Every Cook Should Discover Mexican Cooking Utensils and Cookware

Published: 04th March 2009
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by KC Kudra

Perhaps you have eaten Mexican food in a top quality Mexican restaurant or even in a Mexican home. If you have, maybe some authentic Mexican cookware or utensils were used to make the dishes. Mexicans use a range of different cooking methods, including baking, slow roasting and deep-frying and they have unique pots and pans for these methods. Mexicans like to use plenty of fresh produce in their cuisine, including spices and herbs, so you will find sharp knives and a mortar and pestle in any Mexican kitchen.

Traditional Mexican Cooking Pots

Ollas or Barros are big, deep clay cooking pots, which are great for simmering soup, stew or beans. Barro means mud or clay and olla means pot. Clay is a good medium because it heats evenly and is fine to sit over a direct flame all day. The even heating means you can avoid burnt spots in whatever you are cooking.

Clay can be sensitive to temperature changes so you need to warm it gently before using it to prevent it from cracking. One excellent reason for cooking in clay pots is that it gives the food a slightly earthy flavor.

A Comal is a big, round griddle, which can be made of cast iron, aluminum, or clay. Modern Comals are usually coated with a non-stick finish. Comals are used to roast chilies and warm tortillas.

Cazuelas are for simmering sauces such as mole. A cazuela is a big, round clay dish, which is about six inches deep. The inside is glazed and the outside is either plain or painted in bright colors. Cazuelas usually have handles so you can put them over an open fire safely.

An authentic Mexican tortilla press is called a tortillero. These used to be made from wood but are often made from cast iron now. Some tortilleros are made from aluminum but these often break. There are two round plates or wooden discs in a tortillero and a ball of masa is placed between them to make a tortilla.

Useful Mexican Utensils

You will find a metate y mano in most Mexican kitchens. This concave dish is the size of a platter and made of stone or rock. It will have three short legs and sit on the table or three long legs so you can sit up to it on a chair. There is a big, round stone, which you roll on the surface to mix together or grind the ingredients.

A molcajete y tejolote is a mortar and pestle, which consists of a small stone, clay, or wooden bowl with an elongated cylinder or the same material, rounded on both ends. The end of the cylinder is used in a circular motion to grind the item in the bowl, to pulverize it.

A molinillo is a wooden whisk, which is spun between your hands in hot chocolate to make it foamy on top. These can be highly ornate or plain. Most typical Mexican food can be made with regular equipment and utensils but using traditional Mexican cooking pots makes the cooking process more enjoyable and authentic and they look great displayed in a Mexican themed kitchen.

About The Author:

Not having authentic Mexican pots, pans and cooking utensils is no excuse not to make Mexican food! If you need some recipe inspiration, there is plenty to choose from at http://www.MexicanFoodRecipes.org and you will also find more articles on Mexican cookery and the fascinating history of Mexican food culture.


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