When you’re traveling to Mexico, you won’t want to miss out on the delicious fare that awaits! From taco stands to ma-and-pop restaurants, you’ll get a taste for authentic flavors that are missing in the touristy establishments.
Now’s your chance to eat like a local, to enjoy Mexican recipes have been passed down from generation to generation, and many from indigenous cultures such as the Maya and Aztecs.
Here in Oaxaca, specifically Huatulco Mexico, you’ll find plentiful seafood, unique sauces and one-of-a-kind spices, each served up with love (and often a slice of family history).
Seafood – With 36 beaches, it's no surprise local Huatulco restaurant menus weigh heavily on fresh catches of the day. Sweet and savory shrimp, crab, squid, shark, lobster and endless varieties of fish are served up as tasty appetizers and entrées.
Sauces – Forget those jars of sauces that line grocery store shelves back home, and get ready for a real treat: homemade Huatulco Mexico sauces. Available with every meal, you’ll find thick, flavorful sauces that range from mild and savory to hot and memorable.
Herbs and Spices – Oaxacans love to flavor their foods with savory herbs and spice combinations. One culinary favorite is hoja santa which gives a special Oaxacan flavor to chicken, pork and fish dishes. It’s also essential in the much-loved verde (green) mole.
In Huatulco specifically, locals love to dine specific ingredients, entrées and beverage. So if you’re ready to eat like a local, take note of these fresh, mouthwatering gastronomical experiences:
- Mole (from the Nahuatl word milli meaning sauce or “concoction”) is a thick sauce unique to Mexico. In fact, Oaxaca is known as the “Land of Seven Moles.” While every Oaxacan home has its own variation, mole is typically made from unsweetened chocolate, spices and of course, many of Oaxaca’s famous chiles. Depending on the cook, nuts, bread, cinnamon, sugar, lard, plantains and cloves may also be added. While historians cannot be certain, mole is thought to have been served to the conquistadors by Montezuma, the Aztec king. Today, it often tops the entrées as well as anything else a mole-lover wishes: produce, nuts, breads and cookies!
- Hot chocolate. Enough said, right? But you haven’t had hot chocolate unless you’ve tried the world-renowned Oaxacan Hot Chocolate. Oaxacans like their chocolate melted and blended with milk or water and sprinkled with ground cinnamon. The flavor is likely to be a bit more bitter than what you may be used to, but you’re actually getting the real flavor (and health benefits) of authentic, unprocessed chocolate.
- If you’re a cheese lover, you can’t miss out on Oaxaca’s famous Quesillo. Also known as queso Oaxaca or queso de hebra, quesillo is a mild string cheese made from cow’s milk. Quesillo is stretched, making long strips before it’s rolled into a ball. It’s used to make quesadillas, tlayudas and empanadas de quesillo con flor de calabaza (empanadas made with squash blossoms).
- Tlayudas are Oaxaca’s answer to Italian pizza. Made from blandas (oversized corn tortillas), tlayudas are layered with asiento, a paste made from black beans and pork fat. Quesillo is sprinkled over the tlayudas and topped with tomato, avocado and lettuce or shredded cabbage. The accompanying meat is up to you. Choose from beef (tasajo), sausage (chorizo) or pork (cecina). Vegetarians need to pass up tlayudas. Simply ask for “tlayuda sencilla sin asiento” which is made without lard and meat.
- Meat lovers will go gaga over Oaxaca’s Tasajo. It is thinly sliced grilled beef that is often served with the ever-popular Tlayudas.
- While Tequila is Mexico’s drink, its cousin, Mezcal, is very popular in Huatulco Mexico. Made from the green agave plant, Mezcal comes with quite the kick. Mezcal is enjoyed as a shot with an optional lime and dash of salt. Sometimes you can find Mezcal bottled with a worm which always makes for a great gift to share.
- Okay, we’ve saved the best for last: Grasshoppers. Sure, it might freak you out initially, but these crunchy insects are a snack-able delight in Huatulco Mexico. They are fried – antennae and all – and served with a dash of lemon and salt, and/or chili and garlic. Simply pop ‘em into your mouth like you would peanuts or popcorn. Delish!
So there you have it, how to eat like a local in Huatulco Mexico with 7 of our gotta-try recommendations. Feel free to add your own as foodies are always looking for new flavors and experiences.
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