Before arriving in Mexico I did not have a clear opinion about local food. I used to proudly say that I like eating everything but – let me confess this – every time I could choose the type of food, I would not order Mexican food. I would get something else. My vision of Mexican cuisine was affected by two main distortions:
- my Mexican friend whose always says that Mexico does not really have a proper cuisine and people only eat tacos.
- the terrible Mexican food in London!
To start, I realise only now that – WTF! – the we-eat-only-tacos thing was the just an excuse to make me cook (fucking lazy friends!). I mean, it is true, people do eat lots of tacos, yeah… but not only that!
I have found out, not without a certain degree of pleasure, that the so-called Mexican food sold in Europe is in reality Tex-Mex, something similar to its branded name but totally different at the same time. This variation has been invented by Texan-born Mexicans. Recipes like burritos , fajitas and chilli con carne do not exist in Mexico. Did you know that? I have learnt what I do not like is Tex-Mex food. Maybe I will like it in Texas, who knows!
It is true that the two cuisines have one thing in common: the spiciness!🔥 NEVER EVER believe a Mexican saying that a recipe is a BIT hot because that food will burn your ass! Next day ring of fire guaranteed!
Keep calm and try new food: my first real comida mexicana
This is the story of how I changed my mind. My first day in Mexico I have been brought to an EatWith appointment. EatWith is a social platform to book a dinner at the house of a local. The system is available in many cities around the world. Our host Marco Antonio loves cooking his mum’s recipes. He also likes delighting his guests with typical things, interesting stories and food-related curiosities. So, this is how I tried Chapulines and Mezcal. The aperitivo was followed by a Sopa de Hongos Mexicana (mushroom soup) and the tasty Pastel Atzeca.
A new world to discover!!!
Mexican cuisine can be either fat and greasy or rich and healthy. But always cheap and tasteful. For the first category, just try street food and do not miss the tortas. For the second category, well… go to any restaurant and you will not be disappointed! An interesting experience is eating in a comedor. Comedores are home-like places where one can eat cheap and basic food prepared by a woman that, if you were living there, could have been your auntie or your neighbour.
A typical ingredients is corn, either used as flour in the tortillas, in the tamales‘ masa or as thickener in the atole drink. Every dish is usually accompanied by meat or fish depending on the location.
Finding vegetarian food is a challenge! For example, a ‘vegetarian’ soup can be made with chicken broth as a good amount of people thinks that vegetarian means ‘without red meat’. I was offered a vegetarian tuna sandwich once!
This gallery features my favourite dishes but be aware: Mexico has much more to offer!