Adriana is originally from Monterrey in northern Mexico. Through her successful career, she has lived in countries around the world. After the impactful diagnosis of cancer, she moved back to Mexico, on the advice of the doctor, to the Yucatan Peninsula, to live at a slower pace. She had to give up her career as General Manager at Microsoft, but she didn't give up. She currently writes books and has her own company 'BeBig' where she uses her own experiences to help other women to get to the top. An impressive story by an inspiring woman. In addition to this life story, she was able to tell us everything about Mexican food culture. We discovered that there is not just one Mexican cuisine, but that the country can be divided into seven culinary regions.
1. Northern region
This region is close to the US and is the biggest area. Here, people like to eat meat, especially cow meat. The food there is more wild. Everything is about barbecue and farming, and there is no place where they don’t offer meat. There are a lot of ranges there where they hold cows. In Adrianas opinion, in contrast to Dutch people, they know exactly how to cut the most beautiful and delicious steak. Similar to the Netherlands, people in the Northern region love cheese. What people often do not know is that Mexico offers a wide variety of cheeses. This cheese culture was brought to Mexico by the Mennonites, the dairy farmers from the Netherlands and Denmark among others who introduced the soft and sweet cheeses to Mexican cuisine. Lastly, an important ingredient are the soft tortillas, made from flour. They have more than 40 different types of tortillas
2. Along the pacific
Along the pacific it’s all about fish, fruit and chiles. In addition, the town Tequila is located there. This town lives up to its name, because everyone there actually drinks tequila. Another popular drink is Mezcalito, similar to tequila. Adriana had to disappoint us that the salt and lemon we drink with tequila is just a marketing thing.
In Bajio, a region in central Mexico, they eat a lot of dishes with rice and goat. Besides, from this area downwards, they eat pork. They like heavy food in honey, sugar or oil. Therefore, people eat a lot of fried food. This is caused by the fact that people worked in the mines and needed a lot of energy. The love for sugar is also reflected in the popularity of ‘frutas cristalizadas’, the Mexican candy made from fruit and vegetables. Lastly, the tortillas in this region are not made from flour but from mais.
The state Guerrero is home to several indigenous communities, and is therefore characterized by traditional foods and indeginous cooking. One of these dishes is mole sauce, a traditional marinade and sauce that dates back as far as 500 years. A special ingredient in the mole sauce is cacao or dark chocolate. This may sound odd, but did you know that Mexico actually discovered chocolate?
5. Mexico-city: central area
The cuisine in Mexico-city is a mix of all other regions. Besides, they love to cook with tropical fruits and insects. This area is where most of Mexico’s haute cuisine can be found. Several michelin star restaurants are located here where they mix techniques and ingredients of different regions and combine them in the most delicious dishes. In contrast to this high-level cuisine, streetfood is very popular in this area. Furthermore, they introduced breads in this region, like in the Netherlands, which they serve with meat, avocado, lettuce, cream and chiles
In Yucatecan Cuisine, three things are important: corn, pork and seafood. In this cuisine, you see influences from cuba and the carribean, for example in their distinctive salsas with tropical fruit. Also they like hot food and this region is famous for the habanero chiles. Besides, the area consists of many honey producers, which has made honey very popular here.
7. Gulf of Mexico
The last cuisine in the cuisine from the gulf. The Spanish ‘conquistadoras’ brought a lot of African people to this area. They contributed to the Mexican cuisine by introducing peanuts and spices among others. That is why it is common to eat peanutbutter and satesaus here. Also indigenous influences can also be found through the use of corn and vanilla. In this region they often make tortillas with potatoes.