When it comes to food, Mexico has been the birthplace of many delicious and nutritious ingredients that have revolutionized our diet and the culinary world across our planet.
From corn, beans, tomatoes, chiles, squash, sweet potatoes, nopales (cactus), agave, vanilla, and cacao to the beloved avocado, many of the foods we enjoy today come from Mexico’s indigenous people. A variety of the foods we now consider mainstream were feeding and nourishing locals way before the Spanish arrived in the Americas and transported them to other corners of the world.
The origins of beans are widely credited to central Mexico (the area of the modern day states of Jalisco and Durango) and throughout South America. Often, beans were grown with maize (corn) and squash as a farming technique to efficiently maximize the soil, and to minimize soil erosion.
Beans are present in most Mexican meals –– they’re served as a side dish, in soups, used as fillings for tacos and toppings, and more. And though pinto and black beans are the most common types in the United States, in Mexico dried beans come in a pleasing rainbow of flavors, shapes and colors. Many experts believe there are over 200 different edible Mexican bean varieties.
Pale yellow peruano beans are widely used in central Mexico and they were mamá Chepa’s (my maternal grandmother) favorite, although papá Ines (my maternal grandfather) grew many heirloom varieties.
I love peruano beans too and this is one of my preferred recipes, and paired with Cabernet Sauvignon based wines makes for a tasty combination.