Diners Expand their Palates for Mexican Cuisine

Move over hum-drum tacos. Americans’ ideas of Mexican food are becoming more nuanced as chefs and product developers bring new-to-you Mexican flavors to adventurous American diners. The Atlantic recently wrote about this trend.

Tracing their history back to South America and well-loved in the US, peanuts are a natural bridge across these cultures. Here’s how they’re featured in a few restaurant dishes and a retail product:
  • Pollo Rostisdao con Pipian at Reposado restaurant in Palo Alto, California features rotisserie chicken with a pumpkin seed sauce with peanuts, red rice and fresh corn tortillas. You can make your own peanut mole at home with this recipe from Chef Fernando Olea of Sazon Mexican Café
  • At Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill, peanuts have been featured in moles and salsas paired with a variety of proteins. Salmon in Peanut Salsa includes chipotle-glazed Loche Etive steelhead salmon, red chile peanut salsa, red chile rice, grilled green beans and crispy onions. Green peanut mole and black mole with peanuts have also been paired with duck and lamb dishes.
  • At PF Changs, traditional corn tortillas are replaced with a crisp slice of popular Latin American produce jicama. The Jicama Street Tacos Kung Pao version includes tender chicken strips tossed in chili sauce with fresno peppers, chopped peanuts and cool cucumbers.
  • In the grocery aisle Mexican ingredients and flavors are appearing in unique ways. Kraft Recipe Makers include an Asian fish tacos kit for a finished product with ginger baking sauce, creamy teriyaki finishing sauce, fish, slaw mix, corn tortillas, panko breadcrumbs and peanuts.
Whether you’re out for a leisurely meal or cooking at home, Mexican-inspired dishes that go beyond burritos are likely to be on the menu.

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