Mexico is a food basket for american grocery stores. Much of what we find in the Produce Section come from farms in Mexico
Mexico is pretty much THE avocado country. Most of the avocados you eat elsewhere in the world are grown here or California. There are few places where avocados grow year-round, and one place is the Mexican state of Michoacán, where rich volcanic soil, abundant sunshine, and timely rainfall provide an ideal setting for the growth of creamy, tasty avocados. In Michoacán, you can find more than 30,000 avocado orchards that bloom 365 days a year. Fresh Avacado is Always available.
Tomatoes are one of the many native Mexican plants that have become essential ingredients in the cuisine of many countries. Mexico is the 10th largest tomato producer in the world, a strong producer of both red and green tomatos. Tomato producing states like Sinaloa and Baja California are moving from open field production to protected production, green houses and shade houses that use less area but increase yields by protecting against pests and disease. Increasing Tomato production in the states of Michoacán, Jalisco, and Queretaro has been able to deliver fresh tomato for a greater part of the year.
The Tomato seems to have originated in Peru and then spread north where it was viewed as a weed until reaching Mexico where during the Aztec empire, Tomatoes were cultivated and integrated into their cuisine. When the Spaniards arrived, they took tomatoes back to Spain for cultivation where it spread around the world. Now Tomatoes are an integral part of cooking.
The Tomatillo is not a baby Tomato. This plant is a part of the nightshade family bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos originated in Mexico and were cultivated in the pre-Columbian era. A staple of Mexican cuisine, they are eaten raw or cooked in a variety of dishes, particularly salsa verde, stews, soups, salads, curries, stirfries, baking, cooking with meats, marmalade and is also used in desserts.
Jicama or Yam Bean is a root vegetable native to Mexico, It is most frequently served raw and chilled served with lime juice and chili powder. Raw Jicama has a sweet, starchy flavor like apple. Jicama can be cooked for use in soups and stirfries.
Chayote squash is small to medium in size, averaging 6-8 inches in length, and has a pear-like shape with deep linear indentations, folds, or puckers that run vertically along the fruit's skin that meet at its flower end, some varieties have spiky hair. The pale green rind is thin, smooth, firm, and edible but is often discarded because of its tough nature. The creamy white flesh is crisp to starchy and becomes succulent to cottony as it matures, and the central core contains one small, edible seed. Chayote squash is crunchy and very mild with a slightly sweet taste and light notes of cucumber. The Chayote fruit is just one of the edible elements of the plant, and its tendrils, flowers, and roots are also consumed. Chayote is one of the earliest cultivated plants within the New World and has been part of Mexican Cuisine from the beginning.
The nopal cactus (prickly pear cactus) grows extensively throughout Mexico, being especially abundant in the central Mexican arid and semi arid regions. In Mexico there are over 7.5 Million acres of land used to cultivate nopal.
There are approximately one hundred and fourteen known species endemic to Mexico, where the plant is a common ingredient in numerous Mexican cuisine dishes. The nopal pads can be eaten raw or cooked, used in marmalades, soups, stews and salads, as well as being used for traditional medicine or as fodder for animals. Farmed nopales are most often of the species Opuntia ficus-indica or Opuntia matudae although the pads of almost all Opuntia species are edible. The other part of the nopal cactus that is edible is the fruit called “tuna” in Spanish, and the "prickly pear" in English.
Nopales are generally sold fresh in Mexico, cleaned of spines, and sliced to the customer's desire on the spot, they can also be found canned or bottled, and less often dried, especially for export. Cut into slices or diced into cubes, nopales have a light, slightly tart flavor, like green beans, and a crisp, mucilaginous texture. In most recipes, the mucilaginous liquid they contain is included in the cooking. They are at their most tender and juicy in the spring.
Nopales are most commonly used in Mexican cuisine in dishes such as huevos con nopales "eggs with nopal", carne con nopales "meat with nopal", tacos de nopales, in salads with tomato, onion, and queso panela (panela cheese), or simply on their own as a side vegetable. Nopales have also grown to be an important ingredient in New Mexican cuisine and in Tejano culture of Texas.
Capsicum fruits have been a part of human diets since about 7,500 BC, and are one of the oldest cultivated crops in the Americas, as origins of cultivating chili peppers are traced to northeastern Mexico some 6,000 years ago. They were one of the first self-pollinating crops cultivated in Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America. Chile peppers are the foundation of traditional Mexican cooking. Whether it’s sweet, fruity, smoky, earthy or hot, the chili forms the base of every meal here, and has even become part of Mexico’s national identity.
Maize, also known as corn, is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. Most historians believe maize was domesticated in the Tehuacán Valley and Balsas River Valley of south-central Mexico as the center of domestication. The leafy stalk of the plant produces pollen inflorescences and separate ovuliferous inflorescences called ears that yield kernels or seeds, which are fruits.
Maize has become a staple food in many parts of the world, with the total production of maize surpassing that of wheat or rice. Sugar-rich varieties called sweet corn are usually grown for human consumption as kernels, while field corn varieties are used for animal feed, various corn-based human food uses (including grinding into cornmeal or masa, pressing into corn oil, and fermentation and distillation into alcoholic beverages like bourbon whiskey), and as chemical feedstocks. Maize is also used in making ethanol and other biofuels.
Maize is central to Mexican food. Virtually every dish in Mexican cuisine uses maize. In the form of grain or cornmeal, maize is the main ingredient of tortillas, tamales, pozole, atole and all the dishes based on them, like tacos, quesadillas, chilaquiles, enchiladas, tostadas and many more. In Mexico even a fungus of maize, known as huitlacoche is considered a delicacy.
For several decades, since at least the 1950s, Mexico has been the world's largest producer and exporter of limes. The two most popular varieties of limes grown in Mexico are the Mexican or Key lime (Citrus aurantifolia) and the Persian lime (Citrus latifolia, simply called "lime" in the US); the former is of Indo–Malayan origin introduced in Mexico by the Spaniards after the 1520s, while the latter, also called the Tahiti lime, was introduced from US. Persian lime production in Mexico caters specifically to the US market; a substantial increase in production has been attributed to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Lime production in Mexico has also to fill the increase in demand from the United States and Europe.
Mexico has a Demand for Apples that it can not satisfy. Apple trees require a cold winter to induce the trees to send out branches and fruit, Mexico has only a mountain region in the state of Chihuahua that creates a growing zone for apples. The rest of the demand for apples is filled by apples grown in the United States,
Also grown and used as well as exported from Mexico are: onions (white, yellow and red), carrots, bell peppers of all colors, mushrooms, zucchini, cucumber, cabbage, lettuce, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, as well as plantains, radishes and the many varieties of squash. On the fruit front: apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries watermelons, pineapples and pomegranate.