If for you, Mexican cuisine is burritos, chili con carne or fajitas, STOOOOOOP!
I’ll stop you right there, this is Tex-Mex food, which is undoubtedly inspired by Mexican cuisine but comes from the United States.
Mexican cuisine has much more to offer. Here is a selection of the 20 culinary specialties that you should a try on your next trip.
1. TACOS AL PASTOR
Taco is perhaps the most famous Mexican dish along with guacamole.
It is a corn tortilla with meat on it, accompanied by pico de gallo (small cubes of tomatoes, onion and chili pepper) and “salsa verde” (made with small green tomatoes and chilies) or “salsa roja” (made with red tomatoes and also chili pepper).
If you were to taste only one taco, it should be this one, the pastor’s taco, made with Oaxaca cheese, pineapple pieces and pastor’s meat (pork), typical of Mexico.
A complete delight!
Another flagship food of Mexican cuisine are the red beans called frijoles there.
Mexicans eat them for breakfast with eggs or in gorditas, molletes and many other specialties that you will have the pleasure to discover during your trip.
You can eat them refritos (mashed into a puree), in soup or other dishes.
Ceviche, a pure delight for fish lovers. This dish consists of marinated raw fish and other seafood in lemon juice and other ingredients that vary according to the recipe.
Cajeta is a specialty of the city of Celaya (Guanajuato), it is caramel made with goat’s milk.
It is a bit like the traditional spread.
You can find it in hot drinks, cakes, ice cream or candy.
To be tasted!
5. TORTILLA SOUP
Called “sopa de tortilla” or “sopa azteca”, it contains pieces of fried tortillas, lime juice, and avocado.
6. OAXACA CHEESE
This delicious ball-shaped cheese is widely used in Mexican cuisine (enchiladas, quesadillas, etc.).
It is a cheese that you can’t find anywhere else… to taste absolutely!
Like tacos, quesadillas are made with a corn or flour tortilla, topped with Oaxaca cheese alone or with other ingredients (mushrooms, zucchini flowers, etc.).
Pozole is a chicken soup with pieces of corn, in which radishes, onion, and green salad are added to taste.
Tamales, of rectangular shape, are a corn paste filled with salty or sweet foods. They are usually steamed in the corn husk.
According to tradition, during the epiphany, the one who has the bean in the crown of kings (in Mexico it is not a cake) must bring tamales the following month on the occasion of the Candelaria Virgin.
The famous guacamole known worldwide is Mexican, but the original recipe is often modified. This side dish made with avocado, lemon juice, coriander, and chili pepper is the best that can exist for your appetizers!
11. CHILE EN NOGADA
This dish uses the colors of the Mexican flag (red, white, green). It is a typical dish composed of a chili pepper stuffed with minced meat and almonds, covered with a white walnut sauce and topped with pomegranate seeds.
For vegetarians, you can choose a chili pepper stuffed with cheese: Chile relleno de queso!
Mole is a typical Mexican sauce made from cocoa.
The recipe is unique and very original because it contains many ingredients. The mole is composed of cocoa, chili, almonds, tomatoes, bread, sugar, many spices, etc.
I think that even Mexicans themselves cannot quote precisely the ingredients that make it up.
Today, there are different types of Mole: poblano, verde, etc.
The gorditas bear their name well because it means ” fat little ones.”
Indeed, these are small thick tortillas cooked in oil. They are filled with cheese, red beans (frijoles), chicharron or other ingredients.
Now, watch out for the calories!
Chicharron is a Mexican specialty that you will see everywhere. It’s just pork or chicken fat, fried!
Mexicans eat it alone like chips, or in a sauce to make it softer, ideal for accompanying a dish.
15. VERACRUZ FISH
A specialty of the State of Veracruz, this white fish is cooked in a spicy tomato sauce, with olives, capers and lemon is a real treat!
16. PAN DE MUERTOS
It is on the occasion of the Feast of the Dead that you can taste this delicious little brioche with orange blossom sprinkled with sugar. The Pan de Muerto is prepared on this occasion and placed as an offering on the altars made for the deceased.
17. TRES LECHES CAKE
One of the most famous cakes in Mexico, especially for birthdays. This soft cake is soaked in three kinds of milk: whole milk, sweetened condensed milk and unsweetened condensed milk; hence its name.
It can be filled with mango, strawberry or peach. Mexico is not well known for its pastries but this three-milk cake is really very good, I recommend it!
The enchiladas, a classic of Mexican cuisine!
A rather simple dish, but so good. The enchiladas, are tortilla filled to your taste (usually with chicken), rolled and then covered with spicy sauce. They are served with fresh cream and cheese.
It’s simply delicious so don’t forget to eat it on your trip.
The huitlacoche is a mushroom found on corn cobs.
It develops during the rainy season, its grey-black color makes it a disease to be controlled in many countries. Only in Mexico is huitlacoche considered an exceptional and rare ingredient.
Don’t be discouraged by its unpleasant appearance and taste it!
Yes, corn is an essential element of Mexican cuisine!
So after tasting it in all its forms (tacos, pozole, etc.), enjoy it in all its simplicity: in cobs. You will see many street vendors offering you corn cobs (elote). You can eat it alone or with different ingredients. As for me, I like it with mayonnaise, cheese, lemon, and chili pepper.
To eat with your fingers, a real pleasure!