Much food served in Mexico is not “Mexican.” Eating habits, as most other Mexican customs, depend upon social class. Upwardly mobile Mexicans typically shun the corn-based native food in favor of the European-style food of the Spanish colonial elite: chops, clams, cutlets, fish, omelets, pasta, potatoes, rice, soups, and steaks.
Such fare is often as bland as Des Moines on a summer Sunday afternoon. “No picante”—not spicy—is how the Mexicans describe bland food. “Caliente” or “Calor,” the Spanish words that describe “hot” water or weather, do not, in contrast to English usage, also imply spicy, or picante.