Soul Food Vs. Mexican Food: What Are The Differences?

The question of which cuisine is better, Mexican or soul food, has been debated for years.

We believe that they both have their strong points and weaknesses.

Ultimately what matters most is your own personal preference.

So to help you determine if Mexican food or soul food is more appealing to you, we are going to delve into these two cuisines and put them in comparison to clearly see how they differ from each other.

What is special about Mexican food?

Mexican food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world.

It’s a mixture of Spanish, African, and American cultures.

Mexican cooking incorporates fresh ingredients and healthy spices like a lot of chili peppers, cilantro, and garlic which make for a nutritious meal with great flavor.

For some people, Mexican food might be too spicy, but you totally can order a milder version of almost every Mexican dish when visiting this Latin country.

Mexican food is known for its diversity and often contains some staple ingredients like corn, tomatoes, beans, avocados, different kinds of meat, such as beef, pork, or chicken, and fresh seafood, along with traditional flavors like citrus juice.

Mexican cuisine might vary from region to region, but there are some of the Mexican signature and must-try dishes for visitors like tacos, burritos, tamales, enchiladas, empanadas, chilaquiles, or ceviche.

What is special about soul food?

Soul food is a style of cooking that originated in the Southern United States.

It is a cuisine with roots in West African cuisine.

Soul food is considered what black people eat in America, especially in Southern cuisine.

The term “soul” refers to the African-American culture and first appeared around the mid-1960s.

Soul food has its roots in slavery when it was relied on as the main dish for slaves who were often given an allotment of cornmeal and bacon grease to make their own meals.

It can be traced back centuries ago when Africans traveled across the Atlantic Ocean with nothing but their unique culinary traditions which they used to cook up hearty meals like gumbo, cabbage soup, and fried fish.

The heavy flavor profiles found in soul foods are reflective of its historical origins where enslaved people had limited access to fresh produce.

Although soul dishes are hearty and delicious, they are associated with inexpensive ingredients, including dark meat chicken (chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks), fatty pork cuts, pork intestines, peas, collard greens, and cornbread.

The main cooking method is deep-frying, making their food very high in calories as well as carb and fat.

What are the differences between Mexican food vs soul food?

There are some key differences between Mexican food and soul food that set them apart from each other.

Check below to see how these two cuisines distinguish:

Mexican food is often served with corn tortillas, while soul food is served with cornbread

Although corn is popular in both cuisines, how this ingredient is used is different between Mexican food and soul food.

Mexicans traditionally eat corn tortillas, which can be either hard or soft in tacos and burritos.

Meanwhile, in soul cuisine, corn is used to make cornbread, or corn kernels are breaded and deep-fried.

Soul food is typically deep-fried, while Mexicans prefer grilling or stewing their foods, making Mexican food healthier

Another difference between the two cuisines is their cooking method.

Typically, most soul food is breaded and deep-fried in hot oil, making it greasier and heavier in texture.

On the other hand, the main Mexican cooking styles are grilling or stewing, so it is healthier for daily consumption.

Soul food often contains stewed collard greens, while Mexican cuisine includes raw vegetable salads

Their vegetables are also different from each other.

In Mexico, they often eat raw tomatoes, lettuce, bell pepper, onion, avocado, cooked corn kernels, and beans in their salads with salsa or guacamole sauce.

On the other hand, vegetables in soul food are greens like cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, or kale that are stewed.

Mexican food is much more vibrant and appealing at the first look

Another different feature between Mexican food and soul food is that at first glance, Mexican food is obviously more appealing because of its vibrant presentation.

Mexicans combine various ingredients with contrasting and vibrant colors, making their meals always look like a party or festival.

Meanwhile, due to the deep-frying cooking method, soul food looks dull and less attractive.

What are the similarities between Mexican food vs soul food?

Despite the aforementioned differences, Mexican food and soul food also have numerous things in common: 

Corn is a staple in Mexican cuisine and soul food

Both cuisines feature corn as a staple.

Corn is an affordable ingredient and one of the main crops in these regions.

It can be used to create plenty of delicious dishes and the best thing is that pure corn is gluten-free so this ingredient is also perfect for people with a gluten-free diet.

Mexican food and soul food are flavorful and can be spicy

Another similarity between Mexican food and soul food is that their food is both flavorful due to their uses of various spices, such as chili peppers, cilantro, garlic, ginger, and herbs.

Mexican food and soul food can range from mild to very spicy, so you better ask the cook before ordering any dish from these cuisines.

Both cuisines are popular in the United States

Mexican cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in America due to the proximity between the two countries.

Meanwhile, soul food is what black people eat in the Southern United States.

It is also eaten by white people in this region, as well as across the country.

So it seems that both Mexican food and soul food are parts of American cuisine.

Which one is better?

With all of this information in mind, now you must have had better knowledge about Mexican food and soul food.

In terms of health concerns, Mexican food obviously reigns supreme as it is made from fresh produce with healthy ingredients and cooking methods, while soul food often includes inexpensive cuts of meat and adds more fat and carb to their diets.

However, both are flavorful, delicious, and worth trying.

It is up to you to choose between Mexican food, soul food, or give both a try before figuring out what works best.

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