It’d be hard to find a continent with more fun and flavour packed into it – from bittersweet cocoa in Oaxaca to a heavenly dulce de leche in Buenos Aires, the Americas are a smorgasbord of surprises. We’ll introduce you to Malbec winemakers in Mendoza and teach you the secrets of Peruvian ceviche. Que bueno.
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Intrepid Food Adventures - Tacos
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Tasty tips from our Intrepid Foodie
When it comes to finding the best food in the Americas, in helps to have an expert eye. That’s why we have the Intrepid Foodies: real life culinary travellers and gastronomic experts who follow their stomachs from Cuba to Chile – sampling and learning everything they can on their quest for fresh, local cuisine.
Day job: Masterchef (literally), serial restaurateur, cookbook author and Mexico’s Queen of Queso
I adore picadillo, the real Mexican chilli. It’s a succulent combination of pork, beef, nuts and dried fruit. I especially love it when it’s stuffed inside a smoked chilli from Oaxaca called the pasilla and deep-fried (it has to be tasted to be believed).
A simple quesadilla made with freshly ground and toasted corn and stuffed with the string cheese from Oaxaca and some fresh epazote is one of the purest eating experiences out there, especially when paired with a searingly hot salsa made with the chile de agua chilli.
A steaming cup of hot chocolate made with water, not milk, freshly roasted and ground cacao, ground almonds and cinnamon is a delicious way to start the day for a really bright, light pick-me-up.
A dark, rich, anise-studded mole from Xico in Veracruz.
A bowl of soup made from a carefully tended stock, either a sopa de tortilla from Mexico City, a sopa de guias from Oaxaca or a pozole from Michoacan. Soups in Mexico are lovingly prepared with bundles of fresh herbs and vegetables and their flavours are wonderful.
There is very little need for fancy equipment, although a pestle and mortar and upright food blender do come in handy, as does a tortilla press if you want to make your own. I always have some fresh lime lying around, a stash of dried chillies in the cupboard for when I am feeling adventurous and some onions and garlic for making salsas and herbs. Other than that it is down to the recipe you want to make.
Chillies, vanilla, chocolate, avocadoes and tomatoes - all ingredients indigenous to Mexico.
There are so many amazing things to eat, but it really depends on where you are as the food is regional and changes depending on what state or city you are in. Each state, each region has its own specialties; discovering them and falling in love with the different dishes is part of the joy of travelling through Mexico. Mexico City is famous for its ‘tacos al pastor’: mouth-watering skewers of pork marinated in spices and served in tacos with chargrilled pineapple, lime and salsa verde. The ‘carnitas’ from Veracruz are delicious but so are the ‘panuchos’ from the Yucatan. The pozole in the market at Coyacan and the churros in Coyacan too, stuffed with cajeta.