Thanks to large food chains, most people have sampled their fair share of ‘Mexican’ cuisine without traveling to the country. While this is great, cultural lines between Mexican and Tex-Mex often blur to create misconceptions of ‘authentic’ Mexican food. Venture across the border, and it’s an exciting new world! Every region in Mexico does food differently. Each bite offers experiences into the country’s diverse local food traditions, culture, and climate. Traditional Mexican cuisine offers a world of flavor, unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. Here’s our pick of traditional dishes that should be on any foodie’s list.
Whether you’re a fan of ceviche or not, the Mexican version promises to be a zinger! Aguachile is a specialty dish from the western coast of Mexico. The name translates into ‘chili water,’ just for an indication of the flavor bomb that is this dish!
Like traditional ceviche, aguachile is shrimp or fish marinated in lime juice — but with a twist. Aguachile comes with a spicy blend of cilantro and chilies, giving the dish its signature zing and vibrant color. Slices of cucumber and onion bring extra freshness. Spice levels, marination time, and amount of liquid distinguish aguachile from ceviche.
Tlayuda is Mexico’s answer to pizza. This wondrous dish is a popular food found in numerous restaurants, eateries, and markets throughout the southern state of Oaxaca where it finds its origins.
Tlayuda comprises a massive corn tortilla bread, first baked or toasted for crispiness and then loaded with fillings. The most authentic tlayuda comes with refried black beans, generous amounts of quesillo or Oaxaca cheese, salsa, and a meat of your choice. Some tlayuda types are folded while others come open-faced like a pizza. Digging into one can get messy but is so worth it!
Everyone loves a great sandwich. Now imagine one with a filling of delectable carnitas slowly drowning in an electrifying tomato and red pepper sauce. Say hello to Torta Ahogada from the city of Guadalajara! It’s the sandwich you didn’t know you needed.
The makings of a classic torta ahogada start with the bread. Authentic torta ahogada is made from a sourdough roll called Birote Salado — a type of thick bread perfectly crunchy on the outside and chewy inside. The bread is loaded with pork carnitas or offal cuts before the spectacular finish – submerging the torta in a dizzying chile de árbol salsa!
Camarones a la Diabla
Camarones a la Diabla features large shrimp cooked to perfection and covered with smoky red chile pepper sauce. The red chile pepper sauce is the unmistakable star of the dish. Its smoky, spicy flavor comes from a mix of peppers — chile de Arbol and guajillo — along with juicy Roma tomatoes.
Cemitas Poblanas is a signature sandwich belonging to the Mexican state and city of Puebla. Cemita is a dense bread roll made with eggs and sprinkled with sesame seeds. The hearty sandwich comes with delicious stuffing — breaded beef or milanesa, chipotle salsa, fresh pápalo leaves, loads of Oaxacan cheese, onions, and avocado.