fruits, vegetables, chocolate and seasonings. Mole Poblano. Buy your Mole sauce here at Mole sauceMollete: The Mollete is a bolillo roll of bread that is toasted and smothered with refried beans, cheese and salsa. Birote.

Nixtamal: Dried corn kernels treated with cal - lime.

Nogada: Sauce made from ground walnuts to make chiles en nogada.

Nopalitos: Nopal or Nopales (prickly pear) cactus leaves chopped into pieces. Tender cactus. Buy your Nopalitos here at Nopalitos.

Pambazo: Pambazo is a Mexican dish made from special bread dipped in a red guajillo pepper sauce and filled with potato, chorizo, lettuce and cream. (Pambaso, Panvazo, Pamvaso).

Panela: Queso Panela is a fresh, semi-soft cheese made from whole unmilled cheese curds.

Papadzules: Dish from Yucatan of soft, rolled corn tortillas filled with varying ingredients and topped with pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and tomato sauce.

Pasilla: Long, thin, almost black chile.

Pato: Duck.

Pavo: Turkey.

Pepitas: Pumkin seeds, unhulled. An ingredient for mole verde and pipian.

Piñones: Pine nuts. Pinones.

Pipian Sauce: Similar to a mole, made from ground pepitas (squash seeds or pumpkin seeds) and other nuts. (Pepian)

Poblano: Dark green, rounded fresh chile used for chile rellenos.

Pozole: Robust, medium spicy soup with pork or chicken, hominy, onions and spices. Also called posole.

Postre: Dessert.

Pulque: Fermented beverage using agave invented by the Mayans for medicinal purposes.

Rompope: Sweet, thick alcoholic beverage with vanilla and egg.

Salchicha: Sausage.

Salsa: Sauce.

Sangría: Spanish beverage made with brandy, wine, Controy (or Triple Sec), fruit juice and fresh fruits.

Sangrita: A favorite accompaniment to tequila made from orange juice, grenadine, chile powder and frequently, ften tomato juice.

Serrano: One of northern Mexico's favorite chiles. Small, green and very hot.

Sopa: Soup. Also called caldo or sopa.

Taco: Usually a fried corn tortilla, folded in half and filled with meat, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and salsa. Can also be served soft and filled with a variety of ingredients. Soft taco.

Tamale or Tamales Corn tortilla dough filled with meat, vegetables or fruit, wrapped up in a corn husk and steamed.

Taquito: Little taco made of corn tortilla filled with meat, rolled up and fried. A small version of the flauta.

Tequila: World renowned liquor distilled from the juice of the blue agave, which only grows within 100 miles of Guadalajara.

Tiburón: Shark.

Tomatillo: Relative of the gooseberry family. Resembles a small green tomato. Very flavorful and used in many sauces.

Torta: Mexican food style sandwich on a bolillo.

Tortilla: Flat, thin, circular unleavened bread made of masa for corn tortillas or harina for flour tortillas. Most important item in Mexican cooking.

Tostada: Fried corn tortilla, often topped with beans, meat, tomatoes, lettuce and salsa.

Vino: Wine.

Please visit our top Mexican food recipes section at Top Mexican recipes

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