One of the main reasons for which Mexico is famous around the globe is its food. It is known for being fresh, colorful, hearty and spicy. Here is a list of 5 of Mexico’s typical ingredients for a traditional meal, easy to find and to prepare, try them out!

SALSA: Mexicans cannot live without salsas. Raw or cooked, the salsa becomes the soul of any dish, the main source of flavor and color. The basic ingredients for a traditional salsa are: tomatoes (red or green), cilantro, onion, garlic and any variety of Mexico’s famous chiles.

Here a just a few you will find almost anywhere, to eat with totopos or your main dish: pico de gallo, guacamole, spicy red or green sauce, and why not, mole poblano.

LIME: Lime is more popular than you may think. It is not only essential for margaritas, beer or to accompany a shot of tequila. Mexicans squirt lime juice over basically everything. Tacos, beef, pork, seafood, soups, consome, pozole, pico de gallo, guacamole, vegetables, ceviches, tostadas and fruit; there is no limit. Lime, (in Mexico called limón) is green, acid and juicy, one of the ingredients they can’t live without.

AVOCADO: Mexico is the main exporter of avocado in the World, selling 1.4 million tons of produce per year. Avocado has always been an important ingredient in Mexican gastronomy and has recently been considered a super food increasing its demand around the World. Guacamole is the most popular dish, but it is also an excellent accompaniment to be served with any meal. Here is a quick recipe for a perfect guacamole: 3 avocados (ripe but firm), a finely diced small onion, 2 diced tomatoes, chopped fresh cilantro, salt, lime juice, freshly ground jalapeno. Quick tip: remember to leave an avocado’s stone in the sauce, it will avoid it from going black.

TORTILLAS: Available in various sizes (often 4-inch and 7-inch diameter) prepared with white, yellow, and sometimes red or blue corn. Hand made tortillas are the best, before you eat one, you must smell it, this way your experience will be complete. In the northern states of the country, they prefer flour tortillas. Bear in mind that the hard shell tortillas are not Mexican. Try the authentic ones.

CHILE (HOT PEPPER): These are a must-have, and they’re featured in practically every Mexican dish. With a wide variety to choose from, the most common chiles are: jalapeño, poblano, serrano, habanero, guajillo, and chipotle. While each one has a distinct flavor (hot, smoky, sweet, etc.) they all add a special touch to each dish. The waiters at any restaurant you visit will always warn you, by letting you know which salsas are hot and which are really hot.

These are 5 of Mexico’s typical ingredients for a traditional meal and you can find them all at Ziggy’s!