Top 10 Foods to Try in Mexico
Mexican cuisine is a fusion of indigenous Mesoamerican, European and Spanish cooking. With the basic ingredients of native corn, beans and chili peppers, other influences included meat, dairy products and several herbs and spices. If you visit Mexico or want to try Mexican foods within your place, there are many dishes to try. From desserts to main dishes to soups and other street foods, you will surely enjoy the foods that are true to the Mexican cuisine and culture. Considered by UNESCO as the world’s “intangible cultural heritage”, here are the top 10 foods to try in Mexico even just for once.
Tacos in Mexico are considered as a breakfast food by the locals. This is very different from the tacos you have probably tried in Beijing or in Chicago or the ones sold locally. A taquero will carve the steaming meat off the spit, spooned into a warmed corn tortilla, top with different herbs and spices or even vegetables and fold into small moons and ready for you to devour. You can dress your taco with cilantro, guacamole and red chili sauce. This meaty, corn-flavored, spicy combination of taco goodness will become of your favorite breakfast foods if you are in Mexico for days.
Tortillas off the Comal
Tortillas are used in tacos, burritos and enchiladas. You may find it bland by just eating the bread alone. But if you will try the tortillas freshly cooked from the comal, topped or filled to make empanadas, quesadillas, or memelas, you will find it interesting. The comal is made of clay, round and is a grill used to heat freshly hand-pressed tortillas. Watching them do these will make your mouth water and especially when they are filled and topped; it makes it even more delicious. If you want quesadillas or empanadas, you can fill it mushrooms, cooked pork, squash flowers, or huitlacoche. But the best way to enjoy fresh tortilla is a memela-a warm tortilla filled with queso fresco and black beans.
Also one of the top foods to try in Mexico is the chilaquiles. It is a traditional Mexican dish which basically consists of corn tortillas, salsa and mole. The corn tortillas are cut into four, lightly fried then topped with red or green salsa or mole. It is then simmered until the tortilla softens. Sometimes, scrambled or fried eggs and pulled chicken meat are added into the mixture. To serve, it is topped with queso fresco or Mexican cream and a side or refried beans. If you have the options, you can also top it with raw onion rings and fresh avocado slices. Chilaquiles are popular breakfast or brunch foods in Mexico.
Mole is the generic name for several varieties of sauce found in native Mexican cuisines. There are many varieties of mole depending on the ingredients used and its origin. Mole poblano is considered as the best of typical Mexican dishes and is called the national dish of Mexico. It has almost 20 ingredients, such as chocolate and chili peppers, giving the sauce a darker color and mellows the heat of the peppers. It is often served in weddings, baptisms, birthdays, or even Christmas with turkey, chickem or shrimp cakes. It is also very popular during Cinco de Mayo. Other varieties of the mole are the Oaxaca, San Pedro Atocpan, and many others. If you want to have peanuts, salt, bread, chili, chocolate, bananas, cinnamon, oregano, cloves, thyme and pepper in one dish, then mole is one of the dishes in Mexico that you definitely need to try. Do not leave Mexico without it.
Fruta con Chile
For an authentic Mexican dessert, try fruta con chile. Freshly peeled and sliced ripe fruits, sprinkled with chili powder and a dash of spicy sauce then a squeeze of lime, it is a sweet and spicy treat in one dessert. You may be scared of the hot chili but the flavor combination is definitely interesting and you can find it anywhere in the streets of Mexico, so you really have to try one.
Whether day or night, if you want to cool down with a Mexican treat, you can find raspados in almost every street of Mexico. You can have orange or strawberry flavored shaved ice, or even make it more interesting with tamarind, rompope, picosito, chamoy, guanabana, cucumber, pistachio, or guava flavors topped with sweetened condensed milk. It is heaven in every spoonful.
If you have gone to Mexico, you have probably heard of local vendors shouting, “Tamales, tamales, tamales, tamales,” in a rhythmic tune which attracts customers and tourists to buy one. Whether savory or sweet, tamales consist of dough from corn, masa mix and lard. It is wrapped in plantain leaves or corn husks and steamed in a tamalera until firm. It is a famous comfort food among Mexicans and is usually eaten during breakfast or dinner. With the different fillings to choose from, tamales are definitely a must-try if you go to Mexico.
Steamy corn on the cob slathered with mayonnaise, chile powder, fresh white cheese and lime,this street food is also a favorite afternoon snack among locals and tourists. You can also try the esquite which is corn in a cup and having the same toppings.
Mexican traditional soup consisting of radish, cabbage, hominy, and lime, this comfort food is a big help to clear stuffy sinuses and gives you an energy boost. There are many varieties to choose from and you can find in many Mexican restaurants worldwide.
Barbacoa or meat roasted in a dug pit underneath a pile of maguey leaves, it is slow-cooked without any marinades or sauces, and served once the meat starts to pull apart. At the table, you will find a variety of sauces, guacamole and lime to go with your barbacoa.
Mexico is full of delicious and must try foods. If you can’t make it to Mexico just yet, visit your nearest Mexican restaurant and order up on these mouthwatering dishes that you should not miss.