Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Yum and the Yuck of Mexico

Taco Bell is not Mexican food!
The cuisine of Mexico is far more delicious and varied than that little chihuahua tells you. Each region of Mexico has its own unique flavour, from the way tacos are prepared to the salsas and tortillas and the cuts of meat.
Mole poblano is different than the mole from Oaxaca (both are fabulous, you can't beat spicy chocolatey sauce on chicken, mmmmm). Living in Cancun I have mostly been exposed to Yucatecan dishes, recipes handed down over thousands of years by the Mayan people of this region. Here's a small sampling of some of the dishes of Mexico.....

YUM!Tacos de Arrachera.
This could well be my favourite dish, tender pieces of skirt steak done with just the right seasonings, arrachera is generally very juicy and flavourful! Add a touch of habanero salsa or some guacamole and I am very satisfied.

Tacos de ojo/eyeball tacos.

Ok seriously, I am not on Fear Factor, I shouldn't be forced to eat something as nasty as tacos made from the eyeballs of cows. I won't condemn you if you do, my hubby loves them, I just don't need my food to be watching me.

YUM! Enchiladas suizas are divine!
Chicken enchiladas smothered in spicy green salsa and topped with swiss cheese (or manchego cheese as is often the case here).

Now, I might get my head kicked in for saying that since it seems that EVERYONE loves the pastor but it's just not my bag. I really despise onions and cilantro and these puppies are covered in them so it's not for me. It is great fun to watch them cut the meat and flick off that little piece of pineapple, I just won't be eating them thank you very much.

YUM YUM YUM! Cochinita pibil.
I heart cochinita and eat it every chance I get. Perhaps not the healthiest choice, it's pretty fatty but it's de-li-cious! My next door neighbour had a five gallon drum of it made before Hurricane Wilma and boy did we eat well out of that! This is a "must try" if you end up in this area of Mexico, it is unique to the Yucatan Peninsula.

YUM! (Yes, there are more yums than yucks). Cemitas!
My first taste of this Mexican style sandwich was in the town of its origin, Puebla (hubby's town of origin as well!). These sandwiches are made on a special egg bread and in my experience they are HUGE. I can never finish one, it usually becomes a couple of meals for me. There is one place we have found in Cancun that has them and they are authentic and tasty (and yes, huge).

YUM! Tikin xic fish.
Native to this area of Mexico, a fabulous recipe for fresh fish (often grouper here and if you go to the right place, they have literally just pulled it out of the ocean....mmmmm).

So, there is a quick introduction to just a few of the dishes Mexico has to offer. I really haven't even scratched the surface, but I am hungry now and must go eat. Provecho! (Enjoy!)


Fned said...

Amen sister!!! Great post!

Specially for a gal living on the other side of the planet where mexican food is reduced to bland guacamole and make-them-yourself enchilada kits imported from the US under the brand "Fiesta"!!! Huacala!!

I can't believe you don't like tacos al pastor though, when I go home I always end up stuffing my face, they're my favorite!... but I can understand about the onion making it difficult... what about tacos orientales?? Ask hubby, if he's from Puebla (like I am) he should know of Tacos TONY : the mecca of all tacos orientales joints.

Thanks for the yummy pics... made me and hubby hungry (as a typical frenchman at the beginning he gave me sh*t about eating such spicy food "it ruins the tastebuds"... then he went to Mexico for the 1st time and tasted for himself... now it's me that has to tell him to go easy on the habanero!) :-D

Brenda Maas said...

I live in Guaymas, Sonora and Cochinita pibil is a dish made here also. I have eaten it and made it myself and I agree it is very good. Definately a YUM.

CancunCanuck said...

Fned, hubby absolutely knows Tacos Tony, you made HIM hungry by mentioning it, lol! The best tacos I tried in Puebla were the Tacos de la 25, those were HUGE and delish! I haven't had the orientales, but I have had the tacos arabes (hubby says they are a Puebla thing too). I have a British friend married to another Poblano and his family has a restaurant here that sells great arabes! Happy to have you reading, thanks!

Brenda, very interesting that you've got the cochinita in Sonora too, I was under the impression it was just a Mayan thing. Glad to learn something new, thanks! I haven't got the guts to try to make it yet, I'm a newbie in the kitchen (since I became a Mexican wife I had to learn, haha). It's so easy and cheap to get here that making it (and screwing it up) just seems like a whole lot of work. :)

Susan Lechuga said...

You made me so hungry. I am craving some real pastor. I made some barbacoa last night that dh tore up. I really need to return to his roots. Hope all is well with you.

Anonymous said...

This is making me so hungry!!!

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