Culinary adventure rooted in authentic Mexican tradition.
Explore one dish from each of Mexico’s culinary regions—Norteño, Bajacaliforniano, Oaxaqueño, Jaliscense, Yucateco, Veracruzano and Poblano—and you’ll only scratch the surface. Local specialties are expanding their international reach as desire for authentic meals grows. Globally, Mexican is considered one of the most appealing cuisine types and is especially popular among younger diners (GlobalData, 2021). Let’s explore how Mexican flavors, ingredients and dishes are making their way onto restaurant menus and retail shelves across the globe.
In the US alone, 71% of diners consumed Mexican cuisine in the past three months (Mintel, 2023). A prime example of this popularity is the growth of quesabirria, a quesadilla-taco popularized in Tijuana that has taken “foodie” culture by storm. The dish is rooted in birria, a classic goat stew from Jalisco, demonstrating the unique evolution authentic dishes can take.
Elements of traditional Mexican dishes can be incorporated into items that consumers are already familiar with to create fusion cuisine. Side dishes, appetizers and desserts are ideal for innovation, as many consumers are willing to be more adventurous with their selections (Restaurant Business, 2022). For example, one London-based restaurant serves up wagyu and chorizo-chile-cheese sliders at lunch, with spicy chocolate mole tacos for dessert. And a burger chain in China made a splash on social media with their cilantro-lime sundae.
On the protein side, Mexican cuisine aligns with a range of meat, seafood and plant-based options. Flavorful heat-and-serve and ready-to-eat options like Mexican sweet chili chicken (braai-style, in South Africa), Mexican tuna salad (in Colombia) and even soy cochinita (as a pork substitute) can be found on retail shelves.
The snack category is full of Mexican-inspired flavor profiles, mostly labeled with names that are descriptive rather than traditional (e.g. “Mexican Street Corn Potato Crisps” versus “Bold Elote Almonds.”) Chiles are common, with jalapeño and habanero found in snacks across many global markets. In China, the application of Mexican flavors is a bit more savory-inspired, as salty snacks combine Mexican seasonings with meat flavors. Examples include Mexican Chicken Nugget Flavored Rice Snacks and Mexican Roasted Meat Flavored Crispy Potato Sticks.
By balancing contrasting textures with spicy, savory and acidic flavors, Mexico has solidified its reputation as one of the world’s most treasured culinary hotspots. Applying these principles to new products and menu items can help you bring a taste of Mexico to a hungry new audience.
Operators are highlighting more nuanced Mexican flavors by serving regionally specific dishes. This approach delivers on consumer desire for exploration of authentic international cuisine.
It’s all about bold and memorable flavor, as sauces and seasoning with Mexican chiles and spices are being paired with a variety of proteins. The popularity of birria has paved the way for other regional Mexican meat-forward dishes to shine.
CPG brands are taking flavor inspiration from Mexican street food, dessert and chiles. Jalapeño and habanero are being leveraged globally in chips, while sweet flavors such as Mexican hot chocolate span multiple categories.
Authenticity Meets Artistry
Chef Martha Sanchez has created a beautiful Tostada ahogada de aguachile de maiz that combines inspiration from traditional pozole and Sinaloa-style aguachile. The dish features a blue corn tostada topped with aguachile-marinated hominy and mashed avocado seasoned with Custom Culinary® Jalapeño Guacamole Style Seasoning. It sits atop a bed of spiralized cucumber and extra aguachile sauce, garnished with an array of colorful toppings.
Create and Innovate
Tacos Al Pastor
Originating in Puebla, Mexico, these flavorful tacos feature marinated, spit-roasted pork slices on grilled corn tortillas, topped with shaved onion, cilantro, pineapple and a drizzle of tomatillo and serrano sauce.
Featuring Custom Culinary® Al Pastor Sauce and Custom Culinary® Tomatillo Serrano Sauce
LOOKING TO SPICE UP YOUR MEXICAN-INSPIRED OFFERINGS?
With such unique cooking styles and iconic dishes across the states of Mexico, there’s truly no shortage of inspiration for product and menu development. Whether you’re looking to create a Oaxacan tlayuda, Yucatán-style cochinita pibil, mole poblano from Puebla, or anything in between, Griffith Foods and Custom Culinary® have you covered. Our seasonings, sauces and coating systems bring this inspiration to life. We also believe in agricultural practices that support our farmers and the planet, which is why we’re committed to increasing the amount of raw materials sourced from sustainably certified farms. It’s all part of our Griffith Sustainably Sourced (GSS) program, which epitomizes our shared value philosophy.
From marinades to spice blends, our unique seasonings enhance flavor, functionality, appearance and aromatics for slow-cooked meats, grilled items, snacks and more.
- Chihuahua Meat Rub (Picadillo)
- Jalisco Cook-in-Bag Seasoning (Birria de Jalisco)
- Veracruz Chile-Lime Snack Seasoning
Sauces and Dressings
Always crafted with a chef-driven approach, our sauces and condiments are richly seasoned with a range of earthy, fruity and smoky chiles for true authentic flavor.
- Ancho Chile Sauce
- Chamoy Sauce/Glaze
- Oaxacan Vegetable and Salad Dressing (Chileajo Oaxaqueño)
Textures and Coatings/Dough Blends
Our value-added coating systems, dough blends and batters are optimized for taste, texture and performance—helping you create fried chiles, tortillas, tamales and more.
- Chiles en Nogada Batter System
- Tortilla Sophisticated Crust Coating System
- Masa Dough Blend
TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL:
Contact your Griffith Foods representative to learn how these exciting, versatile products can enhance your product and menu offerings inspired by the flavors of Mexico.
Chef Tip: “Nothing beats the taste and texture of salsa prepared with a traditional molcajete (mortar) and tejolote (pestle). Be sure to dry roast dried chilies, garlic, onion and tomatoes in a hot pan without additional fat to enhance the depth of their flavors.”
–Chef Mark Serice, Vice President Global Culinary, Griffith Foods
Looking Forward: What’s next for Mexican cuisine, worldwide?
By exploring region-specific dishes, operators and suppliers can provide even more nuanced and authentic culinary experiences to consumers seeking international flavor exploration.
With Mexican dessert flavors (including hot chocolate and dulce de leche) just starting to be leveraged globally, there’s an opportunity to expand their popularity on the same path as savory and spicy flavors.
As chefs combine Mexican ingredients with other international flavors, the fusion creations will celebrate a variety of global cuisines and give consumers unique culinary experiences.
© 2023 Griffith Foods. All rights reserved.
GlobalData, “Consumer Survey Insights: Exploring Cuisine Preferences and Motivating Factors,” December 2021.
“Leverage Trending Global Cuisines to Boost Sales,” Restaurant Business, April 5, 2022.
Mintel, 2023 FlavorIQ® Food and Flavor Outlook Report, January 2023.
Nils Bernstein, “A Guide to the Regional Cuisines of Mexico,” Food Republic, May 4, 2016.
“Trend Insights: Mexican Comfort,” Flavor & The Menu, January 14, 2022.