Mexican food is my life.
My maternal grandparents are from Guadalajara, Mexico, so growing up, there wasn’t a dish in my household that didn’t feature a bit of Mexican flare — even if it was just a dash of my mum’s homemade hot sauce.
While some local dishes, such as tacos and quesadillas, are incredibly well known, there are many other Mexican basics that are slightly more under-the-radar.
Here are 18 mouthwatering Mexican foods you need to eat.
Nopalitos is a dish made up of diced nopales, which are part of a cactus. Sometimes they are made into a salad with tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado, or with an egg for breakfast.
Elote, or corn on the cob, is a popular street food in Mexico, where it is sold covered in salt, chilli powder, butter, cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise.
Chilaquiles are lightly fried tortilla chips covered in an array of sauces (either green salsa or red salsa, sometimes mole). Chicken, cheese, and various other toppings can also be added.
In a soup or dry, fideo (noodles) are often cooked in a tomato-based sauce. Ingredients such as clams, queso fresco, and cilantro are often added for an extra kick.
Flautas, also known as taquitos, are rolled, fried tortillas stuffed with filling, often some sort of meat or cheese. They can be topped with various salsas, sour cream, lettuce, and guacamole.
Typical street grub, sopes are small disks of fried masa (corn flour dough), which are similar to a tortilla but thicker. They are usually topped with veggies and meats, along with beans, cheese, lettuce, salsas, etc.
Birria is a popular stew in Guadalajara that is made with marinated goat meat, and usually served with cilantro, onions, and corn tortillas.
Mole refers to a number of different sauces, but mole poblano, made with chilli peppers and chocolate, is the most popular.
Tostadas are fried tortillas topped with anything you want. Popular toppings include beans, beef, pork, or fish, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes, and queso fresco.
Torta ahogada is a pork (or chicken) sandwich 'drowned' in a dried chilli pepper sauce, though you can make it less spicy with a tomato-based sauce.
Tacos al pastor feature marinated pork that's paired with onions, cilantro, a slice of pineapple, and salsa.
Pozole (posole) is a hominy soup made with pork, onion, and chilli pepper, and topped with radishes, limes, avocado, and lettuce.
Enchiladas are corn tortillas filled with pretty much anything -- meat, cheese, veggies, beans, etc. -- and rolled shut. They are topped with sauces like salsa or mole, as well as cheese.
Pan dulce (sweet bread) and Mexican hot chocolate are best served for breakfast, or as a late night snack.
Flan is a spongy, creamy, custard cake often flavored with vanilla and covered in caramelised sugar.
Cajeta is another sweet treat made from caramelised goat's milk. It can be served as a topping, made into candy, spread on bread, and more.
Capirotada is similar to bread pudding. It's made from toasted bolillo bread soaked in syrup and cinnamon sticks and mixed with nuts and fruits.
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