Travel brings about opportunities to learn cultures in ways that are not otherwise possible; such as through our stomachs. Many of us consider ourselves culinary warriors, trying anything that comes our way and placing odd and delicious things directly on our taste buds without thinking twice. Think you’ve eaten everything? Think again. Here are three Mexican foods you probably have never heard of.
Also known as corn smut, this corn fungus is used as a filling in various types of Mexican food from quesadillas to tacos. Hailing from Aztec times, huitlacoche has been part of the culinary landscape for quite some time!
While many farmers in other regions consider their crops “ruined” when infected with the fungus, Mexican farmers harvest, preserve, and sell the huitlacoche for a much higher price than corn.
With a soft, velvety texture and an earthy corn and mushroom flavor, this fungus is considered a delicacy and can be found at many restaurants and street food carts.
Don’t let this grain-like food fool you. Escamoles are ant larvae that have been harvested from agave plants. Lovingly referred to as “insect caviar”, escamoles are also considered an Aztec delicacy.
When prepared, escamole has a risotto texture with a buttery, nutty taste and can be quite delicious. While this can be a bit hard to find, high-end restaurants tend to carry escamole.
Known as the “national dish of Mexico”, mole is surprisingly hidden in mainstream culinary experiences. There are many different types but the most popular version is known as mole poblano. Mostly found in central and southern Mexico, the Oaxaca region is the most well-known. This dish has a different beginning than the previous two, being created during the mixing of the European and indigenous cultures.
With an average of 20 different ingredients, this is a party for your taste buds. The three main flavors that hit your taste buds are chili, chocolate, and a hint of peanuts and is served over various kinds of meat.
Make sure to try these foods if you’re looking for traditional fare that will likely raise eyebrows when you get home.
What is your favorite Mexican food? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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Erica Kuschel is half of the duo at the adventure travel site, OverYonderlust.com. Erica traded her ‘normal’ existence in Austin, Texas for a life of new experiences around the world. Erica, who is a photographer by trade, likes to view the world through her lens.Erica started Over Yonderlust in March of 2010, showcasing couple travel while maintaining a strong focus on photography, humor, videos, and writing with a trusted voice. She has been seen in publications such as The Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, BBC, and The National Geographic Channel’s online blog. Erica has been a finalist two years running for the Bloggies (in both travel and photography categories) and taking home Hostelbookers Most Epic Photography Blog Award in November of 2012.Follow Erica on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Google Plus.
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