I have been using Mexican seasoning for many years. A lot of people ask me what it is. I tell them it is a mixture of different spices and herbs. I began to wonder why I used Mexican seasoning so much and what the different ingredients were. So, with the help of some friends, here it is:
Chili Powder- This is a spice used primarily in Mexican dishes, although it is also used in other cuisines throughout the world. The powder is made from chili peppers and other spices such as garlic powder, cumin, oregano and salt. The proportions vary depending on the recipe, but most often there can be between five and seven chili peppers for every one tablespoon of salt.*
Mexican Seasoning (A Different Take): A blog about the different ways you can use Mexican seasoning.
Mexican seasoning is a fine choice if you are looking to spice up the food you cook. But who says that this is all that it has to offer? Mexican seasoning can be utilized in other ways as well. There is more than meets the eye when it comes to this flavor enhancer.
If you are interested in knowing more about Mexican seasoning, then continue reading on for some information that will benefit your mind, body and soul when it comes to this wonderful ingredient.
Mexican seasoning is not just sprinkling some paprika and cumin on your food and calling it a day. There are many uses for this wonderful substance which will be discussed in these next few paragraphs. This substance can be used for spiritual healing, increasing mental capacity, and even weight loss!
Most people who buy Mexican seasoning do so thinking that it enhances the flavor of traditional Mexican dishes. It doesn’t. It’s actually a blend of herbs that is used in American-style Mexican food, and it does what is expected of it in those dishes.
You can use it to make an authentic-tasting chicken soup, or homemade refried beans, or even chili con carne, but these are just like recipes that call for ordinary herbs and spices. Using them won’t make the food taste like the equivalent dish made with real Mexican seasonings–for that, you need the real thing.
The problem is, the real thing isn’t sold in stores. The best way to get it is to visit Mexico, where you’ll find fresh epazote (a pungent herb with a taste something like anise), fresh marjoram (the closest thing to oregano in Mexico), and fresh coriander seeds (which is not related to the seeds from which Indian curry powder is made). But if you’re not planning a trip to Mexico anytime soon, your best bet may be your own kitchen garden. The herbs and spices you grow yourself will be fresher than anything you’d find in a store–and by growing your own you
I’ve been using cayenne pepper mixed with salt in a shaker for years, and it was never until recently that I learned it’s not, in fact, “Mexican Seasoning.” It’s chili powder.
So what is Mexican seasoning? And why does it come in a shaker?
Well, according to Wikipedia:
“Traditional [Mexican] seasoning is a blend of ground cumin, garlic powder or granulated garlic, salt, and occasionally dried oregano and black pepper. In the United States it is most commonly found in the form of a pre-mixed spice blend consisting primarily of chili powder (ground chilis), cumin, salt and other spices. Sometimes paprika is added as well.”
I think my version is better than store-bought because I don’t use paprika (I’m not sure what you’d use it for), and also because I add some extra things like onion powder. Plus I make my own chilis at home and grind them up instead of buying already-ground ones from the store. By grinding my own I can add as much or as little cayenne as I want.
I know some people who sprinkle a little cayenne on their food just for the
Mexican seasoning is a mixture of herbs and spices added to most dishes in Mexican cuisine. The particular ingredients vary from region to region, but all mixtures contain ground cumin, garlic, salt and pepper.
The exact ingredients and the proportions used in Mexican seasoning can vary depending on what is available locally. Often, dried chilis are included. Achiote seeds are often used to give the mixture a distinctive red color. Some recipes, especially those from the Caribbean coast of Mexico, include a small amount of sugar or vinegar to balance the flavor.
Seasons and Substitutions
Mexican cooking is also characterized by its use of fresh vegetables. Tomatoes are probably the most important vegetable in Mexican cooking, since they are used as an ingredient in almost every dish. Bell peppers of different colors are an important ingredient in many dishes; spicy jalapenos or mild green peppers may be added for extra flavor or spiciness, respectively. Sweet onions are also often used in Mexican cooking (for example, as a topping for tacos), as well as fresh cilantro leaves (coriander).
Mexican seasonings tend to be milder than those used in other cuisines. This means that more flavorful ingredients such as tomatoes, peppers and onions are
In 2010, the spice giant McCormick launched a new product. It was a simple mixture of chili powder, cumin, and salt, called Mexican Seasoning . They spent over $100 million marketing it to Americans.
Trouble is, the name is wrong: it’s not Mexican seasoning. Mexican cooking uses dozens of different spices; “Mexican seasoning” isn’t a thing.
There are two reasons for this mistake. First, there is no such thing as “Mexican food.” There is Spanish-speaking food from Mexico, and Spanish-speaking food from Spain. But they are not the same thing, and neither are the spices they use.
The second reason this mistake happened is that most Americans don’t know what real Mexican food tastes like. If you have had only Taco Bell or Taco John’s, you may have never tasted authentic Mexican food at all.
McCormick’s version of “Mexican Seasoning” tastes like Taco Bell chili powder and taco sauce. That might sound familiar to you because that’s exactly what it is! McCormick owns both the Taco Bell and Frito-Lay brands; they manufacture the spices they use in their restaurants.*
When I was a kid, my mom used to make homemade tacos. They were always an adventure. Sometimes the flour tortillas were crispy and flaky, sometimes they were bear pit-style leather. Sometimes the refried beans were firmer than the beans, sometimes not. Sometimes the taco shells were crunchy, sometimes soggy and falling apart.
Tacos are a lot of work for the cook. For this reason I’ve never really understood them. If you’re going to go for flavor and texture, why not just make chili? And if you’re going to go for convenience and ease of preparation, why not just make hamburgers?
Or maybe it’s because tacos are a bit of both. They are an attempt to combine convenience with innovation and craftsmanship. The Taco Bell people figured out how to make them with minimal effort, then made them taste good by putting a lot of seasoning on them.
But when tacos are done right — that is, when they’re well-seasoned — they are pretty great.