Home to over thirty sovereign states like Oaxaca, Pueblo, Baja California, Jalisco and more; Mexico has a wide selection of cuisines. The Mexican cuisine is a mix of Asian and Arabic tastes. Use of chilies is prominent in all the parts and the assortment of salsa that one can relish here is no comparison with anywhere else. Corn and Chile peppers are staple items in all the recipes. Let’s see what the different regions hold to offer us.
- Veracruz region: This region stretches along the Gulf Coast and is a port city. So one can expect lots of seafood delicacies. However the preparation of any seafood item is a mix of salsa or mole sauce, peanuts and peppers. The Huachinango Veracruzana is a red snapper fish that is cooked in tomato sauce, capers and olives, Encacahuatado are chicken cooked in peanut sauce, Arroz a la Tumbada cooked in fish stock with mussels, clams, shrimps, octopus and rice are the most famous recipes of this regional cuisine.
- Tabasco region: This region of Mexico is not the one that invented the Tabasco sauce. It is the place who gave us our favorite hot drink, hot chocolate. The Tabasco region is dominated by forest surroundings and hence items like cocoa, beans, banana leaves, coriander, parsley, muste etc are found in abundance. The cuisine mostly relies on these items and the food cooked has sauces like mole sauce or achiote (prepared using all the above ingredients). Fresh water fish and seafood are also a part of the daily diet. Baby shark, alligator-head fish, snook fish, shellfish, shrimp and oysters are marine special recipes. Being the largest producers of cattle, don’t be surprised to see lowland paca, armadillo, iguana, turkey, deer and duck served as a main course.
- Baja California region: As most of Mexico has a strong Spanish influence, the cuisine prepared is also similar. Baja California, which means Lower California, is the inventor of the famous Caesar Salad and Fish Tacos. Paella and seafood again dominate the cuisine. Shrimp tacos prepared in salsa fresco, sour cream & shredded cabbage is the staple food here. Apart from this gallo pinto – minced beef with rice and potatoes, almejada – baked clams, machaca – dried and spiced beef prepared in salsa sauce and eggs are the traditional Baja Californian recipes. The renowned De Apoyo cheese is produced here. For sweets do not miss on the wheat-flour fritters topped with honey called Chimangos.
- Jalisco region: Known as the largest producers of tequila, trying a sample or a shot becomes mandatory. Jalisco region is where the original traditional recipes of Mexico hail from. Birria, a stew cooked with goat meat and chile sauce, is a traditional recipe served on festivals like Christmas, New Year and Birthdays. Torta Ahogadas is a typical Jalisco pork sandwich prepared in tomato or salsa sauce. It is called the drowned sandwich as the braised pork placed in the French bread is soaked in tomato sauce. Red Pozole is another traditional Mexican recipe prepared with dried maize kernels, pork, red chilies, radishes and shredded cabbage. It is a soup form. Alfajores is a must-try sweet; it is a cookie sandwich with caramelized cream and sugar.
Pasillas grasshoppers; cooked grasshoppers are traditional of Oaxaca region, tortillas with salsa sauce and beans is found in the Federal District region, Carne Desebrada; shredded beef in guajilli sauce comes from the Sonora district and Turkey is staple of the Yucatan region and served with almost all dishes.