Myths About Mexican Food You Can Stop Believing

What comes to your mind when you picture Mexican food? A smattering of corn, cheese, spices, and freshly baked burritos and tacos, perhaps? Or a huge serving of flavorful salsa with a bowl of crunchy corn chips? What many of us don't realize is that Mexican food is incredibly diverse and goes beyond the usual crowd favorites we find at popular restaurant chains. In fact, burritos aren't a traditional Mexican food (via Insider). And many Mexicans prefer to eat potato chips instead of corn chips.

As explained in this piece by Matador Network, Mexican cuisine has some hidden gems that aren't spoken about. For instance, fish tacos are a real thing and widely loved in Ensenada and for anyone who loves spice, Guadalajara dares you to sample a feisty pork sandwich. However, it's understandable that not everyone enjoys spicy foods. Luckily, it's untrue that all Mexican food is painful to eat if you're not big on spices. "Many Americans think that all Mexican food is spicy. They are totally wrong though," Santiago Gomez,  executive chef at the restaurant, Tacology, told Insider. "Yes, we have around 64 different kinds of peppers, but Mexican food is full of flavors and the peppers just add more flavor. That doesn't mean all Mexican food is spicy." 

There's more to this cuisine than what meets the eye

If you eat quesadillas in the U.S., you might get the impression that they're only made with wheat-flour tortillas. Corn tortillas are traditionally a staple in Mexican cuisine and used more often than flour to prepare quesadillas in many parts of the country (via Spoon University). Similarly, tacos often use soft corn tortillas rather than hard shells or wheat tortillas. However, wheat-flour tortillas are more common in the northern part of the country, per the New York Times, and the traditional practice of using corn is being threatened by easier-to-make alternatives and fast food. 

Another common myth about Mexican food is that it's usually inexpensive. If it's authentic, it's going to actually cost you. "Everyone associates Mexican food with being 'cheap.' It's not cheap to make from quality ingredients, and therefore, not a cheap food," John Calloway from Black Rooster Taqueria told Insider. He added that real Mexican food is not full of cheese, sauce, or cream. "Nachos and burritos are not traditional Mexican dishes," he stated. According to Tasting Table, some of the most interesting Mexican dishes are tortas, which are traditional hot sandwiches, and sopa de lima, a soup which has ingredients like chicken, corn tortillas, avocados habaneros, and lime.