Mexican food is world known for its tasty flavors and fresh ingredients – no wonder it was recognized in 2010 by the UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
You may immediately identify Mexican food with tacos, tequila, beer, salsas and guacamole, but there is so much more to be tried and discovered. Mexican food is unique, it’s the result of the mixture of two cultures in the 16th Century: Pre-hispanic and European.
The key ingredient that makes Mexican cuisine so distinctive is the use of corn. From traditional tortillas used to prepare tacos, flautas, sopes or enchiladas, to elaborated steamed tamales wrapped in corn husks. Other exotic ingredients are also used, such as zucchini blossoms (flor de calabaza) in quesadillas or even “huitlacoche,” a black fungus grown on the outside of corn. Bug tacos offer a great source of protein, you can try tacos of gusanos de maguey (maguey worms), jumiles (stink bugs), chicatanas (giant winged ants), escamoles (ant eggs), and chapulines (grasshoppers), all considered delicacies in Mexican cuisine.
Mexicans like their food spicy and hot. if you are not used to these burning sensations, ask for salsa without “picante”. The most popular chiles are jalapeño, pasilla, poblano, guajillo, chipotle and habanero (the hottest one). This last chile comes from the Yucatan Peninsula and it’s most popular presentation is named after the Mayan word: “Xnipec” which translates into “dog’s nose”, so you get the idea of how much it will make you sweat.
Although beer and tequila come to mind first when you think of Mexico, the country’s wine industry has been growing in recent years. There are three wine-producing regions, being the one of Baja California the producer of 90% of the wine. You should definitely sample some Mexican wines on your trip. At Ziggy’s we offer wine and tequila tastings, as well as cooking classes.
Oaxaca is the birthplace of everyone’s new favorite agave spirit, mezcal. Drink it slowly accompanied by slices of oranges, often dusted with “sal de gusano” (a mix of rock salt, ground chiles and roasted ground worms).
From beef, pork, chicken, turkey, deer, rabbit, duck or seafood, Mexico has countless and delicious recipes that will awaken all of your senses. Try to taste authentic dishes, since each region has it’s own specialty. The flavors and consistency of real Mexican food is almost impossible to replicate in any other part of the world.
Using creativity and knowledge acquired during his many trips through the Republic, our chef Miguel takes national and local ingredients and creates unique flavors, taking Mexican cuisine to another level.
Welcome to Mexico!