Mexican cuisine

Mexico is a country known for its vibrant culture and rich history, and one of its most iconic aspects is its cuisine. Mexican food is famous worldwide for its bold and spicy flavors, and is considered by many to be among the best in the world.

Mexican cuisine makes extensive use of fresh ingredients, such as avocados, tomatoes/tomatillos, coriander and limes,, which add a bright and flavorful dimension to many dishes. The basic ingredient is corn, which appears in various forms in almost every dish. Additionally, Mexican cuisine often incorporates indigenous ingredients and cooking techniques, reflecting the country’s diverse cultural heritage.

The Mexican cuisine is a delicious and colorful representation of the country’s culture, history, and traditions. Whether you’re enjoying a simple taco or a complex mole sauce, Mexican food is sure to satisfy your taste buds and leave you wanting more.


Mexican vs. Tex-Mex

The Mexican cuisine is often confused with the Tex-Mex cuisine, which is well-known here in the Netherlands. Yet there is definitely a difference between these two cuisines.

Tex-Mex cuisine is a fusion of Mexican and American cuisine that originated in Texas, while Mexican cuisine refers to the traditional cuisine of Mexico. While the two cuisines share some similarities, there are several key differences between them.

One of the main differences is the use of ingredients. Tex-Mex cuisine often uses ingredients that are not typically found in traditional Mexican cuisine, such as cheddar cheese, ground beef, and wheat flour tortillas. In contrast, Mexican cuisine typically uses ingredients such as fresh vegetables, Tomatillos, beans, corn tortillas, and various types of cheese.

Another difference is the level of spice. Tex-Mex cuisine tends to be spicier than traditional Mexican cuisine, with the use of chili powder, cumin, and other spices. Mexican cuisine, on the other hand, often uses fresh or dried chili peppers and a mix of spices to add flavor.

In terms of dishes, Tex-Mex cuisine includes dishes like chili con carne, fajitas, and nachos, which are not typically found in Mexican cuisine. Mexican cuisine, on the other hand, features dishes like tamales, mole, and chiles rellenos, which are less commonly found in Tex-Mex cuisine.

While the Tex-Mex cuisine shares some similarities with Mexican cuisine, it has its own unique flavors and dishes that differentiate it from traditional Mexican cuisine.

Tomatillo soep Westlandpeppers
Tomatillo soup: a gazpacho soup made from fresh Tomatillos.
Rode VS groene pepers Westlandpeppers
Chili con carne pakket Westlandpeppers

Fresh & dried chili pepers

Chili peppers are a fundamental ingredient in Mexican cuisine, and are used in a wide variety of dishes to add heat and flavor. There are many different types of chili peppers used in Mexican cuisine, each with its own unique taste and level of spiciness. Fresh and dried chili peppers have different flavors and uses in Mexican cuisine.

Fresh chili peppers, such as jalapeños and serranos, have a bright and vibrant flavor with a crisp texture. They are commonly used in salsas, guacamole, and other raw or lightly cooked dishes. Fresh chili peppers can also be grilled or roasted to add smoky flavor to dishes.

Dried chili peppers, on the other hand, have a deeper and more complex flavor profile than fresh chili peppers. They are commonly used to make sauces, such as mole, enchilada sauce, and adobo, which require a deeper and more concentrated flavor. Dried chili peppers can also be ground into a powder and used as a seasoning for meat, poultry, and vegetables. Some of the most commonly used dried chili peppers in Mexican cuisine include ancho, guajillo, pasilla, and chipotle.

Dried peppers often have different names than their fresh counterparts because the drying process changes their flavor and texture, and they are often used in different ways in cooking. So the fresh Jalapeño becomes the smoky, dried Chipotle pepper. And the Poblano is the fresh variant of the Ancho & Mulato. And while the Poblano is often roasted and stuffed with cheese or meat to make chiles rellenos, the dried version is used again to make sauces like mole.


A taco is the most classic and famous dish in Mexican cuisine. It are small folded tortillas filled with various ingredients. And by tortilla, Mexicans do not mean the wheat tortillas you can buy in the supermarket. A real Mexican tortilla is made of corn, not to be confused with corn flour. Corn tortillas are made from nixtamalised corn. This is a process in which raw corn kernels are soaked and boiled in slaked lime and water, then ground with volcanic stones to make a fresh dough.

Tacos come in all shapes and sizes and are prepared differently from region to region. The holy trinity of the taco is: corn tortilla, filling and salsa. Well-known tacos are Al Pastor, Barbacao, Birria, Carnitas & Chicken Mole, but really the possibilities are endless. Experiment with different fillings and salsas!

Bloemkool chipotle tacos Westlandpeppers
Chipotle Cauliflower tacos with a black bean puree.
Tamales with Mole Poblano.


The word Mole comes from ‘mulli’ in Nahuatl (Indigenous language in Mexico), meaning sauce. This is the common name for Mexican sauces, but outside Mexico people almost always mean Mole Poblano. This is a complex sauce that can consist of up to 40 different ingredients, including onion, chili peppers and a lot of different spices. The most surprising ingredients are cinnamon and chocolate. Mole is often considered the national dish of Mexico.


Tamales are steamed dough packets made of corn flour wrapped in corn or banana leaves. The corn leaves are also known as corn husks. It is a traditional dish with a filling of meat, vegetables, cheese or (dried) fruit, often flavoured with chilies. There are around 500 different tamales in Mexico. The word tamalli in Nahuatl (Indigenous language in Mexico) means something like wrapped.


One of the most iconic Mexican drinks is tequila, made from the blue agave plant and usually served pure or in cocktails such as the margarita and paloma. Another popular alcoholic drink is mezcal, which is also made from the agave plant, but has a smokier flavour and is usually drunk pure.

Non-alcoholic drinks are also an important part of Mexican cuisine. Horchata is a refreshing drink based on rice milk, cinnamon and sugar. It is commonly consumed in Mexico, but is actually Spanish. Aguas frescas, or fresh water, is another popular non-alcoholic drink based on fresh fruit and water, often sweetened with sugar.

Jalapeño Margarita: a spicy cocktail made with fresh jalapeño peppers, tequila, triple sec, agave and lime juice.
Xocolatl: a spicy, bitter chocolate drink.


What we know here as chocolate milk is originally from Mexico, where it is called Xocolatl (Aztec chocolate). Xocolatl is a spicy, bitter chocolate drink. It is flavoured with chili, vanilla and cinnamon. This refreshing drink can be drunk hot or cold.

The history of xocolatl goes way back. In the heart of tropical rainforests, the ancient civilisations of the Mayans and Aztecs discovered the cacao tree, from which magical beans were harvested. These beans were carefully fermented, roasted and ground into a paste, which forms the basis of xocolatl. The Mayans believed that the cacao tree itself had divine origins and that its fruit gave immense wisdom to those who consumed it. With the arrival of European explorers in the 15th century, xocolatl encountered new insights. They added sugar and milk, turning the bitter drink into the chocomel we know here in the Netherlands.

Mexican products

Corn husk / leaves Westlandpeppers

Corn Husk / Corn leaf

From  4,13
Dried Chipotle Ahumado Westlandpeppers

Chipotle - dried and smoked

From  4,54
Dried Mulato Westlandpeppers

Dried chile Mulato

From  4,54
Epazote Westlandpeppers

Fresh Epazote

From  2,75
Serrano chilli pepper Westlandpeppers


From  5,05
Taco holder Westlandpeppers

Taco holder - 3 or 4 tacos

Red enchilada salsa Westlandpeppers

Enchilada Sauce Box

Pasilla chilipoeder Westlandpeppers

Pasilla chili powder

From  4,13
Courgettebloemen Westlandpeppers

Zucchini Flower / Courgette Flower - 16 pieces

Smoked Chipotle Rub Westlandpeppers

Smoked Chipotle rub

From  4,36
Canned Tomatillos Westlandpeppers

Canned Tomatillos - 10kg

Mexican seasoning mix Westlandpeppers

Mexican seasoning mix

From  3,62
Jalapeno Westlandpeppers


From  2,29
Hoja Santa Westlandpeppers

Fresh Hoja Santa leaves

Dried Pasilla Oaxaca Westlandpeppers

Dried chile Pasilla de Oaxaca

From  4,54
Dried chile de Arbol Westlandpeppers

Dried chile de Arbol

From  3,90

Delicious recipes from Mexico

Red Enchildada Sauce
A homemade red Enchilada sauce, without tomato but made with Mexican dried peppers. A rich, tasty and spicy salsa for making enchiladas.
Enchiladas Rojas
Vegetarian recipe for Enchiladas Rojas! Corn tortillas filled with sweet potato, topped with a tasty and authentic red enchilada sauce.
Tinga de Pollo Tacos
Tinga de Pollo is a Mexican dish with chicken, tomatoes and Chipotle. With this recipe, you make 12 tacos with this delicious filling.
Salsa Macha
Salsa Macha is a spicy Mexican sauce, which is widely used as a topping for dishes. It is made with different dried chillies, peanuts and oil.
Chipotle Cauliflower Tacos
Vegetarian taco recipe in which the cauliflower is marinated in a smoky and flavoursome sauce of honey, lime juice and Chipotle.
Corn salad / Esquites
A creamy Mexican salad of roasted corn, mayonnaise, feta cheese, spring onion, jalapeño, garlic, lime and Ancho chilli powder.
Mexican Salsa Verde
Mexican Salsa Verde made with roasted tomatillo and jalapeño. Serve the spicy and fresh salsa with tortilla chips, enchiladas and/or tacos.
Tomatillo soup
Fresh Tomatillo soup for 2 persons. Serve the cold soup as a starter for a Mexican evening, lunch or light meal on a hot day.

Cookbook tips

Comida Mexicana

Rosa Cienfuegos


Ixta Belfrage


Tanja Dusy

Mexico: the Cookbook

Margarita Carrillo Arronte

Meat-Free Mexicaans

Thomasina Miers

Mi Cocina​

Rick Martinez

Mexican restaurants

Taqueria Bacalar




Kus van de Cactus




KUA Mexican

The Hague





Taqueria Saludable

The Hague

Alfredo's Taqueria


Coba Taqueria



Knokke-Heist (Belgium)



Must see!

Las crónicas del taco


De Aardappeleters

S1 E9: Taco

Chef's Table BBQ

E4: Rosalia Chay Chuc

A Tale of Two Kitchens


Miljuschka in Mexico

24kitchen / Disney+

Chef's Table

S2: Enrique Olvera
S5: Christina Martínez

La Davina Gula


Street Food Latin America

E3: Oaxaca, Mexico

Somebody Feed Phil

S5: Oaxaca