Ormond Beach Restaurant Blog

7 Spices You'll Find in Our Mexican Dishes


You’ve probably been wondering why our Mexican food tastes so delicious. Without giving away state secrets, we must admit that it’s a combination of using only the freshest ingredients and adding the right amount of spices. Most spices used in Mexican food aren’t unique to Mexican food. However, we use them in a combination that makes your mouth water, and sometimes it makes you get thirsty for that margarita, too.


Cumin has been known for centuries for its healing properties. No wonder it’s popular in Mexican cuisine. It contains iron, too. You only need one tablespoon of it to get 20% of your recommended daily value. The great thing about cumin is that it can be grown all over the world. Cumin has a somewhat bitter and toasty taste, which is why it’s frequently used in taco seasonings. We also use it with other meats, hearty vegetables, and legumes.

2. Garlic

Garlic may be one of the most commonly used spices in Mexican cuisine. If you try to make Mexican food at home, you may be using garlic powder. Of course, fresh garlic is superior in taste, but it can also add a stronger flavor to your meals. Garlic is used in many of our recipes, including salsa, taco seasoning, and Spanish rice. But don’t worry, even after eating one of our Mexican dishes that includes garlic, you probably still won’t repel any vampires.

3. Onions

Onions are commonly used in conjunction with garlic in our recipe. Adding some onion powder or freshly diced onion (depending on the dish) gives your food a nice little kick. The flavor can vary, depending on whether white, yellow, or red onions are used. But there’s no question about it, onions are an important part of salsa and burrito fillings.

4. Oregano

Did you know that there are different types of oregano? When you think of oregano, you probably think of Italian cuisine, which uses the oregano that is native to the Mediterranean. Mexican oregano is not the same thing. It has a fresh, earthy taste that you don’t want to miss from your Mexican dishes. Mexican oregano is stronger and has a little bit of a bitter flavor, so we use our oregano judiciously.

5. Coriander

Coriander is sweet, spicy, and a bit lemony. When we add coriander, it gives our Mexican dishes a distinct flavor. Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant. It can be used fresh or dry. You’ll most likely find it in salsa and guacamole.

6. Chili Powder

Chili powder is a mix of powdered chilies, cumin, and oregano. Each of these spices can be used on their own, but together they add heat and spice to our Mexican food. Chili power can be used for making fajita seasoning, but it’s also used to season meats and vegetables in other dishes. Of course, there are different varieties of chili powder with their unique recipes. But we won’t give away all our secrets here. Just know that our chili powder is an important ingredient in many of our Mexican dishes.

7. Chipotle

Chipotle is dried jalapeño. It has a very distinctive smoked flavor that works well for many of our sauces, marinades, and salsas. Chipotle can be preserved in adobo sauce, but it can also be used as a dry spice.

Our Dinners Are Flavorful

As you already know, we add a variety of spices to our dinners. The list above is just a short list of the most popular known ingredients that are used in typical Mexican cuisine. However, creating flavorful dishes is not just about using the right amount of fresh ingredients. You also have to know when to add them to each dish, and how to combine the different spices together for maximum flavor.

The good news is that we’ve already done the hard work. You don’t have to know how we combine spices to create your favorite meals. You can just sit down and enjoy your food. Alternatively, you can take it home, and sit down there and enjoy it.

Guess the Spices If You Dare

Next time you come to Agave Mexican Restaurant, we dare you to name all the spices we used in creating your dinner. But don’t be deceived. Some spices are more noticeable than others, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t add other spices that aren’t on this list. Even if you get it wrong, there is no harm done, as long as you enjoyed your dinner.