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NORTH AMERICA
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MEXICO
Official language(s) Spanish
Recognised regional languages 62 Indigenous Amerindian languages
Mexican cuisine
"Chocolate" originates from Mexico's Aztec cuisine, derived from the Nahuatl word xocolatl.Mexican cuisine is known for its intense and varied flavors, colorful decoration, and variety of spices. Most of today's Mexican food is based onpre-Columbian traditions, including the Aztecs and Maya, combined with culinary trends introduced by Spanish colonists.
The conquistadores eventually combined their imported diet of rice, beef, pork, chicken, wine, garlic and onions with the native pre-Columbian food, including maize, tomato, vanilla, avocado, papaya, pineapple, chili pepper, beans, squash, limes (limón in Mexican Spanish),sweet potato, peanut and turkey.
Cabrito con Tamales Mexican food varies by region, because of local climate and geography and ethnic differences among the indigenous inhabitants and because these different populations were influenced by the Spaniards in varying degrees. The north of Mexico is known for its beef, goat and ostrich production and meat dishes, in particular the well-known Arracheracut.
Central Mexico's cuisine is largely made up of influences from the rest of the country, but also has its authentics, such as barbacoa, pozole, menudo, tamales, and carnitas.
Southeastern Mexico, on the other hand, is known for its spicy vegetable and chicken-based dishes. The cuisine of Southeastern Mexico also has quite a bit of Caribbean influence, given its geographical location.Seafood is commonly prepared in the states that border the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, the latter having a famous reputation for its fish dishes, à la veracruzana.
In modern times, other cuisines of the world have become very popular in Mexico, thus adopting a Mexican fusion. For example, sushi in Mexico is often made with a variety of sauces based on mango or tamarind, and very oftenserved with serrano-chili-blended soy sauce, or complemented with vinegar, habanero and chipotle peppers
The most internationally recognized dishes include chocolate, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos, tamales and mole among others. Regional dishes include mole poblano, chiles en nogada and chalupas from Puebla; cabrito and machaca from Monterrey, cochinita pibil from Yucatán, Tlayudas fromOaxaca, as well as barbacoa, chilaquiles, milanesas, and many others.
BRAZIL
Official language(s) Portuguese
Brazilian cuisine
Varies greatly by region, reflecting the country's mix of native and immigrant populations. This has created a national cuisine marked by the preservation of regional differences. Examples are Feijoada, considered the country's national dish; and regionalfoods such as vatapá, moqueca, polenta and acarajé. Brazil has a variety of candies such as brigadeiros ("brigadiers") and beijinhos ("kissies"). The national beverage is coffee and cachaça is Brazil's native liquor. Cachaça is distilled from sugar cane and is the main ingredient in the national cocktail, Caipirinha.
CUBA
Official language(s) Spanish
Cuba cuisine
Cuban cuisine is a fusionof Spanish and Caribbean cuisines. Cuban recipes share spices and techniques with Spanish cooking, with some Caribbean influence in spice and flavor. Now food rationing, which has been the norm in Cuba for the last four decades, restricts the common availability of these dishes.Traditional Cuban meal would not be served in courses; rather all food items would be served at the same time. Thetypical meal could consist of plantains, black beans and rice, ropa vieja (shredded beef), Cuban bread, pork with onions, and tropical fruits. Black beans and rice, referred to as Platillo Moros y Cristianos (or moros for short), and plantains are staples of the Cuban diet. Many of the meat dishes are cooked slowly with light sauces. Garlic, cumin, oregano and bay leaves are the dominant spices....
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