Take a look at some of the top eats and treats you’ll find in Mexico!
Possibly the most famous of all Mexican food exports, the tortilla is a flatbread made of corn and has been a staple of the Mexican diet for hundreds of years. Tortilla’s are quite similar to South Asian chapatis and play a key role in many of Mexico’s most popular dishes, including tacos, enchiladas and burritos. Tortilla’s can also be cut into wedges and deep fried to make crispy tostados (or tortilla chips).
Tacos are one of the most popular Mexican dishes and are now widely available across the globe. A taco is simply a corn tortilla rolled or folded around a filling. There is no fixed taco filling and pork, beef, chicken, cheese and vegetables are all used to produce different combinations. A common variant on the traditional Mexican taco is the hard-shell taco, which involves deep frying the tortilla into a U shape before filling it. Garnishes like sour cream, salsa and guacamole are often served with tacos.
Pan de muerto (bread of the dead)
This sweet bread roll is baked and eaten in Mexico prior to the Dia de los Muertos – or Day of the Dead – which is celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November every year. The soft bread is commonly decorated with bone-like shapes and eaten beside the grave of a deceased loved one.
Churros are essentially the Spanish equivalent of doughnuts and are widely eaten across Mexico. Typically dough made of flour, water and salt is piped into hot oil using a churrera – a syringe-like device ending in a star shaped nozzle. Churros are fried until crispy on the outside before being sprinkled with sugar, sometimes spices like cinnamon are mixed in with the sugar. Churros are often sold hot by street vendors with a pot of chocolate dipping sauce.
Guacamole has a long history in Mexico, stretching back to the Aztec civilisation in the 16th century, and has become a hugely popular condiment around the world. To make guacamole avocado is usually mixed with garlic, chilli, tomato, onion and lime juice. Guacamole is served as an accompaniment to many things, including quesadillas, tostados and vegetable sticks.
In Mexican cuisine ‘mole’ is used as a generic term to cover several quite different kinds of sauce. The common denominator for these sauces is that they contain chilli. Traditional mole sauces include chillis like chipotle, ancho, mulato and pasilla and other ingredients like tomatoes and garlic. Some types of mole can have more than 20 ingredients! Sometimes chocolate is added to thicken and enrich the sauce, but it is only ever added at the end of cooking.
Variants of caramel flans are eaten across the world and the Spanish were responsible for bringing the set custard desert to Mexico (although the Spanish call it crème catalana). The set custard is served warm or cold and is set apart from the similar crème brûlée by its liquid caramel topping.
Tequila is Mexico’s national drink, originating from the city of Tequila in the western state of Jalisco and made from the blue agave plant. The exclusive rights to the name ‘tequila’ belong to Mexico so any similar beverage produced in a different nation is not allowed to be sold as tequila. The traditional way of drinking tequila in Mexico is straight, from thin shot glasses called caballitos, with salt and lime. Popular tequila based drinks include the margarita and the bandera. The bandera is named after the flag of Mexico and features three shot glasses filled with different coloured fluids – tequila for the white stripe, lime juice for the green and sangrita (a chilli based drink) for the red.