A popular Mexican restaurant in State College is Rey Azteca which offers a wide variety of traditional Mexican food. I enjoyed the Pollo Loco (a chicken dish). It was overall pretty good and wasn’t too expensive. The restaurant also offered a wide variety of options. The only problem I had with it was the fact that it was not located conveniently downtown but rather a bus ride away by the Nittany Mall.
Mexican cuisine is a mix of early middle American cooking styles and early European techniques (due to the colonization), especially Spain. With the colonization of Mexico, many new items were added to the traditional diet. These included the use of domesticated animals, dairy products and various spices. These new additions combined with the already traditional elements of Mexican food: corn, beans, and chili peppers; created the signature Mexican cuisine.
Food is an essential part to Mexican culture. The ability to cook well is seen as a gift gained from much experience and training and also a dedication to cooking. For the festival, Day of the Dead, the traditional food of mole and tamales are set upon an altar for the dead to enjoy. If people eat it afterwards it is said to be “tasteless” for the dead have already eaten it. Another important aspect of festival cooking of the popular dishes (mole, barbacoa, carniotes, and mixiotes) is that they are prepared for large amounts of people thus many people must cook these dishes. This encourages the idea that cooking brings together families and communities.
Street food is also an essential element to Mexican cuisine. It represents the type of food that most of us assume is typical “Mexican food”. This includes tacos, quesadillas, and tamales. Mexican street food is popular for it fills people up without having the emotional connotation of eating at home. The taco is the most popular street food and is most often eaten as a snack in midday as opposed to as a meal. The fillings in the taco vary across the different regions of Mexico. Another popular street food option is the torta, a roll of some type stuffed with ingredients.
Tacos date back to the Mexican Revolution, when refugees brought the food to America
Tortillas used to be canned
There are different foods to the different regions of Mexico. The northern area consists mostly of meat dishes and in the southern areas chicken and vegetables are especially popular.