Food is one of the most important things in every living being’s life. We eat food because we need it to survive, but also to satisfy ourselves with positive feelings we get from eating delicious food. As every cuisine in the world has enticing and appetizing specialties, so do the Spanish and Mexicans. But what exactly makes these two cuisines stand out from the crowd of all other cuisines? Let’s find out.
1. The importance of food
The food we choose to eat makes an impact on many aspects of our life. First of all, it enables us to live, since it’s the third most important factor (after air and water) humans need to survive. It supplies our bodies with nutrients and energy we need to develop and grow, it enables us to be active and healthy and to move, play and think. So the food is relevant both to our physical and mental health as it contains carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fats our bodies require to grow. It also makes us feel happy when we consume food that tastes extraordinarily. A question that has been baffling humans for quite some time is about the right way to eat. What foods belong to the category of healthy foods? What is a balanced diet? And similar questions. We are constantly bombed with information about healthy food through the media (which don’t necessarily need to be true), and then we can’t make the right choice because of the so many options out there.
2. What is food?
Food is essential for promoting health and preventing disease. It is one of the most complex sets of chemicals. As already mentioned, it contains carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fats, which we consume to build nutritional support for our organism. And how is that done? We ingest it and our cells assimilate it to sustain health. The foods we most benefit from are grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables, oils, etc. The terms ‘food’ and ‘nutrition’ are two different terms that people often use inappropriately. Food includes a number of ingredients that are necessary for nutrition. On the other hand, nutrition is a dynamic process in which these ingredients are used to nourish our bodies. When our diet lacks these essential ingredients, we often develop some illnesses or infections.
3. Spanish vs Mexican food
a. The difference between Spanish and Mexican food
People often confuse these two cuisines. Even though there are some similarities, there is also a considerable difference between Spanish and Mexican food. On one hand, Spanish cuisine stems from European cuisine, particularly Mediterranean style which uses seafood in many dishes. This is the main difference between the two cuisines, as Mexicans don’t use seafood so much in preparing their national dishes. Also, in comparison to Mexican food, Spanish food is milder as it uses fewer spices and it relies on the complexity of flavors. Moreover, Spanish food is influenced by different cultures such as the Arabs, Persians, Romans, and Indians. On the other hand, Mexican cuisine is influenced by Spanish cuisine to some extent, but it also bases itself on Mesoamerican cooking. This means it bases itself on land meat like chicken, pork, and beef. Essentially, Mexican food is a lot spicier and stronger than Spanish food.
b. Spanish food
Spanish food is based on locally grown vegetables and fruits as well as meats and poultry. Some of the most popular meats are jamón serrano, a cured ham, and chorizo, a seasoned sausage. Seafood is very popular in the coastal parts of Spain. Other typical Spanish foods include cheese, eggs, beans, rice, nuts, and bread. Spanish national dish is called a paella. It originated in Valencia and it is made of rice, a variety of shellfish such as shrimp, clams, crab, and lobster and chorizo (sausage), vegetables (tomatoes, peas, and asparagus), chicken and/or rabbit. Spaniards are also famous for their tapas, traditional Spanish appetizers. Spanish food is both healthy and tasty and if you wish to impress your guests with food you can order both hearty and delicious tapas gourmet catering to the venue of your choice.
c. Mexican food
Mexican food is based on corn, which is typically found in every meal. Mexicans consume fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, tomatillos (green tomatoes), squash, sweet potato, avocado, mango, pineapple, and papaya. As far as meat is concerned chicken and pork are very common, as well as beef to a lesser extent. They also use a variety of chilies, which gives Mexican food quite the spice. The food is also enhanced with many herbs such as cilantro and thyme, and spices, including cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. Mexicans eat a lot of beans, corn, and peppers.
4. Food and culture
Besides the other things mentioned, food is also an expression of cultural identity. Every culture has its own distinctive way of preparing and preserving food. If we take into account the areas in the world that have been researched to have the happiest and longest lifespan, we can conclude that the food culture is essential. It’s important to know how to experience and value it.
Even though both Spanish and Mexican food are based on many healthy ingredients, their taste is pleasant and interesting and that’s why many people around the world enjoy these two cuisines.