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A Quick Guide to Mexican Cuisine

Buñuelo A thin fried pastry finished with a sweet topping.
Burrito A large flour tortilla filled with meat, cheese, or beans.
Burrito Suizo A burrito with melted cheese or a cheese sauce on top.
Caliente Hot. (Food or plates but NOT people!)
Camaron Shrimp
Carne Asada Pieces of thin-cut beef that is grilled. Literally, "roasted meat."
Carnita A dish made with small pieces of pork.
Cemitas Poblanas The cemita has a distinctive sweet, egg-rich roll topped with milanese of chicken or milanese of beef, ham or pork leg. Special Mexican cheese, quesillo, onions and jalapeños chiles or chipolte chiles.
Chalupa Similar to hard tacos, the shell of a chalupa is made out of masa dough and then deep fried before the filling is added.
Charro Beans Simmered pinto beans with a bacon flavoring, mixed with onions and tomatoes. Charros are Mexican cowboys.
Chile Con Queso A melted cheese dip flavored with mild green chilies.
Chile Relleno Cheese-stuffed mild green chilies, battered and fried until the outside is crisp and the cheese inside is melted. Literally, "stuffed peppers."
Chimichanga A burrito that is sealed closed and fried till crisp.
Chipotle Chipotle peppers are jalapeno peppers that have been smoked. If a dish says it includes chipotle peppers, expect it to have some of that smokiness throughout.
Chorizo A Mexican sausage made with ground pork and spicy seasonings.
Churro A fritter typically made from choux dough that's pushed into long, ridged shapes before being deep fried and rolled in sugar.
Decebrada Shredded meat, usually beef.
Enchilada A rolled up tortilla with filling (which can include meat, beans, and vegetables) and covered in a chili pepper sauce.
Ensalada A salad.
Fajita Meat brought to the table on a metal platter, sizzling loudly, with tortillas and condiments served on the side.
Flan A rich custard dessert with a layer of soft caramel on top.
Flauta A small corn tortilla that has been stuffed with meat or beans, then sealed and deep-fried until crisp. Literally, "flute".
Guacamole A dish made from mashed avacado and lime or lemon juice, with onions, chilies, and seasonings added. Often used as a condiment in Mexican dishes.
Huarache An oval masa tortilla that's fried and topped with some combination of protein, potato, salsa, onion, and fresco cheese.
Jalapeño A medium-hot green chili pepper.
Masa Dough made from dried corn.
Molé This popular sauce with dark color and lots of spices, with chocolate as one of the ingredients but not necessarily very sweet.
Pico de Gallo An uncooked tomato, onion, and chili relish. Literally, "beak of the rooster."
Poblano A large mild green chile. Poblanos originated in the Mexican state of Puebla.
Pollo Chicken
Quesadilla A flour tortilla filled with meat and cheese, folded in half, and toasted.
Queso Cheese
Suizo A creamy white sauce. Literally, "Swiss."
Taco A smaller tortillas than burritos (either hard shell or soft, usually corn-based) and can come with a variety of fillings, usually including some kind of meat, cheese, salsa, vegetables, and sour cream.
Tamale A spiced meat mixture that's covered completely with a cornmeal dough and steamed in a corn husk.
Tortilla A thin, round unleavened bread made of either corn flour or wheat flour and baked on a griddle.
Tostada A toasted tortilla topped with meats, beans, or cheeses.

Mexican Food near meClick Here for a printable menu.

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