When experiencing new cuisine, there is nothing fresher than local, farm-raised food. If not raised in an area or experienced with local farmers’ markets, how can visitors to Mexico be assured they are consuming local produce? Before ordering an item from the restaurant’s menu, here are some of the most popular, regional favorites.
Visitors exploring the Yucatan region will find tropical climates here allow for great growing conditions. Regional cuisines are infused with locally-grown fruits and vegetables. The Yucatan is also one of the rare parts of Mexico that serve citrus; look for this local favorite as an ingredient in many popular dishes. Other fruits, including bananas and plantains thrive in this area; especially in the rainforest areas of Northeastern Yucatan .
Continuing your culinary travels in Mexico , visitors will also find bananas are plentiful in Oaxaca . In this region, bananas are mixed with chilies, chocolate, nuts, spices and other local ingredients to create a mole (mole-ay) sauce. Mole sauces are considered a specialty with each person adding their own concoction of ingredients until the perfect sauce is created. Once made, mole is served over beef or pork.
Another region enjoying mole sauces can be found in Puebla . Here, instead of serving mole over beef and pork, locals enjoy their mole on poultry. Mole content and taste here varies too; as bananas are not found in this region’s typical mole sauces.
If visiting coastal areas, be sure to purchase fresh seafood. For guests used to typical salmon-steak fish, you may be pleasantly surprised to know fish is not usually served “steak-style.” Shredded, chopped or cut fish is used by people in these areas to serve as a replacement for other types of meats. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see fish tacos, tamales, taquitos or other types of seafood dishes on menus. When served as a substitute for traditional meats, fish is usually served with other vegetables tomatoes, onions, spices and peppers.