Apr 26, 2018
Don Quixotes Tour Details

Don Quixotes

Don Quixotes

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Don Quixotes
2164 Sunset Blvd. Ste. 210 Rocklin, California 95765
The history of Mexican food is a long and diverse one. It is believed that authentic Mexican food might have been derived from the Mayan Indians. They were traditionally nomadic hunters and gatherers. Corn tortillas with bean paste were a common food item; but they also ate wild game, tropic fruits, and fish. In the mid 1300's, The Aztec Empire was thriving, and though the Mayan food staples were still in use, chili peppers, honey, salt and chocolate found its way into their cooking. Some of the wild game, such as turkey and duck, had now become domesticated. In 1521 Spain invaded Mexico. Spanish foods had the most influence on the Mexican cuisine. They introduced new livestock, such as sheep, pigs and cows. They brought with them dairy products, and garlic as well as many different herbs, wheat and spices. It was at this time that the Mexican people saw the assimilation of many other cuisines including Caribbean, South American, French, West African and Portuguese. Because of this Mexican foods today are diverse, yet dishes to vary from region to region. Cooking methods, past and present The early natives of Mexico did not have ovens, instead they heated food over and open fire, using cast iron skillets and ceramic ware. Another method was steaming. They would suspend meat wrapped in cactus or banana leaves, over boiling water in a deep pit. Frying was also a popular method. They used a metate y mano, which is a large tool made of lava rock or stone that they would use as a grinding stone or the molcaiete, which was smaller, to grind and smash ingredients. The molcaiete, or mortar and pestle, is a small bowl shaped container that can be made of stone, pottery, hard wood or marble, and the pestle is baseball bat shaped. A Brief History on Some of Our Favorite Foods Salsa was sold in the Aztec market places. Salsa, the Spanish word for sauce, is uncooked and sometimes pureed until chunky, smooth, or chopped. Large red tomatoes, tomatillo, chipotle {a staple in the Aztec diet} and the avocado are found in the modern salsa, and are the same core ingredients used in the past. We can thank the Aztecs for Chocolate. It was through them that the Spaniards brought the product to Europe in 1657. The term enchilada is first referenced in the US in 1885. Yet the concept of tortillas being used as a wrap can be clearly linked to the Aztecs. The word enchilada means "in chile." The tomatillo is a fruit that dates back to at least 800 BC, the word meaning round and plump. The Aztecs domesticated it, and when the Europeans came to Mexico, they documented the local foods and often confused the names by shortening the words. Though never popular with Europeans, it thrived in Italy. Today a relative of the fruit is common in the US. Tomatillo, a member of the night shade family, provides tart flavor in many different green sauces. The Portuguese aided the spread of the chili pepper plants. Thought the earliest mention was in 1542 when a German herbalist, Leonhart Fuchs, described and illustrated several types of peppers. Though for people of Europe, the history of the pepper began in the late 15th century, when Colombus brought the peppers home. There is archaeological evidence that peppers were in use since 5000 BC. Pre-Columbus is how far back the Tamale can be traced. The Friar Bernardino de Sahagun documented that the Spaniards were served tamales by the Aztecs in the 1550's. Other foods that we associate with Mexican cuisine, are not traditionally so. The Flan was discovered in Medieval Europe. And ceviche is an Inca discovery, eating their catch of the day raw with only a few seasonings. It wasn't until the late 15th century when Native American chefs of Ecuador and Peru began to add the citrus fruits with the South American fish, and creating the dish that we know today. Flavors from around the world have influenced Mexican dishes. The same can be said about Mexican traditional favorites affecting other countries menus. In just about every culture you look at, you can find a hint of Mexico. The history of Mexican food ingredients as we know them dates back to 1519 and the arrival of Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes in Mexico, which later resulted in the Conquest of Mexico in 1521. The arrival of Cortes marks a collision of cultures that resulted in the combining of Spanish and Aztec flavors and ingredients that eventually led to the creation of the foods we are familiar with today. Spanish influences on Mexican food ingredients include meats, citrus fruits, garlic, cheese, milk, and wine. Mexican food ingredients that came from the Aztecs include beans, corn, and squash. Through the centuries, Mexican food has continued to evolve as a result of the influences of other countries. These changes include the emergence of Tex-Mex food, which are the blended flavors and styles of Northern Mexico and the Southwest US. Many Americans believe that all Mexican is spicy, however this is not true. Mexican food can be sweet, savory, and spicy as well. Let's take a closer look at the standby ingredients and spices contained in Mexican dishes. Corn, a key Mexican food ingredient, and Aztec influence on Mexican cooking, is perhaps the most important ingredient in Mexican food. Corn was the main ingredient of the Aztec diet. Consequently, the Aztecs were very dependent on a successful corn harvest, and worshiped Cinteátl, the god of corn, and Chicomencáatl, the corn goddess. Today, the chief use of corn in Mexican cooking is in the making of tortillas. Tortillas are the bread of the Mexican kitchen. _____TESTIMONIALS_______ 8, 2008 Love this place. Eat here at least once a week. The staff and owners are super friendly, always smiles when you walk in. I recommend it to everyone. Please support local family businesses!
Last Tour Update: Apr 24, 2013
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