Would you go to Mexico for the food?
You know that restaurant in your neighborhood that you always pass by, meaning to go there some other time?
Then when you finally do go, you realize it is the best! The best drinks, the most fun staff and delicious food. Soon you’re kicking yourself for passing by this gem for so long. Well, that’s exactly how I felt when I first went to Mexico!
Living in the United States, Mexico always seemed “too close” for a vacation, but then I was intrigued by the Real Food Adventure – Mexico. I loved Mexican food, I had a week off of work – the time was right!
I knew this trip was going to exceed all of my expectations as soon as I arrived in Mexico City.
From a foodie perspective, Mexico City is amazing – it has by far the greatest range of cusine of anywhere in Mexico. All parts of Mexican food has some sort of representation in Mexico City, from delicious al pastor pork nestled inside homemade tortillas, huraches (imagine a masa slipper topped with meat and veg), spiced sauces, utter vibrant jewel-like dried papaya and pineapple, grilled corn slathered with cheese, sugar covered tamarind – it’s all here!
Plus, Mexico City is a truly metropolitan city, it reminded me a lot of New York City. There are beautiful parks, museums, theater, everything. I spent one lazy afternoon drifting down the street until I found a great art gallery. It was filled not only with smaller works of art, but also a gorgeous mural along the wall. The colors and vibrancy of the art were the perfect parallel to the sound of the city just outside the door.
I was looking forward to Oaxaca, because I knew they were famous for their cheese (and I love all cheeses of the world!), but the food that really surprised me was… crickets! Crickets are surprisingly tasty – honestly! They are the food of the future (they’re protein-rich and easy on the environment) and take on the flavor of whatever you put on them. Think of them as popcorn – well, popcorn with legs 😉
Puebla is known as the ‘kitchen of Mexico’, where native food is blended with Spanish influence to create a lot of the Mexican cuisine we know. Naturally, it’s the perfect place for a cooking class! We learned how to make salsa, and we discovered the nuanced blend of ingredients and techniques that make mole such a fantastic sauce. Yes, combinations of spice and chocolate with cheese and meat will knock your socks off!
Plus, learning how to make salsa has impressed my amigos back home. I now bring salsa to every party, and I love seeing people get so excited about the flavor. As excited as they are to eat, I’m just so happy to be able to make it! Now I know what chilis to buy, how to add the perfect amounts of lime and cilantro and my kitchen starts to turn into a “cocina”!
Living in California, I’m so glad Mexico is my neighbor – a neighbor I’m going to be visiting many more times!
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