Sense of Place: Southwestern Flavors and Ingredients

Take a good helping of South American and Mexican cuisines and add in a splash of old-world Spanish ingredients. Blend with a healthy dose of Native American fare and sprinkle on some frontier trail food. Now give it all a good stir, and that's the Southwest.

What does Southwestern food mean to you?!

We talked about Latin American flavors and ingredients a few weeks ago, but as we move through the regional cuisines of the United States, we felt that the Southwest deserved a little special time in the spotlight. Like so many regions that we've already explored, Southwestern cuisine is somehow more than the sum of its parts.

Spices:
Cumin
Coriander
Cilantro
Cinnamon
Chili Powder
Oregano

Fruits and Vegetables:
Corn--fresh, dried, and ground
Onion
Garlic
Tomato
Tomatillos
Jicama
Squash
Nopales/Cactus Leaves
Fresh Chile Peppers--Jalapeno, Serrano, Poblano, Anaheim, Habanero
Dried Chile Peppers--Chipotle, Ancho
Sweet Peppers
Plantain
Sweet Potatoes
Lime

Meat and Starches:
Pork
Beef
Chicken
Rice--white and brown
Beans--especially Pinto Beans

Extras:
Pepitas/Pumpkin Seeds
Pine Nuts
Almonds
Chocolate
Cheese--Monterey Jack, Queso Fresco, Queso Blanco
Honey

What else would you to add to this list?

Related: Sense of Place: The Flavors and Ingredients of Florida

(Images: Flickr members mapper-montag, Benny Yap, and r-z licensed under Creative Commons)

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