Common Flavoring Ingredients that Give Mexican Food its Signature Taste

by Mario Pimienta on Nov 26, 2019 Food and Drink 335 Views


Mexican food in Mountlake Terrace is well-known for its flavor, and there are so many complex Mexican dishes and stews that rely on the right combination of spices. Spices used in the Mexican cooking transforms simple plant-based ingredients such as rice and beans into flavorful, main course worthy dishes. The Mountlake Terrace Mexican restaurant uses the following spices to season meats and vegetables to create authentic Mexican flavors.


Achiote is a native to the tropical areas of America, and the flavor is sweet and earthy. The seeds are dried, ground, and made into a fine paste, and this paste is predominantly used in the Mexican cuisine flavor is sweet and earthy.


Made from grinding dried sweet red pepper, this red powder has almost 40 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A. It’s used in various stews, and smoked paprika is widely used to give a smoked flavor to food.

Garlic and Onions

The most common flavors you find in Mexican food are garlic and onions. They come fresh in a jar or powdered forms and are commonly used in dishes such as salsa, taco seasons, Spanish rice, and more.

Adobo Sauce

This is a chili-based sauce made using ancho chiles, guajillo chiles, tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and cumin, and has a smoky flavor. It works well as marinate, or you can it on tacos, in chili, or make braised barbacoa.

Mexican Cinnamon

Mexican cooks use true Ceylon cinnamon, which is dried and used in spiced coffees, moles, desserts, and in sweet and savory dishes.


Oregano, the most commonly used Mexican spices and comes in two types - Mexican oregano and Mediterranean oregano. This spice adds a fresh, earthy taste to your Mexican dish.


A wide range of herbs used in Mexican cuisine are,

- Mexican Oregano - Used in sauces, salad dressing, stews, and with meat-based dishes. It has a much earthier flavor than Mediterranean Oregano

- Basil - Used frequently in tomato-based dishes

- Cilantro - A star in a lot of entrees in Mexican cuisine

- Mint - Used sparingly in Mexican cooking

- Sage - Found in soups and stews

- Thyme - Compliments the heavy flavors of Mexican cuisine with its light

Mexican Bay Leaf

Like oregano and marjoram, this dried leaf is slightly floral, herbal, and a bit bitter and is commonly used in soups, stews, broths, and rice.

You can find the above spices commonly in every dish listed in a Mexican restaurant lunch menu.

The author of this article has a passion for Mexican food in Mountlake Terrace and writes about the authenticity of Mexican cuisine. In this article, he lists the spices that are commonly used in Mexican cuisine. Visit for more information.

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