Not going to lie when we picked Mexico City as our next El Camino destination my immediate reaction was ‘TACOS!!!’ but to be fair thats me on any given Tuesday… As a relatively adventurous eater- I ain’t scare of no lengua, I was really excited to hit the streets and see what the locals with eating. We ate a lot of really good things, fine dining included, but I wanted to share with you my 3 favorite things we ate on the street.
Pronounced whee-tla-KO-cheh, huitlacoche is also known as corn mushroom, corn smut or Mexican truffle. It is a fungus, which randomly grows on organic corn (not sprayed with any fungicide). It is rare, as it develops on the corn ears as they ripen after the rainy season or an errant rainstorm. We had huitlacoche quesadillas on the first stop of our street food tour and I did not want to stop eating them. The texture is so familiar but the taste is otherworldly. Chased with a coke and some hot sauce I think I could live off these for the rest of my life.
Fun Fact: quesadillas in Mexico City don’t come with cheese unless you ask for it.
2. Shwarma Tacos
Influenced by Persian street food we walked by many taco stands with men shaving meat off a rod similar to a gyro. I honestly have no idea why the taco dudes on the streets of LA have not caught onto this because the meat was so flavorful it needed nothing else but a sprinkle of cilantro and onions. I would drunk eat a million of these.
3. Green Chorizo
I usually keep chorizo eating as a strict hangover killer in breakfast burritos but one of the last stops on our food tour we happened upon what I can only describe as a Mexico riff on a California burrito aka heaven. We had green chorizo- supposed green because of italian parsley but alas the ingredients are highly guarded secret- and french fries and guacamole. A lot of the food stalls we went to were a family operation served recipes that had been perfected over the course of generations.
You’re starving now, I know, I’m sorry. So I will share a few bonus reflections with you on other things we ate:
*The avocado toast craze has crossed the boarder. Our hotel served a gorgeous bread smothered in avocado and topped delicately with radishes and bib lettuce.
*Dry Noodles aka spaghetti in Mexican spices is a thing. Personally I am not a fan but we had it served to us twice at some of the more upscale spots we went to so clearly it is having a moment. Proceed with caution.
*BUGS! We went to a mercato that had a food stand dedicated to bug eating. I whimped out when I was Thailand so I knew I had to try them here. Turns out fried crickets are just a little salty and scorpions sorta taste like potato. If nothing else do it for the bragging rights… Scott Chenoweth I am looking at you.