An uninformed American look at Mexican food

     I’m embarrassed talking about Mexican food because every time I am in Mexico I realize I hardly know a damn thing about it even though I always claim to love what I know to be “Mexican food”. Like traveling in Mexico, real Mexican food is a revelation, and on both counts I feel like I have barely scratched the surface.
     Before I left on this trip a Mexican friend implored me to not eat street food as it could be dangerously unsanitary, but I think I ate street food more often than not. It looked safe and clean and was almost always delicious. In a situation where food stalls abound, the friend I am traveling with says to always go with the oldest and presumably most experienced person cooking as she will have “command of her kitchen”, she says, so I look for the woman who has the best posture and stands proudly. I never got sick in one month of being in Mexico, though my friend had a bout of food poisoning that wrecked her for two days. She suspects it was some cut watermelon that did her in.

     A common meal: red mole chicken, rice, black beans, a tall stack of tortillas and a glass of horchata off-camera in San Cristobal de las Casas, 30 pesos (13 pesos=US$1)

     Blue corn sope in Puebla, 5 pesos. Blue corn anything always made me stop in my tracks, but it wasn’t commonly seen. A variation of this (with black beans, cheese, and salsa) in yellow corn form is always something I seek out.

     Tostadas topped with beets and carrots, San Cristobal de las Casas, 2 for 5 pesos.

     Pozole in Huatulco, Oaxaca, 30 pesos.

     Amaranth and chocolate snack, 6 pesos. Big fan.

     Something I didn’t eat, but appreciated the humor. Fuuuuuuuud!

     Day of the Dead bread, Oaxaca

     Dried (pasilla?) chiles in Tlacolula, Oaxaca. In Mexican markets I love to bury my face in the smells of all the different kinds of chiles until security is called.

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An uninformed American look at Mexican food — 8 Comments

  1. So very jealous!! Must. Have. Mexican. Fud.
    I’ve learned to make it from scratch here is Oz using Rick Bayless’s cookbooks. Only way to survive.

  2. It’s really fantastic here. I’ve been very pleasantly surprised. What ingredients can you not get there? When do I get to try your recipes, anyway?

  3. I think the chiles are morita rather than pasilla :p, but I mostly wanted to leave this comment to say I enjoyed reading through your posts on your visit to Mexico! Thanks for sharing this on CouchSurfing. 🙂

  4. they look good! will i be pleased as a malaysian?:P

  5. I would be so happy if I could have a couple meals a week sitting on a plastic stool on a street in Oaxaca. I never got sick from street food in Mexico… I think in addition to paying attention to the chef, another thing to look out for is popularity. If it’s crowded and people have brought their extended family with them, it’ll probable safe and tasty. If you end up in Mexico City, you should definitely sample the street tacos – delish. A really great spot is Super Tacos Chupacabras in Coyoacan just outside the metro station there.

  6. I always thought that if I opened a restaurant I would offer people off the street 50% off on their food if they ate so everyone can see I have a popular place and more customers would come–but of course, I see your point and the food should be fresher.
    I am pretty far from Mexico City now, but I see flights back to California on Alaska Airlines are quite cheap ($150) . We’ll see…
    I thought Coyoacan and San Angel were very nice.

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