Meat and Fish in Mexico
Mexican cuisine is meat-centered. Meats in most cases are boiled even before they are roasted, producing lovely stocks for all those delicious Mexican soups. Pork is the king of the meat pantheon, with fowl in second place. Pork and turkey are cheap and easy to raise, and so have entrenched themselves into cuisine at all class levels. As in most cultures, no part of a pig is wasted. The intestines encase the excellent and spicy chorizo sausages; morcilla is a blood sausage seasoned with mint and coriander; brains, tongue (lengua), tripe, and pig`s trotters all are eaten, even the skin is deep-fried into a salty snack called chicharrones. In the cattle country of the north, beef is popular. In the central and southern regions, the land cannot support herds of big cattle, so goat and sheep are farmed. The coasts are obviously fish heavy. Mussels, oysters, shrimp (eaten both dried and fresh), bass, swordfish, octopus, shark, squid, whitefish, and cod abound. Crabmeat is flaked into salads or deep-fried; fish are rolled into tacos; shrimp are ground and fried in patties. More unusual meats like iguana, armadillo, and terrapin still have their devotees. Bugs are the final meat group, with grasshoppers (fried and named chalupines) and ant larva among the favorites.