Defining rice's presence in world cuisine is like showing light to the sun. Since its appearance on mother earth, this grain has surprised humankind with its power of nourishment and providing satisfaction. No wonder, rice is called the gift of the god. Many of you must be wondering? Why a blog on rice in the Mexican culinary world when there are so many other dishes to talk about? Well, then this article is for you. Read on to know more.
Rice was never the New World grain. Mexico first saw rice when Spanish people brought it in 1950. It was the era when Portugal and the Spanish people were spreading their wings on the world map. The Spaniards zeroed in on the Veracruz region of this beautiful country to be the perfect growing ground for rice. Since this grain has a Spanish connection, it makes sense that a traditional rice dish would be called Spanish rice. However, in Mexico, the rice is not called by such names but only rice (Arroz) or red rice (Arroz Rozo). Fascinating, isn’t it?
Modern Mexican cuisine, of which rice is an important element, rose to prominence by effectively combining New World and Spanish components. Wanna know some interesting facts?
In Mexico, different regions serve rice in different ways, for instance, southern Mexico is known for plain white rice whereas in northern Mexico one will see typical Spanish or Mexican rice cooked with tomato flavours and chicken broth. Here, rice is served as a second meal and is also used in puddings, desserts, cakes, and many more things. Mexican rice goes well with any bean dish. It is also served with many delicious Mexican dishes like picadillo, tacos, carne asada and many more. By adding broth, tomato, onion and garlic, Mexicans love to experiment with their dishes.
If we talk about the rice that is used in cooking in Mexico then that will be a long grain with a fleck of the germ over it. It elongates four times when cooked. Mexicans love their rice a certain way. In the most common method of cooking, the rice is browned first and then simmered in broth and tomato flavoring. A tomato flavouring can be anything from sauce, paste, salsa, and bullion. Carrot, peas, corn kernels, bell peppers and onions are added to enhance the taste and colour. In another traditional style, the rice becomes creamier in taste. Cumin and oregano are some of the ingredients that are used to make the dish more delicious and presentable. Do try horchata if you get a chance- it is an authentic Mexican drink made up of soaked rice. It is a sweet beverage that has cinnamon, milk, vanilla and sugar (optional). One can also add nuts as per his or her preference.
In Mexico, the national demand for rice is four times the consumption. The United States exports almost 20 per cent of all rice exports to Mexico. Mexican imports of rice from the US are more than 8,00,000 metric tons. Mexicans grow rice in their land but almost 70 per cent comes from export. Just imagine how important rice is for Mexico.
Many restaurants worldwide have their version of Mexican rice and various dishes accompanying Mexican rice. Don’t miss it…Have it once to add an unforgettable experience to your taste journey.