Many people automatically order churros at the end of a good meal in a Mexican restaurant. Although they are delicious, churros aren't really authentic Mexican food -- they found their way into Mesoamerican kitchens from Europe, but they originated in China. For a real taste of Mexican sweetness, look past the churros on the dessert menu and order one of the following five traditional Mexican desserts:
5. Dulce de Leche Roasted Banana Split
This dessert uses roasted bananas rather than ones that have been freshly sliced, which provides the dish with a layer of complexity not found in traditional banana splits. The bananas are roasted with a mixture of vanilla beans, cinnamon, dulce de leche, and dark rum. Delce de leche is a concoction created by slowing heating sweetened, whole milk until it reaches the consistency of pudding.
Paletas are the south-of-the-border version of Popsicles that are made with a wide array of fresh tropical fruits. They are so beloved in Mexico that a village in the Mexican state of Michoacán has a statue of one at its entrance. Because paletas are crafted from fresh, regional fruit, they're a summertime treat. Fruits used in their creation include sweet mamey, cucumbers, and the fruit of the nogales cactus.
3. Tres Leches Cake With Summer Fruit
This luscious dessert is made by soaking sponge cake in a combination of condensed milk, evaporated milk, and sweet cream. Sponge cake has such a light texture that the cake doesn't become soggy from the soaking. It's topped with strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or cherries immediately prior to serving.
2. Chocolate Pots de Crème
You can't get more authentic than Mexican chocolate -- after all, the delicacy originated in the region and was considered by the ancient Aztecs to be a gift from the gods. Pots de Crème is a custard made from chocolate flavored with cinnamon, almond, and vanilla. It's topped with freshly whipped cream and sometimes with a single cherry or strawberry depending on seasonal availability.
1. Flan Mexicano
Flan is a baked caramel custard that has long served as one of Mexican cuisine's signature desserts. It's made from eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Other flavorings such as cinnamon and almond are sometimes added, and it's always served with a layer of soft caramel on top. Like many other authentic Mexican deserts, flan is typically served with fresh fruit.
Of course, sometimes nothing but churros will do, especially if they're accompanied by a cup of hot Mexican chocolate. Whatever your pleasure, the right dessert is the perfect finale to a delicious Mexican lunch or dinner. Contact a restaurant like El Cortez Restaurant if you want to know more or just want to see what other Mexican desserts might just satisfy your sweet tooth.