Hola! Welcome to this brand new blog about Oaxaca, I promise you we’ll have a lot of fun! If you’re not in love with this state yet, I guarantee you’ll be pretty soon. And the best way to start your life long romance with Oaxaca it’s by its food. I gotta say, one the best things about this state is the food! I’ve never met anybody who disagrees on that.
Oaxaca cuisine is the perfect combination of Spanish and pre-Hispanic cultures. It’s an exotic combination of the craziest ingredients you’ll taste in Mexico. So, for you to taste only the best, here’s a guide of the top 5 dishes you should eat while in Oaxaca.
The Oaxacan Mole is worldwide famous. We have mole all over Mexico, but the two more famous are the Oaxacan and the Poblano Mole. This dish is a mixture of more than 30 ingredients, including spices, meat, chile and chocolate.
This state is “the land of seven moles” because you’ll find negro (black), amarillo (yellow), verde (green), chichilo, colorado (red), and mancha manteles (literally, tablecloth stainer). Each one has deferent ingredients, flavor, consistence, and of course, as the names indicates, colors. It’s hard to chose only one as the best in state, you’ll have to be the judge of that. And don’t worry, when having to chose only one at dinner, you’ll surely make the right decision, they’re all great!
The literally translation of Chapulines is Locust, and yes, that is exactly what it is. I know it sounds crazy (I warned you!) but it’s also delicious. These little grasshoppers are appetizers you’ll find all over the state, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the fanciest restaurant or at the market, they’ll offer you this dish. Don’t be afraid to taste them! It’s a salty, a little spicy, legendary dish that not only you’ll love, but it’ll be a great anecdote to tall back home.
Tasajo is a salted beef skirtsteak typically found in Oaxaca. Is a soft meat usually used in many other dishes.
A large (pizza sized), thin, toasted tortilla with beans, meat, cheese, chapulines and salsa on top. The best place to have a Tlayuda is at the Mercado 20 de Noviembre, close to the Zocalo. Sit at any Fonda (inn) and enjoy your tlayuda with tasajo or meatless.
Ok, ok, you’re right. Mezcal is not a food, is a drink, but still you should have it. The word Mezcal comes from the Nahuatl maguey. This drink is made from Agave cactus and comes in many flavors. If you like tequila you’ll love Mezcal, but keep in mind that the most popular one has a worm in the bottle to enhance its taste. But I don’t think that’ll be a problem for you, since you already tasted (and enjoyed) chapulines.
So there you have it, impossible not to fall in love with beautiful Oaxaca, you know what the say the way to anybody’s heart is through the stomach. Enjoy!
[photos courtesy of waywuwei, Carnaval King 08, william.neuheisel, hija del caos and scaredy_kat / Flickr]