Ormond Beach Restaurant Blog

Mexican Food for the Holiday Season – A Cuisine for Sharing


What do you think of when you think Mexican food? For most of us, that might be tacos, fajitas, mole or if you know a little bit more about the ingredients, avocado, cumin, garlic, and peppers. But few of us think of Mexican food as a holiday meal, and as a result, we often miss out on one of the most social foods at a time when we are trying to be the most social. 

Mexican culture is family oriented, and not surprisingly, many family get togethers center around preparing, cooking, and eating food. Just like the better known family customs of Italy, Mexican cuisine is intrinsically tied with the social life, family life, and the traditions of the Mexican people. As a result, many dishes are warm, hearty, and centered on family and sharing, and perfect for festivals, holidays, and special occasions. Serving methods, where dishes are often served communally, tie into this tradition of sharing. 

More importantly, the combination of warm, rich flavors, savory and sour, sweet and hot, mixes well to create a happy, festive atmosphere, that you might often notice, even on a regular day at a Mexican restaurant. 

Agave Fresh Mex and Cantina specializes in creating authentic Mexican flavors with local Florida ingredients, and we'll be serving the Ormond Beach area over the holidays. If you're thinking about coming in, consider trying any of these dishes. 

Mexican Holiday and Festival Foods 

A large part of Mexican food revolves around family, cooking, and eating together. As a result, Mexican cuisine is actually part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, thanks to the complex relationship between food and the social structure of the country. Here at Agave, we're proud to bring you the authentic flavors and textures of Mexico, so you can enjoy the social experience of sharing a plate of fajitas, breaking into fresh tamal, or sharing a table of carnitas right here in Ormond Beach. 

Mole Poblano – Mole poblano is a traditional Mexican sauce that is often served at festivals such as the Day of the Dead, weddings, and birthdays. The sauce is thick and rich, with hints of chocolate, peppers, plantains, and many other ingredients. While a staple festival dish in Mexico, mole poblano is often an acquired taste which means that it's not a good choice for most for their holiday meal. 

Tamal – Tamal or tamales are another very traditional holiday dish that are a must have for everyone. Tamale date back to ancient mesoamerican traditions, and live on to this day as a staple of the Mexican diet and social life. Tamales are made using a wrapping, typically corn husk, filled with a corn masa batter, and then filled with a stuffing such as meat, cheese, or vegetables, wrapped, and steamed. You can order tamales with a range of sauces, but the most popular is a chili sauce similar to enchilada sauce. Of course, you can also get them without sauce at all. Tamales are enjoyed year round, but they are also an intrinsic part of Christian holidays for many Mexican families, and you shouldn't let yours go by without trying them with the people you love. 

Carnitas – Carnitas, which literally translates into little meats, is an incredible dish of slow cooked and steamed meat, which is available with pork, beef, chicken, and even turkey depending on where you go. These 'little meats' are shredded, and served in a variety of ways, and you can enjoy them in enchiladas, on tacos, as a side dish, and in chalupas and taquitos. 

Fajitas – Like carnitas, Fajitas are typically made in large amounts and are meant to be shared with groups or with family. Dishes are large, and are served in small portions on tortillas, with a variety of condiments like guacamole, pico de gallo, salsa, and vegetables. Unlike the other dishes on this list, Fajitas are actually Tex Mex, originating on the border between Mexico and Texas, and a former staple food of ranchers. Traditional fajitas are made of skirt steak stripped into thin, tender bits of meat, but you can also choose fajitas with chicken, pork, and even shrimp. The culture that grew up on Texas ranches was all about family, integrating meal time as a large part of the day, and the first time that family would relax together, which makes fajitas a perfect choice for sharing a holiday meal with your family.

Mexican food is all about sharing, and you can participate in it by bringing your friends or family and sharing a family platter, or getting your own dish and maybe (or maybe not), trying everything on the table. No matter what your favorite is, the cooks at Agave have something that will bring you together. And, to top it all off, we offer a range of traditional Mexican drinks including sangria, margaritas, and Mexican beer alongside family friendly options.