It's highly likely that you've been to a Mexican restaurant at some point within the…
If you’ve ever been to a Mexican restaurant before, chances are high that you’ve had an enchilada in the past. Enchiladas are beloved by many, but understood by few. You may know that you love this particular dish, but not why you love it. What makes enchiladas so much better than the variety of alternatives that they’re up against? Let’s dig into some surprising facts about enchiladas, and attempt to understand the mystique of this particular menu item.
1. Enchiladas Almost Missed America
Obviously, enchiladas did not originate in the United States. The reason why Americans came in contact with this cuisine in the first place is due to the annexation of certain territories in the west. These territories included Texas and California, where Mexican food was already quite popular. The first cookbook in the U.S to feature an enchilada recipe was the Centennial Buckeye Cook Book, published in 1976. This was 36 years after the annexation, which speaks to how long it took for enchiladas to get a foothold in the U.S. The first official reference to enchiladas with that specific term didn’t happen until 1885, though tortillas were used as wraps dating back to the Aztecs.
2. The Enchiladas We Know Aren’t The Originals
Originally, enchiladas were created within the Aztec empire. But the food that the Aztecs ate underwent modifications after the Spanish conquistadors invaded what would become Latin America. The Spanish added meat to the wraps being made by the Aztecs, as well as spicy sauces.
3. They’re Common In Costa Rica
As popular as enchiladas are in the United States and Mexico, they’re perhaps even more popular in Costa Rica. They’ve also taken more unique spins on the recipes, adding in elements like puff pastry and diced potatoes.
4. It’s A Street Food
Although we’re used to eating enchiladas in restaurants, a lot of the best Mexican food is street food. Enchiladas are among them! Next time you have the opportunity, consider trying a street enchilada.
5. The Original Enchiladas Were Simple
While we associate enchiladas with meat and spices, the original recipes were quite simple. They included chicken broth, bell pepper, eggs, and parsley. So if you’re not interested in spices, you can still enjoy enchiladas!
If you love enchiladas, get creative with them. If you haven’t tried one, it’s well past the time!