There is much more to taste in Mexico than tequila and tacos al pastor, get to know the incredible variety we have to offer.To talk about Mexico is to talk about tequila, however, there are so many more beverages to discover in the country, that if we were to talk about all of them we wouldnt be able to finish.
Additionally, if you have tried Mexican food you wouldnt be surprised to know that UNESCO has named our cuisine an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Respect for our traditions has made it stand out in the world, besides telling our story with spectacular flavors and aromas.
Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the pre-Hispanic diet was based on corn, chili, herbs, beans, tomatoes and cactus. With the arrival of the conquerors, many grains and spices merged with the culture becoming part of the indigenous cuisine, emerging dishes and recipes that today continue to delight palates worldwide.
Here are the most exotic Mexican foods and drinks that, according to our editorial team, you cant miss and must try!
Huitlacoche (corn smut)
If you’re a vegetarian, this corn fungus will be a delicacy for you. Considered ambrosia, this distant relative of mushrooms is known as the “Mexican truffle” in France, the United States, and in Germany. We can find it made into soups or sauces, although its most common presentation is in quesadillas, ask for them served in a blue tortilla!
Escamoles (larvae of ants)
Colloquially called “the Mexican caviar”, these black ant larvae have been highly appreciated since pre-Hispanic times, when they were part of the inhabitant food of Mesoamerica. Today, the process of obtaining escamoles is so complicated that few restaurants offer this gourmet product, and those that do have exorbitant prices. Its flavor is so subtle that it does not need more than a little butter, onion and epazote plant to achieve a dish with great flavor. Its season starts between March and April.
Nowadays they are considered a type of exotic snack that usually accompanies mezcal, however, the FAO foresees that by the year 2050 this gourmet insect will be able to fight world hunger, since its great nutritional importance contributes a protein value superior to that of animal meat. This food of the future has a crunchy texture and many assure that it is a delicacy of incomparable flavor. We recommend you to try them in a taco accompanied by cheese and a touch of guacamole.
The dish fit for a king par excellence. It is the most prestigious bug that has reached the world gastronomic level. Even when its consumption seems to be reserved only for kings, because of its high price. This butterfly larva feeds on the maguey leaves, main rib, and its roots, so it is very common to find it inside mezcal bottles. In various restaurants we can find them as a snack or as a main dish. They are usually roasted or fried. Try them in a taco with a lot of guacamole!
A drink whose origin also dates from the pre-Hispanic era, used to be drunk only by people over 52 and on special occasions. It is a white drink with a thick and slimy texture made by extracting the mead, done by scraping the sweet juice that is concentrated in the heart of the maguey with a kind of spoon called acocote. Afterwards, it must go through a fermentation process. Try it in its “cured” version, which is the mixture of pulque with some fruit, nuts or chocolate and sweetened with sugar or honey.
Made with fermented pineapple and cane sugar, this is one of the coolest and most popular drinks in Mexico, perfect for summer nights. Its preparation requires four days in which pieces of pineapple, pulp and peel are left to rest in a clay container. It is spiced with cloves and cinnamon and sweetened with unrefined brown sugar cone (piloncillo). Let yourself be surprised by its refreshing and penetrating flavor.
It is very unlikely that you have visited Mexico and that you havent tried this sweet and milky drink made from rice, cinnamon and vanilla. You can find it in any restaurant and even in the main squares. Horchata is absolutely essential in the daily life of a Mexican. Try other flavors of popular fresh waters such as Jamaica (hibiscus) or tamarind.
Just by mentioning it, memories of my childhood come back to mind. It is true that it has a touch of alcohol, but in Mexico, when you are a child, it is the only thing your parents let you drink that made you feel like an adult. It is made with egg yolks, vanilla, cinnamon, moonshine, milk and sugar, and is exactly as you imagine it: delicious, creamy and with a slight touch of alcohol. Nuns in the convents have been the experts of the preparation of this drink since the year 1600.
Hot, creamy and perfect for an icy morning. It is the soulmate of the tamale and it dates from pre-Hispanic times. It is another alternative to coffee or tea because, although it provides many calories, it also fills you with energy. In pre-Hispanic times, it was made only with corn dough, but today we prepare it with a special type of corn flour or even in ready-to-drink satchels. The real atole is sweetened with unrefined brown sugar in a cone (piloncillo), but you can also find it with sugar or honey.