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Adding Culture To South-Of-The-Border Cuisine

Whether it’s a plate full of tacos or a lovely Mexican-inspired salad, south-of-the-border meals are almost always a hit. Familiar ingredients such as beans, meat, rice and salsa take on new dimensions of flavor when fermented.  In fact, many authentic Mexican or Latin-American meals often include raw or cultured foods such as cultured cream, hot sauce, and traditionally-made corn tortillas.


  1. A side of black or refried beans is a must for any Mexican-style meal. Fermenting Beans or Legumes can help to break them down and make them easier to digest.
  2. Rice is another delicious, filling addition. Sprouting brown ricebefore cooking is a simple process that helps to break down the grains and make them easier to digest.
  3. Whether you prefer meat, beans, cheese, or veggies in your filling, wrapping it in delicious homemade tortillas adds real flair to your meal. Try nixtamalizing your own corn to make traditional corn tortillas. If flour tortillas are your favorite, try a sourdough tortillainstead.
  4. Add authentic spicy flavor to your meal by marinating the meat before cooking. This Mexican-style Kombucha Marinde will jazz up any dish from tacos to fajitas.


Serve tortilla chips with your favorite cultured dips

  1. Add culture to Guacamole or Bean Dip, for a little extra kick. 
  2. Southwestern Cultured Cream Dip is super easy to throw together and full of punch, spice, and tangy cultured cream.
  3. Fermenting your Homemade Salsa adds an undeniable zip and a wonderful blend of probiotics and enzymes. Make it as mild or as peppery as you like, but definitely put a bowl out for all to enjoy. Add variety with this Lacto-fermented Green Tomato Salsa orLacto-fermented Pineapple Salsa


  1. Topping your tacos, salad, chili, or beans with cream is a great way to add flavor and to add a cool contrast to all the spicy flavors. Trycrème fraîche, sour cream, or homemade yogurt.
  2. These lacto-fermented jalapeño slices are the perfect tangy topping to a plate of cheesy nachos.
  3. A small dose of habañero hot sauce or Red Pepper Hot Sauce, cultured to delicious perfection, will lend some serious heat for those who love it.


Side dishes of fermented vegetables pair amazingly well with other tangy or aromatic foods.

  1. A traditional Cortido containing onions, oregano, and garlic in addition to cabbage, is a delicious addition to tacos, salads, or on the side.
  2. Southwestern lacto-fermented carrot sticks are full of garlic and cilantro flavor.
  3. Lacto-fermented Chilero is a sweet-spicy Costa Rican condiment
  4. Lacto-fermented Green Beans with Cayenne Peppers and Garlic
  5. Lacto-fermented Spicy Summer Squash Relish
  6. Southern Pickled Nopalitos


Don’t forget something to quench your thirst during that spicy meal.Water kefir is a great drink, flavored with your favorite fruit or juice. Or try Tepache, a fermented pineapple drink, for something new.

When putting your South-of-the-Border meal together, use many of these elements to create a cultured feast, or just add a couple for extra enzymes and probiotics.