Mexican Food Names Glossary

 

Mexican Food Names Glossary – Aceituna to Zanahoria

List Of Mexican Food – Alphabetically

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z

Glossary -A-

Aceituna - Olive

Aceituna

Aceituna or olive in English, is a species of a small fruit from a tree in the Oleaceae family, commonly found in the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Basin and southern Europe, western Asia and northern Africa. Read More…

Acitron

Acitrón

Candied cactus fruit, Acitrón is made with the leaf of a cactus called biznaga,  To produce acitrón, the leaves are taken off the outer skin combined with the thorns, dried out in the sun and lastly simmered in a syrup made out of water and sugar or honey, then left to dried out again. Read More…

Achiote Seeds

Achiote

Achiote (Bixa orellana) is a bush or small tree originating from the tropical region of the Americas.  It’s best known as the source of the natural coloring annatto, made out of the fruit. The plant bears pink flowers and bright red spiny fruits that have red seeds. Read More…

Achiote Paste

Achiote Paste

Achiote paste is a Yucatán and Oaxacan dishes, is made of the somewhat bitter, natural flavored, red annatto seeds, combined with lime juice or vinegar and other spices and ground into a paste. Achiote paste has a distinct color and is a mainstay of the Mexican home. Read More…

Adobo Chicken

Adobo

A spicy paste used while cooking meats, poultry and fish or storing chipotles, Adobo is a Spanish marinade, sauce or seasoning. It is comprised variously of paprika, oregano, salt – Read More…         Adobo Recipes

Aguacate

Aguacate

Aguacate or avocado (Persea americana) is a tree native to Central Mexico, avocados are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates around the world. They have a dark green skin, and pear shaped body that ripens after harvesting. Read More…

aguamiel in agaveAguamiel

Aguamiel is the sap of the Mexican maguey plant which is believed to have therapeutic qualities. Sometimes named honeywater it has been for hundreds and maybe thousands of years in Mexico as a medicine. It is also fermented to be enjoyed as a beverage. Read More…

carnes ahumado - Mexican

Ahumado

Ahumado means Smoked in English. Ahumado or ahumar (to smoke) is a way of flavoring, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to smoke from smoldering wood or plants. Meats and fish are the most often smoked foods, hard cheeses, vegetables… Read More…

Angulas - eel - Mexican Food Names

Angulas

Angulas is Spanish for young European eels, or “elver” eels. When these small eels get to the fish markets they are around 2-3 years old, and only 3 inches (8cm) long with the thickness of a string of spaghetti. Read More…                         Angulas Recipes…

What is Anis EstrelladoAnis Estrellado

Anis estrellado or Star anise is a star shaped spice from Southeast Asia with a smoky, licorice like flavor.  Anise estrellado is the fruit of a small oriental tree. It is star shaped as the name suggests, and has between five to ten pointed sections, eight on average. Read More…

anona-custard apple-sugar appleAnona

Sugar apple – an oval fruit covered with light green knobby protuberances. Annona squamosa a compact tree or shrub that produces edible fruits known as sugar-apple or custard apple, that comes from the genus Annona, Annonaceae family. Read More…

garlic - ajo - Mexican Food NamesAjo

Ajo (Garlic in English) has been used as both food and medicine in many cultures for centuries. In early 18th-century France, gravediggers drank crushed ajo in wine believing it could protect them from the plague that killed many people in Europe. Read More…

Albaricoque - Apricot - Mexican Food NamesAlbaricoque

The Albaricoque or Apricot, Prunus armeniaca, is a species of Prunus, classified together with the plum in the subgenus Prunus. The Albaricoque native range is uncertain because extensive prehistoric cultivation. Read More…

alambre-anticucho

Alambre

The skewer used in anticuchos

Albondigas-meatballs

Albóndiga

Meatball (does not need to actually be meat)

albahaca-basilAlbahaca

Basil

almeja-clamsAlmejas

Clams

almendras-almondsAlmendra

Almond

almibarAlmíbar

Syrup

Anaheim PepperAnaheim Pepper

Used in mild dishes as a seasoning

AnchoAncho

Dried poblano chile

Annatto OilAnnatto Oil

This hard, rectangular, rust colored seed has a tangy, earthy, almost iodine-like flavor. It’s sold in paste form in some regions however most use the seeds

Anticuchos-Picantes-Mexican-Food-NamesAnticuchos

Spicy beef kabobs - Anticuchos are a common South America food, particularly in Peru. Traditionally anticuchos are made with beef heart, but are also made with chicken. Read More…

apio-celeryApio

Celery

beef-arrachera-slicedArracheras

Skirt steak

arroz-riceArroz

Rice

AsadoAsado

Broiled

Asadero-oaxacacheeseAsadero

A soft, mild cheese

AtoleAtole

A thick beverage made form corn or rice

atun-tunaAtún

Tuna

Azafrán - SaffronAzafrán

Saffron

What is AZUCARAzucar

Sugar

 

Back to Top…

Glossary – B -

Bacalao-dried fish

Bacalao

Dried fish

Barbacoa-Grilled meatBarbacoa

meat (usually cow’s head) baked in an earthen pit

batata-sweet potatoBatata

Latin American sweet potatoes

Bizcochos- Sponge cakeBizcochos

Cookies or sweet buns, generally flavored with anise

Bocadillo-SandwichBocadillo

Snack

Bolillo-Bread

Bolillo

Crusty rolls stuffed for sandwiches

Bonito-Potato Bonito

Latin American sweet potatoes

borrego-lamb Borrego

Sheep

Brocheta-brochette Brocheta

The skewer used in anticuchos

bunuelos-doughnut Bunuelos

Thick tortilla like wheat bread fried and served with ice cream or sugar as a dessert

Burrito-small donkey Burrito

Almost anything rolled in a large tortilla

 

Back to Top…

Glossary – C -

Cabrito-goatling Cabrito

Young goat

Calabaza-pumpkin Calabaza

Calabaza or Pumpkin in english is round, hard shelled, thick fleshed winter squash. It’s similar in texture and flavor to butternut squash   Calabaza Recipes

Calamar-grilled-squidCalamar

Squid

Caldo-soupCaldo
Soup, broth

Camarón-ShrimpCamarón
Shrimp

 

Campechano-Seafood cocktailCampechano
Seafood cocktail

Canela-CinnamonCanela
Cinnamon

Capirotada- puddingCapirotada
A dessert pudding served in the Easter season

Caramelo-CaramelCaramelo
Caramel

Carne-BeefCarne
Beef

Carne asada-broiled beefCarne asada
Broiled beef

Carne Guisada-beef stewCarne Guisada
A beef stew served over rice or tortillas


Carne Molida-Ground Beef
Carne dMolia

Ground Beef

Cayenne-PepperCayenne
Pepper used in many hot sauces

Cerveza-thin tortilla
Cerveza-thin tortilla
A thin tortilla molded into a shallow bowl and deep fried before being filled

Cerveza-BeerCerveza
Beer

Caviche-Raw seafood Caviche (Cebiche)
Raw seafood cooked by marinating in citrus juice

ChimichangaChimichanga

Deep fried burrito

Chalupas-thick, filled, boat shaped tortillasChalupas
Thick, filled, boat shaped tortillas

champurrado-Chocolate atoleChampurrado
Chocolate atole

CHICHARO-PeaChícharo
Pea

Chicharrónes-Fried pork rindsChicharrónes
Fried pork rinds

Chilatole-Chile and tomato atoleChilatole
Chile and tomato atole

Churros-deep fried pastryChurros
Strips of deep fried pastry sprinkled with sugar

Chorizo-Spicy pork sausageChorizo
Spicy pork sausage

Cilantro-herbCilantro
A popular herb that has a citrus or soapy taste depending on our taste

Cocina-KitchenCocina
Kitchen

Comal-griddleComal
The round griddle used to cook tortillas

CominoComino
Cumin

CorianderCoriander
Seeds of cilantro. Used alone or ground as cumin

Costeño Chili Costeño Chili

There are many types of the costeño chiles: the costeño guajillo, the costeño amarillo chile and costeño rojo chile. Costeño chile is related to guajillo chile which is also referred to as the chile bandeno. This kind has an orange color and a thin flesh along with a low heat. Read More…

cotija-hard cheeseCotija
A hard cheese also known as queso añejo

Cumin-Ground corianderCumin
Ground coriander

 

Back to Top…

Glossary – D -

Durazno-peachDurazno
Peach


Back to Top…

 

Glossary – E -


Empanada-small pieEmpanada
Fruit filled turnover

Enchiladas-flat round bread Enchiladas
Corn tortillas are cooked in oil, dipped in sauce, filled and baked with more sauce

EnfrijoladasEnfrijoladas
Corn tortillas filled and folded in half – topped with thinned frijoles before baking

Envueltos-Fried tacosEnvueltos
Fried tacos

Escabeche-marinade Escabeche
Pickling mixture

 

Back to Top…

Glossary -F-


Fideos-PastaFideos
Pasta, generally angelhair

Flan-sweet custard with a caramel topping Flan
A baked custard dessert topped with caramel

Flauta-stuffed corn tortillasFlauta
Deep fried, stuffed corn tortillas

FresadillaFresadilla
Tomatillo

Fresas-StrawberriesFresas
Strawberries

Frijoles-BeansFrijoles
Beans

Frijoles Refritos-Refried BeansFrijoles Refritos
Refried beans

 

Back to Top…

Glossary -G-

Granada-PomegranateGranada
Pomegranate

Granadilla-Lime Granadilla
Round, lime size fruit has bright orange, highly perfumed, bracingly tart flesh. Also called passion fruit, parcha and maracuya

Gorditas- thick tortillaGorditas
A thick tortilla, deep fried and stuffed in the air pocket similar to pita bread

guacamole-mashed avocadoGuacamole
A mashed avocado condiment often served as a dip

Guajillo Chile

Guajillo Chiles

Guajillo chilli or chile guajillo in Spanish, is a variety of chili pepper from the species Capsicum annuum, made by drying out the Mirasol Chile –  Read More…                                   Guajillo Chile Recipes

Guascas-herbGuascas
The herb is rarely seen in North America, however the Colombians residing in the US substitute canned asparagus or frozen or fresh.

GuavaGuava
Small green or yellow egg shaped tropical fruit, when ripe, resembles taste of peaches.

Mexican Food NamesMexican Food NamesGuisado
Stewed

 

Back to Top…

Glossary -H-

Habenero-Hottest pepperHabenero
Hottest pepper available

Hervir-boilHervir
Boil

Horchata-tiger nut milk Horchata
A sweet rice drink

Hornear-bakeHornear
Bake

Huevos-eggHuevos
Eggs

Huicoy-squashHuicoy
A round, hard shelled, thick fleshed winter squash. It’s similar in texture and flavor to butternut squash

 

Back to Top…


Glossary -I-


Glossary -J-


Jalapeño-PeppersJalapeño
America’s most popular pepper

Jicama-turnipJicama
Crisp, tan skinned white fleshed, turnip shaped root in the bean family. This is used in salsas as well as green salads

Jugo-juiceJugo
Juice

 

Back to Top…


Glossary -K-


Glossary -L-

Langosta-lobsterLangosta
Lobster

Leche-milkLeche
Milk

Leche de Enco-coconut mikLeche de Enco
Coconut milk

Leche Quemada-milk candyLeche Quemada
Burnt milk candy

Lechuga-LettuceLechuga
Lettuce

 

Back to Top…

Glossary – M -

Maiz-cornMaíz
Dried corn

Malanga-sweet potatoMalanga
Root looks like a gnarled, brown skinned carrot. The flesh can be pink, yellow or cream colored. The flavor is suggestive of potatoes and beans

Mamey SapoteMamey Sapote
Looks like an elongated coconut.

Manioc-CassavaManioc
Yucca

MangoMango
Tropical fruit, orange flesh

Manteca-butterManteca
Lard

Maracuya-passion fruit Maracuya
Round, lime size fruit has bright orange, highly perfumed, bracingly tart flesh. Also called granadilla, parcha and passion fruit

Margarita-cocktailMargarita
A tequila based cocktail generally made with citrus and triple sec

Mariquita CutterMariquita Cutter
Slotted board with a super sharp blade is used for cutting plantains, yuccas, and other root vegetables

Masa-dougMasa
Dough

Masa Harina-Ground flour
Masa Harina
Masa processed with lime. An easy mix for tortillas and tamales

 

Back to Top…

Glossary -N-

Names-sweet potato Names
Yams

Nogada-sauceNogada
Sauce made from ground nuts

Naranja Agria-bitter orangeNaranja Agria
sour orange is a member of the citrus family that looks like an orange

Nopal-CactusNopal
Edible cactus

NuMex Big Jim Pepper -pepperNuMex Big Jim Pepper
Largest chile, created from the New Mexican Chile in 1975

 

Back to Top…

Glossary -O-

Ostión-big oyster Ostión
Oyster

 

Back to Top…

Glossary -P-

Pan Dulce-Sweet BreadPan Dulce
Sweet rolls

Panela-brown sugarPanela
A crumbly cheese

Pasilla PepperPasilla Pepper
Name means “little raisin”

Passion FruitPassion Fruit
Round, lime size fruit has bright orange, highly perfumed, bracingly tart flesh. Also called granadilla, parcha and maracuya

ParchaParcha
Round, lime size fruit has bright orange, highly perfumed, bracingly tart flesh. Also called granadilla, passion fruit and maracuya

red-snapper-pargoPargo

Red Snapper - Red Snapper is a common plate in Mexico. The red snapper, L. campechanus, is found in the Gulf of Mexico and the southeastern Atlantic coast of the United States. Read More…          Red Snapper Recipes

Parrilla-grillParrilla
Cast-iron grid or grate is used for grilling or making tortillas

Pepitas-Pumpkin seedsPepitas
Pumpkin seeds

Pescado-fish Pescado
Fish

Peter Pepper-Rare ornamental pepperPeter Pepper
Rare ornamental pepper

Pica de Gallo-processed salsaPica de Gallo
Minced or processed salsa

Picada Gordita Piloncillo-dark brown sugarPicada Gordita Piloncillo
Pressed, unrefined dark brown sugar

Piña-PineapplePiña
Pineapple

piñon-pine kernelPiñon
Pine nut

Piquin-Chile pepperPiquin
Chile pepper often used to flavor vinegars

Plantain-fried bananaPlantain
Plantains are closely related to bananas, but have more starch and are
Always cooked. Green ones are unripe and are baked like potatoes, for a
Similar period of time. Yellow ones are half-ripe and are also cooked like
Potatoes but not so long. Black ones are ripe and are peeled, sliced, and
Fried in butter/oil for a few minutes, until golden. They are creamy and
Vaguely reminiscent of bananas.

Poblano-chilePoblano
Popular chile for chile rellenos

Pollo-chickenPollo
Chicken

Postre-dessertPostre
Dessert

Puerco-PorkPuerco
Pork

Pulpo-octopusPulpo
Octopus

 

Back to Top…

Glossary -Q-

QuesadillasQuesadillas
Tortillas stuffed with various ingredients (cheese one) and folded in half. They can be fried, baked, sautéed or grilled until cheese melts forming a seal

Queso-cheeseQueso
Cheese

Queso Añejo-Aged cheeseQueso Añejo
A hard cheese also known as cotija

quesofresco-Fresh CheeseQueso Fresco
Homemade or very fresh cheese

quinoaQuinoa
Tiny, round, ivory colored grain, originated in the Andes Mts. When cooked it swells to four times its size and looks like a tiny disk with a C-shaped tail

 

Back to Top…

Glossary -R-

Rajas

Rajas
Fried poblano slices
rallar-grate
Rallar
Grate

Recado Rojo
Recado Rojo
Recado rojo or achiote paste is a popular blend of spices from Mexico. Originally a Mayan blend. It is firmly linked to the Mexican Yucatan and Belizean cuisine.

Relleno
Relleno
Filled

Rocotillo-Chili
Rocotillo
This chile looks like a miniature patty pan squash. Orange, yellow, or pale green, it’s no larger than the tip of your thumb. It’s highly fragrant and aromatic

 

Back to Top…

Glossary-S-

Salsa-sauce
Salsa
A popular tomato based condiment

Salsa Cruda-Raw Sauce
Salsa Cruda
Uncooked salsa

salsa-fresca
Salsa Fresca
Uncooked Salsa

Sangrita-Cocktail
Sangrita
Cocktail made of orange juice, grenadine, chile and tomato juice served on the side of tequila

Sapodilla
Sapodilla
Round or exhaled fruit with a thin, dusky brown skin and off-white flesh, sapodilla tastes like a pear soaked in maple syrup

seca-dry
Seca
Dry

Serrano-pepper
Serrano
Peppers – come ready to eat in red and green

Sofrito-stir-fry
Sofrito
The cornerstone of countless Latino dishes, including soups, stews, rices, beans

Sopa-soup
Sopa
Soup

Sopa Seca-Dry Soup
Sopa Seca
Rice or pasta dish

 

Back to Top…


Glossary -T-

taco
Taco
Soft tortillas wrapped around almost anything with no seal on either end

tacos-al-pastor
Tacos al Pastor
Pork tacos

Tamal
Tamal
Singular of tamales

tamales
Tamales
Your choice of filling surrounded by masa and steamed. A traditional meal of celebration

Taquitos-taco
Taquitos
Small flautas

Tejolote-pestle
Tejolote
Pestle

Tequila
Tequila
Liquor from the blue agave cactus

Tlacoyos
Tlacoyos
Tortilla dough encloses a simple filling and is grilled on a comal

tomatillo
Tomatillo
Looks like a small tomato with a husk. Used in green sauces

Torta-wheatbiscuit
Torta
A sandwich served on a bolillo


tortilla-flour
Tortilla
A flat Mexican bread made of cornmeal or flour.

Tripas-tripe
Tripas
intestines

 

Back to Top…

Glossary -U-


uva-grapes
Uva
Grape

Uva Pasa-raisin
Uva Pasa
Raisin

Glossary -V-

Vanilla-Beans
Vains de Vanilla
Vanilla bean

Vino-wine
Vino
Wine

 

Back to Top…

 Glossary -W-


Glossary -X-

Xnipec-Chile Sauce
Xnipec
A type of chile sauce

Glossary -Y-

yautiatuberYautia
Root looks like a gnarled, brown skinned carrot. The flesh can be pink, yellow or cream colored. The flavor is suggestive of potatoes and beans

 

Back to Top…

Glossary -Z-

Zacahuil
Zacahuil
The largest tamal – eaten in the East Coast of Mexico

Zanahoria-carrot
Zanahoria
Carrot

Back to Top…