Fruits: they have been depicted in pre-Hispanic codices and murals; mentioned in Bible stories, chronicles and travel writing; form part of nursery rhymes, folk songs, verses and aphorisms; are the subject of still life painting; are portrayed on tableware and sculptures; are a taste sought after by the rich and the poor; a serve as a kind consideration to the sick and convalescent.
contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and carbohydrates, making them an energy food.
come from superior plant species’ reproductive activity. The fruit is the ovary, transformed and ripened after fertilization.
have been associated with religious rites and ceremonies since ancient times. They were first collected, later domesticated, and over time, cultivated.
have exerted a key role in the human diet. Some researchers argue they were primitive peoples’ nutritional staple, since fruits are typically pithy or pulpy food, rich in water, and are refreshing when consumed raw. Mexico’s variety of readily available fruit is a consequence of the nation’s soil, climate and ecosystem diversity. Its vast offering includes native fruits as well as fruits from other parts of the Americas that came to be domesticated here, and include avocados, apompos
, bonnets, star apples, chokecherries, sapodillas, cherimoya, ciricote
, plums, soursops, guayas, guava, huamuchils, jinicuils, mameyes, nances, pingüicas
, pineapples, pitahayas, pitayas
, hawthorns, timbiriches
, prickly pears, xoconostle
, yellow and white sapotes, and black sapodillas.
additionally cultivates fruits that have been imported from the sixteenth century to the present day. Starting in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, fruits represented the largest commercial exchange between Europe, America and Asia, in trade that included different types of apples, pears, plums, grapes, mangoes, bananas, peaches, melons, watermelons, papayas and apricots, as well as other fruits such as coconuts, quince, pomegranate, figs, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, blueberries, loquats and, finally, citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, citrons, lemons and tangerines. All of them found a home on Mexican soil, and all found a welcome place in native cooking technique. The arrival of sugar cane, spices, wheat, milk and dairy products, coupled with new production techniques, complemented and increased the both endemic and imported fruit consumption.
even has what are known as frutas de horno
—“baked fruits”—cookies made from corn flour or cornmeal, lard, and brown or cane sugar.
fruit-eating customs vary according to methods of preparation and preservation (which in many cases implies the application of heat). Other uses include fruits used as offerings on Day of the Dead, as well as those fruits tucked into Christmastime piñatas.
fresh fruit, thin-skinned or in cases where peeling is not necessary, is eaten in bites or wedges. Many other fruits are peeled and seeded, sliced or cubed. They likewise come together in picos de gallo
, fruit cocktails and salads, are used as stuffing or a stuffing ingredient. Fruits are also present in various sweet and savory recipes, served hot or cold, and are the decorative detail on innumerable desserts and even savory dishes.
fruit pulp, Mexicans prepare atoles
, tamales, fresh beverages, sorbets, popsicles, smoothies and dulces de platón
. Fruit juices become fresh beverages, sorbets, popsicles, and sweet, salty, spicy, hot or cold salsas. A number of fruit juices have led to industrially developed concentrates, candy, pie fillings, ice cream, jellies and medicinal syrups.
are preserved when dehydrated, whole or portioned, or can even be chilied with ground chile powder. They are preserved in sweet syrup to be packaged manually or industrially, or become sugared fruits, jams, jellies and ate
there are seasonal punches, as well as fresh and/or dried fruit drinks, sweetened and perfumed with spices; fruits become the base for low-alcohol fermented beverages, or, as is the case with curados
, they sweeten fermented pulque
. Not least of all there are fruit liqueurs that feature a higher alcoholic content.