18 Mar
2009
Posted in: Food
By    No Comments

History of Enchiladas


If you love Mexican food, you have probably come across the enchilada. Enchiladas today are not only available at purely Mexican food establishments, but can be found at restaurants that offer Tex-Mex specialties, diners and even many supermarkets sell either frozen enchiladas to make quickly- using your microwave or they sell a package of ingredients that can have you creating several enchiladas for an easy family meal.

What is an Enchilada?

An Enchilada is simply a corn tortilla that is rolled around meat and cheese. Many top it with a spicy chili sauce or top it with onions, cheese, sour cream, nacho cheese, beans, guacamole, etc. It is similar in regards to a taco, the enchilada can be created with a wide variety of ingredients, whether it is chicken, steak, fish, etc and a variety of cheeses, vegetables, beans, etc. It is an extremely versatile dish and most find it quite tasty.

Early History of the Enchilada

There is much evidence to suggest that enchiladas come from the Mayans. The dish was first associated with the region of Mexico by the Yucatan in pre-Columbian days. Corn tortillas were a staple of the Mayan people and there is evidence that the first enchiladas were tortillas that had fish rolled in it. The enchilada is similar to papadzules a traditional Mayan dish, which also comes from the Yucatan region. In this dish, corn tortillas are dipped in pumpkinseed and rolled around chopped boiled egg. It is then smothered in tomato sauce. This dish was primarily food for the nobles and was said to be served for special occasions.

When the Spanish Conquistadors made their way to the Western Hemisphere they documented the variety of foods the indigenous people ate. Tortillas, made from flattened corn bread were originally called tlaxcalli, however it was the Spanish conquistadors that named it the tortilla. Throughout the later centuries, the Mexican people continued to enjoy this dish and the enchilada can be found in a wide variety of cook books dating all the way back to the first Mexican cook book published in 1831 called El Cocinero Mexicano (The Mexican Chef).

Enchiladas

The Enchilada Today

Today with the internationalization of food, many chefs are always looking for the best foods of each culture to share with their friends and clients. It is no wonder that the enchilada has earned wide praise from many gourmands around the world, it is not only tasty, but nutritional and extremely versatile making it a great item to serve. In addition, over the years, many Mexicans immigrated to the US, bringing with them their culture that included their delicious foods. Today, the enchilada and other great Mexican foods are continuing to grow in popularity and with its easy to make ingredients and plenty of ways to prepare it, expect to continue to see the enchilada in your neighborhood served in its many forms.




So, what do you think?