The cuisine of a country is more than food—it also includes the culture and customs associated with it. With this idea in mind, today we bring you five words that will help you sound more Mexican than a Canelo fight in September as you enjoy your grilled chicken and tacos.
At its most basic, “rico” means “rich” or “wealthy” in Spanish. However, don’t be surprised if you overhear someone saying “este pollo es muy rico,” which means “this chicken is really rich.” No, they are not talking about a wealthy yardbird. In Spanish, “rico” also means “delicious.” If you want to put a smile on the face on any Spanish-speaking host, just say “este platillo es muy rico”—”this dish is delicious.”
Mexican food is famous for its spiciness, so it’s not surprising that Mexicans have more than one word to refer to the effects of chili peppers. Academically, the correct word is “picante'” but “enchiloso” and “picoso” do a better job conveying the unique brand of Mexican spiciness.
“Del que no pica”
Regardless of their spiciness, Mexicans also appreciate chili peppers for their flavor and salsas for their freshness. This means that most Mexican restaurants or street food stands offer very mild varieties of chili peppers and salsas. Mexicans refer to these non-spicy versions as “chile del que no pica” or “salsa de la que no pica,” which means “peppers/salsa that doesn’t sting.” Now you know: if you are into Mexican flavors but not big into spiciness, just ask “del que no pica.”
Sabroso is an alternative to “rico.” It literally means “flavorful.”
Have you heard the saying “the best things come in small packages”? Mexicans have taken this rule to heart, and they love to use the diminutive to indicate that some food is particularly tasty. To form a diminutive, just tack the endings -ito (for masculine words) or -ita (for feminine words) at the end of any term. For example, if someone tells you they had “frijoles refritos” (refried beans) for lunch, you know the beans were OK. But if they talk about “frijolitos refritos” you know they were finger-licking good—the.way we make them at El Pollo Norteño.
More Interesting Facts About Mexican Food
We love all the curious facts that surround authentic Mexican food. If you are hungry for more stories, then check out these previous posts:
- Why are refried beans called like that?
- Why Are chili peppers so important in Mexican cuisine
- Who invented guacamole?
- Are chilaquiles supposed to be crunchy?
Enjoy Authentic Mexican Food at El Pollo Norteño!
If what you want is Authentic Mexican food in Anaheim, California, El Pollo Norteño is the place to go.
Visit today any of our four locations (Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Garden Grove), order online, get in touch through Facebook, or call 866-MI-POLLO to enjoy our authentic Mexican dishes: amazing chicken grilled to perfection over real Mesquite charcoal, caldo de pollo, flan, carnitas, carne asada, and more!