One of the best things about traveling through Mexico is the culinary experience on offer, the chance to indulge in some of the traditional plates which are offered, and to sample a wide range of foods. Mexican food in general has been altered drastically from its original form here in the US, and has sadly been condensed down to hard shell tacos, nachos and quesadillas, in a form known as Tex-Mex. The best food in my view is Mexican food, not the Tex-Mex variety, and here is exactly why I believe it to be the best.
Compared with many European countries or indeed northern American countries like Canada and USA, Mexico has not seen the same levels of migration which is one of the contributing factors as to how they have protected their traditions when it comes to their foods. As you cross state lines in Mexico there is something new as you go, a different type of food which is conserved, and enjoyed by all those who live there. Foods of course have certainly crossed the states, but it is the widely held belief that those plates are always best in their home states.
Whilst dishes like tacos are found throughout the country, it is important to recognize that the foods in Mexico vary wildly. The state of Mexican cuisine reminds me a little of Italy in that you make the assumption that pizza and pasta is where everything starts and finishes, but in fact there is so much more to it than that with delightful dishes which don’t contain either. Especially in the southern regions there are some fantastic dishes which do not feature the street food staples such as tacos, huaraches, sopes and the like.
Something which I have always loved about Mexican food is the way in which it combines with nature and how nature has both inspired the dishes you find here, as well as being a central part to much of the cuisine. Mexican plants and flowers are prevalent throughout the nation’s gastronomy and the way in which they are able to work with the likes of corn or the maguey plant. This connection with nature is something which I have learned a lot about thanks to the brilliant gastronomy expert Javier Burillo, a good friend of mine and someone who is doing exciting things south of the border.
Something else about the food here which I can’t really forget to mention is how reasonably priced it all is, even the fine cuisine in the top restaurants. In so many places around the world, local food served in restaurants seems to come at a premium if they offer good service and the place is clean, which puts many people off indulging in fine foods. Here in Mexico however that is something which you will not find and whilst there are restaurants who do charge top dollar, you can still enjoy some sensational food elsewhere, where you can get real bang for your buck.