Mexican food is important not just for Mexicans, and you can get to understand why when you get in touch with the elements that conform it. In other words, an acknowledgment of its value is fundamental to understand that the attained status as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity was not given by chance. Authentic Mexican food materializes social practices, knowledge concerning nature, traditional craftsmanship and oral expressions that belong to our people, achieving unique dishes that excel in flavor and character, delighting even the fussiest palate.
Some of the most famous Mexican dishes like mole, pozole, tamales, and tacos have all these things in common but can be individually identified by an unimaginable amount of facts worth knowing. This is why we decided to share some details so you get to know them and accept that you can’t leave Mexico without trying at least one of them.
Whether green, white or red, pozole is an always classic dish for Mexico’s National parties. The protagonist of this complex bouillon is cacahuazintle corn or pozole corn, recognizable for the size of its grains, its soft consistency, and sweet flavor. Pozole can be white if no extra salsa is added to the broth, red if the salsa has chile ancho and guajillo or green if it is prepared with green tomatoes. In addition, this soup contains chicken and/or pork meat, onion, radish, lettuce, lemon juice, oregano, and is sometimes accompanied with piquín chili powder and toasted tortillas (tostadas) with fresh cream and grated white cheese. A complete meal undoubtedly!
Many times chosen as the main course in popular celebrations like weddings and baptisms, mole finds its origins in the prehispanic salsa “mulli” that was used to accompany chicken, steak or pork meat. Mole is an evolving dish that has taken elements from different epochs, making them part of its composition and achieving a variety of styles and combinations, procuring the creation of more than fifty types. Whether you decide to taste an almond mole with shredded chicken and red rice, a turkey leg with black mole, a duck breast with manchamanteles (staining-tablecloth) mole or some shrimps with green pipian, the search for chili, tomatoes, peanuts, almonds, chocolate, and/or spices that hide inside these complex salsas is worth the try. Do you accept the challenge?
It is certainly ambiguous to say we want a taco because we could be thinking about a taco de canasta, taco de suadero or even a steak taco. Nevertheless, in order to be identified as a taco, a maize-based food needs to have a cooked hash set on top of one (or two) tortillas, it has to be eaten without any utensils and shouldn’t have been warmed, as a whole, in a Mexican griddle or comal. You have probably heard or even tried the typical tacos al pastor, but we recommend tasting others, such as tacos gobernador, tacos de costilla, tacos de alambre or tacos de lengua. Experiencing our Tacos & Mezcal Tour will help you know the best features of this classic dish and figure out why it’s so famous inside and out of Mexico, sampling the best variety of Mexican tacos.
These cooked maize paste “wraps” can be stuffed with sweet or savory fillings that contain either meat, vegetables, fruits, chili or salsa. There are between 500 and 5,000 types of tamales in Mexico, all of them with different shapes and hidden inside diverse leaves, which grant them specific characteristics and contribute with a little flavor. If you want to taste corn or maize in a different way than a classic tortilla, don’t miss the corundas from Michoacán, the chipilín tamales from Chiapas, the pink piloncillo tamales from Guerrero or the classic red or green salsa tamales eaten all around Mexico.
Have no fear if you can’t handle chili or if you’re not into some regional flavors, remember there are pozole, tacos, tamales and mole for everyone, which is why we’re sure you’ll find some adequate version that fits your palate and you’ll be able to enjoy it all the way.
Now that you know that the best way of appreciating Mexican gastronomy is eating, we invite you to taste the colors, flavors, and textures of our country in the best food tours Mexico has to offer. Get to know us on our social media or website, Sabores México Food Tours. Bon appetite!
Article by: María José Ordóñez Platas