~ Arroz a la Mexicana ~
• White Rice + Sour Cream Seasoning + Peas and Carrots = Arroz a la Mexicana.
A rice dish is an important part of most Mexican main meals. The story of how rice came to be an important part of nearly every Mexican diet (and, in many cases, of every Mexican main meal) is a long and interesting history, spanning continents and millennia.
The Spaniards first brought rice to Mexico through the port of Veracruz in the 1520’s, the introduction of European elements to the Mexican diet by the Spanish colonial settlers was a landmark occurrence in the culinary history of the world and a fine example of the earliest fusion cooking. Spanish ingredients were successfully combined with those of the New World to create modern Mexican cuisine, an important part of which is rice.
New World tomatoes were commonly used to replace expensive Spanish saffron in everyday rice dishes, and in each region of Mexico rice was prepared along with the most abundant indigenous ingredients. Arroz a la tumbada, combining rice with seafood, became a signature dish of Veracruz and surrounding Gulf coast states, while in Michoacan, where the pork introduced by the Spaniards took a strong hold on the local diet, morisqueta con chorizo became a typical regional dish. However, none of this gastronomic creativity would have been possible without Mexico's weather patterns.
Just as corn was called "the gift of the gods" Aztecs, the same phrase was used for rice in what is now Southeast Asia. In several Asian languages, the word for rice and food is the same, and rice was part of the creation myth of many Asian cultures, as corn was in Mesoamerican creation tales.
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