Its spicy, evocative and hearty dishes have sprung from a unique culinary blend of pre-Hispanic, Spanish and French influences.
Beans, corn and chilies (ajís) are the holy trinity of Mexican cooking and have inspired more than one heartfelt "Amen!" among the ardent devotees who gather at restaurants and lunch counters to worship at the altar of succulent tortillas, tacos, enchiladas and quesadillas, among other classic dishes.
One hallmark staple is the corn tortilla, which is served with homemade or raw salsa made with green tomatoes, tomatoes and chipotle (a type of jalapeño pepper).
Equally mouthwatering are the chiles rellenos, chili peppers stuffed with cheese, fish or shellfish, as well as elote (sweet corn) and zucchini, among other ingredients.