International cuisine is as intrinsic to the melting pot of American culture as democracy, capitalism, and a personal space bubble that extends a minimum distance of four feet on all sides. 

The recent pandemic has done nothing to dampen our desire for novel cuisine. If anything, we’ve become much more interested in culinary adventure over the last couple of years. 

As a result, food trends have changed dramatically, with diners clamoring for new twists on favorite recipes and new flavors of international cuisine. What’s trending on the Mexican food scene as pandemic fatigue is tempered by widespread reopening? 

Related: The Rise of Birria in the United States

Simplification

As the pandemic dragged on and remote workers found they had more time on their hands, made-from-scratch recipes like homemade tortillas and personalized spice blends found their way into regular rotation. 

Now that people are returning to their normal routines, they’ll look for quick, easy ways to make the dishes they love in the limited time they have. 

One simple dish that is starting to gain some attention is guisado. Like French ragout, this one-pot dish has all the makings of a satisfying meal, including meat, such as carne or pollo, a variety of veggies, filling fare like potatoes, and some kind of spiced broth or sauce to simmer it all to perfection. 

Guisado can be eaten as is or served with beans and rice, but the trend of late is to scoop it into tacos for easy and delicious consumption. 

Fresh Mariscos

As the U.S. heads into the balmy days of summer, it’s no surprise to see consumers turning away from heavy meats and sampling lighter fare. However, fresh mariscos, or seafood, are going to look a little more interesting this year, with diners demanding new takes on their favorites. 

Aguachile, from the Sinaloa region of northwestern Mexico, is making a splash on menus across the U.S. This colorful, tasty ceviche dish features shrimp marinated in lime juice, with the addition of ingredients like cilantro and chiles. The result is a zesty, spicy “chili water” sure to please adventurous palates. 

Pickled Ingredients

Pickling became more popular during the pandemic as people realized how easy it is to simply dump veggies in vinegar for preservation and later use. 

When you consider the sour and bitter flavor profile that pickled veggies bring to a range of dishes, along with the bright, beautiful colors, it’s no surprise diners are now clamoring for pickled items to elevate every meal. 

Whether you update tacos with a light slaw of pickled daikon radishes or offer more complex options like chilled, citrusy escabeche, you’re likely to see a positive response when pickled components become part of classic Mexican dishes. 

Yucatan Cuisine

Home to the beautiful Riviera Maya, this southern gulf region is gaining popularity as a vacation destination while introducing countless visitors to its unique cuisine. 

Traditional dishes like cochinita pibil (roasted suckling pig), papadzules (a unique take on enchiladas), simple sopa de lima (with chicken, broth, and distinctive lime flavor), and more are sure to attract both seasoned travelers and diners seeking something beyond the average Taco Tuesday menu. 

Tequila Tasting

Conditions over the last couple of years have conspired to put tequila squarely on everyone’s list of must-try liquors. With supply chain issues driving the price of whiskey through the roof (and so many bottles simply unavailable) and sanctions on vodka, the interest in readily available tequila varieties, and even mezcal, will continue to grow. 

Whether you’re putting a new spin on Taco Tuesdays or adding something truly unique to your regular lineup, following trends in Mexican cuisine creates opportunities to engage consumers and drive gastronomic innovations that could just become the next big thing.

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