There is no doubt that the Mexican kitchen is one of the world’s favorites, and with their traditional cooking and street food choices it is hard to disagree. Within Mexico however there is a huge array of foods which we could put in the ‘interesting’ or ‘novel’ category. I was first introduced to some of these foods when my friend Javier Burillo took me on a tour in Mexico City, and since traveling throughout the country I have seen a larger range of them.
If you are an adventurous eater then here are some of the odd foods which you could try out during your time in Mexico.
There are a number of stands which you will find in the street that will sell something of a delicacy called chito. This is made using horse meat which has been slow cooked and cured, and it is sold in small balls. The meat is coated with lime, salt and some mild chili sauce, and enjoyed cold. Many turn their nose up at horse meat which is odd given that they aren’t much different to cows and sheep, which we have no issues consuming. The only thing to be careful of if you choose to enjoy some chitos, is that the meat is incredibly chewy and you will need a drink.
Instead of detailing the individual insects which are eaten in Mexico it is far easier for me to use the broad term here. Insects are in fact eaten across the country and in many states they form a percentage of their daily diet. Many tout insect eating as being something which is going to be a eating trend across the world. Here in Mexico you will find crickets which are snacked on, as well as larger insects like dragonflies and cockroaches which you can actually find served on pizzas. In the state of Oaxaca in particular they are very fond of insects and the markets are filled with vendors who sell a wide range of them.
Whilst there are many western cultures which have ox tongue that is served in slices, here you will see the whole tongue being cooked up. This is a delicious option for tacos but seeing the entire tongue, which is some size, cooked on the taco stand can put some people off.
This is still a culture which utilizes almost every par of the animal, rather than repurposing it for use as sausages and other items. With this in mind, you can certainly expect to see chicken feet served on the city streets, usually by the same person who is selling the hot corn. Chicken feet are served in a broth and dressed with lime and chili powder before being served. Whilst they may not look appealing, the meat is very flavorsome and there is much more on the bone than you may realize. This is a nice snack if you can get past the visuals.