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Mexico’s tacos and molés

I know a little about Mexico, having lived there for a few years, a long time ago.

This time, we’ve concentrated on the center and south of the country only.

We did:
Mexico City
Puerto Vallarta
Aguascalientes (to see friends, as there’s no point)
Playa del Carmen

Mexico is a big country, so we used different means of transport
Plane, night bus and car rental for Yucatan

Several cultural tours:

Teotihuacan; The City of the Gods, 40 minutes from Mexico City, an ancient city whose last inhabitants were the famous Aztecs,
We arrived early for a Ballon tour, expensive but frankly worth it, it was our first time so a nice souvenir,
Take a guide for the tour, which also comes at a price, but you’ll still gain in information and understanding of the context,

We went to see a ballet (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
We did a Lucha Libre evening, fun to see, don’t go with too high expectations, it’s funny and interactive, the Mexicans are passionate about the show which is as much in the ring as in the hall.
Do it anyway for the atmosphere and the experience.

And the highlight of the show, a guided tour of the Anthropology Museum.
Allow 4 or 5 hours to enjoy this fantastic museum, one of the most beautiful in the world.
Frida Kahlo’s Blue House is also definitely worth a visit, as it’s in a charming, rather quiet neighborhood that’s well worth a day trip,

The Yucatan is all about the Mayans, the temples and pyramids really won us over, a bit of beach and diving to swim with the turtles and everyone was happy with their stay!

Mexico’s cuisine, or rather cuisines, are well known: I see 3 main categories, with their local and regional variations

Street food, home cooking or daily specials, and festive cuisine for special occasions.

Street food: These are tacos sold by small cart vendors, from breakfast to late-night snacks, eaten 24 hours a day. They’re good, cheap, fast and available on every street corner,
The flavors and sauces vary from region to region, but the idea is always to put a little cooked meat in a tortilla, with or without vegetables and sauce.
Our favorite is the tacos al Pastor, marinated pork with pineapple juice and chili peppers (axiote) that give it a slightly red color. Cooked like a kebab, and served in small corn tortillas, with a small piece of roasted pineapple, onions and coriander,

The home cooking in the restaurant has more variety, but there’s the Pozole, a white, red or green soup, depending on the condiments, large grains of corn and pork cooked for a very long time, oregano, dry tortilla pieces. It’s very nourishing and tastes really good,
There’s also the famous chili enogada, a speciality of the city of Puebla, a green chilli, not very hot, stuffed with a mixture of minced meat, beef and pork, cooked for a long time with spices and dried fruit, a little sweetened and served cold with a cream sauce and chopped nuts, a dish that is offered all year round, but which is normally in season in summer,

Quesadillas of all kinds and broths are also served in small neighborhood restaurants. It’s worth sitting down and ordering because it’s generally not very expensive and the food is good.
Don’t hesitate to order the aguas frescas during meals, these are cold drinks with different flavors, Jamaica = Hibiscus, Orchata = cinnamon rice water, Tamarindo,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Taste it, taste it, taste it, try it all,

Festive cuisine is also eaten in restaurants, of course, but for Mexicans, this kind of food is served for weddings or family celebrations.
I’ll elaborate further:
Mole (pronounced molé in French), of course, is a rich, thick sauce made from several dried chillies, several seeds (sesame and others) and a sweet element to balance the flavours.
The best known is Molé Rojo, which contains a little chocolate.
They’re served with turkey or chicken, but also fish, beef and even shrimp, depending on the region, the season and the event.

In Oaxaca, we first took part in a cookery course, then on another day, we ate at the home of a chef who specializes in the famous molés and pre-Hispanic cuisine, a truly interesting experience, in a wood-fired kitchen with earthen pots cooking over the coals, rare,

Here are the main principles:

A Molé has three elements
seeds (sesame, pumpkin seeds)
Dried and fresh peppers, but cooked, sometimes smoked
A slightly sweet element (chocolate, dried fruit, almonds, etc.)

Black Molé
Molé Poblano
Mole Pipian
Molé verde
White molé (rarer)

The handmade tortilla, the staple food in Mexico (bread, that is), made from corn or wheat.

And many others, because every family has its own recipe and every molé its own moment.

Molés noirs and Poblano are often offered in restaurants and served for special occasions such as weddings.

Some molés are more bitter, for example, and are served at funerals to match the bitterness of death.

Molé verde is often served with fish, while black and poblano are served with chicken, pork and beef, which are always cooked in broth.

There’s also ceviche and all the varieties of tacos and quesadillas, street food, everywhere else in the world, is the cheapest and the best.

The occasional restaurant is fine, but you have to eat at least one meal a day in Mexico.

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