Mexican cuisine is a complex and ancient cuisine, with techniques and skills developed over thousands of years of history. It is created mostly with ingredients native to Mexico, as well as those brought over by Spanish conquistadors.
In addition to staples, such as corn and chile peppers, native ingredients include tomatoes, squashes, avocados, cocoa and vanilla, as well as ingredients not generally used in other cuisines, such as edible flowers, vegetables like huauzontle and papaloquelite, or small criollo avocados, whose skin is edible. Chocolate originated in Mexico and was prized by the Aztecs, an indigenous people of Mexico. It remains an important ingredient in Mexican cookery.
Vegetables play an important role in Mexican cuisine. Common vegetables include zucchini, cauliflower, corn, potatoes, spinach, Swiss chard, mushrooms, jitomate (red tomato), green tomato, etc. European contributions include pork, chicken, beef, cheese, herbs and spices, as well as some fruits.
Tropical fruits, many of which are indigenous to Mexico and the Americas, such as guava, prickly pear, sapote, mangoes, bananas, pineapple and cherimoya (custard apple) are popular, especially in the center and south of the country