El Pistolero Mexican restaurant

Food Photography El Pistolero Mexican Restaurant

UberEats Professional Food Photography – El Pistolero

El Pistolero is a Mexican restaurant in the east of Pretoria.

They strive to present you with authentic Mexican food and flavours combined with excellent service.

History of Mexican cuisine

Mexican cuisine began about 9000 years ago, when agricultural communities such as the Maya formed. They domesticated maize, creating the standard process of corn nixtamalization, and establishing their foodways. Successive waves of other Mesoamerican groups brought with them their own cooking methods. These included the Olmec, Teotihuacanos, Toltec, Huastec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Otomi, Purépecha, Totonac, Mazatec, and Mazahua.

Infused by a multi-ethnic society

The Mexica establishment of the Aztec Empire created a multi-ethnic society where many different food ways became infused. The staples are native foods, such as corn (maize), beans, squash, amaranth, chia, avocados, tomatoes, tomatillos, cacao, vanilla, agave, turkey, spirulina, sweet potato, cactus, and chili pepper.

European influence

After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in the 16th century, Europeans introduced a number of other foods, the most important of which were meats from domesticated animals (beef, pork, chicken, goat, and sheep), dairy products (especially cheese and milk), and rice. While the Spanish initially tried to impose their own diet on the country, this was not possible.

Asian and African influences

Asian and African influences were also introduced into the indigenous cuisine during this era as a result of African slavery in New Spain and the Manila-Acapulco Galleons.

Regional cuisines based on local conditions

Over the centuries, this resulted in regional cuisines based on local conditions, such as those in Oaxaca, Veracruz and the Yucatán Peninsula. Mexican cuisine is an important aspect of the culture, social structure and popular traditions of Mexico. The most important example of this connection is the use of mole for special occasions and holidays, particularly in the South and Central regions of the country. For this reason and others, traditional Mexican cuisine was inscribed in 2010 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

A complex cuisine

Mexican cuisine is as complex as other ancient cuisines, such as those of India, China and Japan, with techniques and skills developed over thousands of years of history.  It is created mostly with ingredients native to Mexico, as well as those brought over by the Spanish conquistadors, with some new influences since then.  

Mexican cuisine has been influenced by its proximity to the US-Mexican border. For example, burritos were thought to have been invented for easier transportation of beans by wrapping them in tortillas for field labour. Modifications like these brought Mexican cuisine to the United States, where states like Arizona further adapted burritos by deep frying them, creating the modern chimichanga.

Staples and native ingredients

In addition to staples, such as corn and chile peppers, native ingredients include tomatoes, squashes, avocados, cocoa and vanilla, as well as ingredients not generally used in other cuisines, such as edible flowers, vegetables like huauzontle and papaloquelite, or small criollo avocados, whose skin is edible.

Vegetables play an important role in Mexican cuisine. Common vegetables include zucchini, cauliflower, corn, potatoes, spinach, Swiss chard, mushrooms, jitomate (red tomato), green tomato, etc. Other traditional vegetable ingredients include Chili pepper, huitlacoche (corn fungus), huauzontle, and nopal (cactus pads) to name a few.

European contributions include pork, chicken, beef, cheese, herbs and spices, as well as some fruits.

Tropical fruits, many of which are indigenous to Mexico and the Americas, such as guava, prickly pear, sapote, mangoes, bananas, pineapple and cherimoya (custard apple) are popular, especially in the center and south of the country.