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Mexican Cuisine Declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO

Do you know anybody who does not know what enchiladas are? Or someone who has never had tacos or any other type of Mexican food? Mexican cuisine is well known for its variety of flavors and colors, and for its combination of different spices and unique ingredients. Traditional Mexican food is based on corn, beans and different types of chili peppers.

Chilaquiles. Image by Laura Taylor, Flickr user bookgrl used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license

National Relevance

Journalist Tatiana Gutierrez, from the Mexican publication elsemanario.com.mx, describes how food played an essential role in Mexico's bicentennial celebration:

Vamos a cerrar con broche de oro este periodo de sugerencias a realizar durante las celebridades bicentenarias, ¿cómo?, con lo más preciado que tiene México: su gastronomía.

We will close this period of suggestions for the bicentennial celebrations on a high note, how? With the most precious thing Mexico has: its gastronomy

Mexican food in the country is very diverse. You can find big differences in each state and province, from North to South, from the hot climate regions to the coasts, and from the mountains to the arid areas. There is a great variety of cultures and communities within the country; this is why the food from each region has different textures, flavors and scents.

David Emery, in his article “Top 10 Most tasty cuisines in the world”, writes about the international diversity that makes up what Mexican food is today:

Known for its varied flavors and spices, Mexican Cuisine is a result of the Spanish conquistadores’ interaction with the Aztec culture. Most of the Mexican food we eat today is a delicious combination of ancient traditions, Aztec, Mayan and Spanish. The French also had their part in the story, adding baked goods such as sweet breads and the bolillo.

Shrimp tostadas with avocado. Image by Matt Saunder, Flickr user mttsndrs, used under an Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic Creaative Commons license

Twitter users often tweet about the relevance of Mexican food in their lives. Mayela Gonzalez (@mayelagonzalez), a  Mexican user from Monterrey, tweeted a few days ago:

comí mole =) que delicia!!! #MexicanFood

I ate mole [meat with a sauce made with chocolate, chili peppers and other spices] =) So delicious!!! #MexicanFood

User Isaaco @Isaacloco, also located in Mexico, wrote:

y para ke se les antoje.. comeré unas ricas #enchiladas verdes!!!! hayy ke sabrosas!! =)

and so that you will want to have some…today I will eat some delicious green #enchiladas!!! Ohh so tasty!! =)

International Relevance

But Mexican food does not only stay in the Mexican palate; Twitter users from other countries also talk about Mexican cuisine:

Chris Gonzales (@Chris1356J) from Albuquerque, US, said:

#tacos are the best food

And Texan citizen Jessica Clemmons (@JessicaClemmons) stated:

Nope sorry #Arizona… Your #Mexicanfood has NOTHING on ours in #Texas!. Nice try though.

American-born blogger Cristina Potters has eaten in 28 of Mexico's 31 states and in Mexico City. In her blog Mexico Cooks! she writes about everything from typical and local Mexican food to the culture that surrounds it. She also rates restaurants around the country and even writes some recipes. Potters has been living in Mexico for about 30 years of her life, and she likes to describe the purpose of her blog as:

Vegetarian Chiles en Nogada. Image by Madeleine Ball, Flickr user madprime, used under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license

Mexico's cuisine recently won the honor of being declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers, wrote on his blog Mexico Unmasked:

A little over a month ago, a Mexican official announced that the nation’s cuisine has finally attained status by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The official announcement comes in early November in Nairobi, Kenya. But in short, the incredible variety of Mexican food is finally receiving its due. No other nation’s food has been given this honor.

Now, get this: France has been rejected twice! The last time France applied, in 2008, President Nicolas Sarkozy declared that, said, “We have the best gastronomy in the world — at least from our point of view. We want it to be recognized among world heritage.”

Well, France must now play catch-up with Mexico, amigos.

Full of delicious contrasts, diverse in flavors and unique in its own olfactory sensations, this cuisine is a must, even for the most discerning palates around the world.

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