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Only 2 cuisines in the world are protected by UNESCO (the United Nations cultural heritage division), and that’s French and Mexican. Pretty hard to argue with. So here i was finally in Mexico, I’m gonna attack that cuisine like never before.

Now whilst it’s one thing to munch down on nachos and coronas morning, noon and night (God knows there’s nothing wrong with that) I pushed myself to sample the whole array of Mexican food. I had heard that there was a company running full on food tours in the city, I was sold instantly. Step forward  Mexican Food Tours.

 

The tours themselves run in the snazzy Polanco area and last around 3 hours or so and they run around early lunch (11am) or early dinner (5.45pm), it costs around $50 USD which isn’t cheap but it includes all food (and a bit of booze) so was well worth it for me. Oh, and even if you’re alone, they still run – that’s brilliant if you’re traveling solo, as I am.

 

I swung by for the lunch tour and it was just Letty and me for the afternoon. Check out what I tried, unreal:

 

First up was the meeting place, and I ate Rest Barro Negro along with Tlayuda with Oaxaca cheese accompanied by 3 different types of mole: negro(with Cocoa), mancha manteles(sweet) and coloradito(spicy). For the drunk it was Hoja Santa with chia seeds water. I ate the whole thing in about 4 minutes falt, it was a kinda pizza type dough but thin and crispy – so tasty. Awesome start, but be warned – don’t over eat, like me, because there’s a lot more to come!

 

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mexico food tour

The tour then leaves the first restaurant and you go for a nice, relaxed stroll around the neighborhood, hearing a little history along the way until reach the second pitstop – the Tamalli stop:
Here I had a “pollo pibil Tamal”. A Tamal is a staple of the Mexican diet, it’s a corn-based food with different fillings – traditionally chicken, beef but now it can be Nutella, strawberries etc. Reallt delicious and you can get them on the side of the road for anout $0.40.

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I was already feeling the burn, so it was time for another walk.The area is one of the most affluent spots in Mexico so there are so many sexy bars and restaurants around. If you have been to Mexico City before, and stayed in the old city (which is a good idea, so you can explore), then this is the next spot to find a hotel.

Anyways, we got to a really funky cafe which doubles up as an underground bar on the weekends. And finally it was time for a taco! That combined with pineapple pulque, the weird alcoholic drink coming from the sap from a tree that I tried yesterday. A taco is a place renowned for tacos, in Mexico City, of course it was amazing. I horsed it down in 2 minutes flat.

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By now I was pretty bloody full. These Mexican Food Tour guys really put you through your paces. The tour knew that us foreigners are gonna eat everything in front of us, so it’s really well spaced out both with time and distance. Each pitstop allows you a casual 10-15 minute walk between venues. So off we went..

This place was my favourier. Goa’s cheese in bean soup with noodles.Goat’s cheese, in soup?! Sounds weird, tasted unreal – maybe the best soup I ever had. The drink was called Horchata – some kind of sweet rice milk, so tasty. The recipe is below, check it out.This meal was lighter, and it marked the end of the savoury course – we made our way to the boutique chocolate store for some Mezcal and expensive chocolate.

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This leg was a bit of a disaster for me! I don’t know if you have ever tried Mezcal, but alongside Tequila it’s Mexico’s most famous booze. 47% of filth. The chocolate is the brainchild of a celeb chef in Mexico, but to cleanse your palet between chilli chocolate and mango chocolate you sip on the Mexcal, I was literally gagging each time. But I made it through – my advice? Skip the Mezcal and chilli chocolate. Stick to coffee and dark chocolate – so delcious. Chili chocolate? not for me.

The last leg was upon us. I waddled to the icecream parlour, about 5kgs heavier than 3 hours ago but very satisifed and a delcious homemade mexican ice cream was just what the doctor ordered. I chilled in the parlour for 20 minutes or so to recover from the food coma I found myself in.

The Mexican Food Tour was genuinely a highlight of my whole time in Mexico, for a country with such a famous and distinct cuisines, it’s cool to try the whole spectrum of what they have to offer. It was so delicous. Now it was time for a serious late afternoon nap. Happy travels!

 

PS. Here are some Mexican Food Recipes for you to try at home.

Pumpkin   flower   soup

8oz (225g) pumpkin flowers or zucchiniflowers
1 cup of mushrooms,  sliced
3 zucchini,  sliced
2 cups corn kerMnels
4 cups of good-quality chicken stock
1 sprig epazote (found in hispanic markets)
1 sprig cilantro

Wash all the ingredients.

 Chopped pumpkin flowers (is very important to remove the flower pistil),  the mushrooms and the zucchini.

 In a large saucepan,  bring the chicken stock to a boil.

 Add the corn kernels,  the cilantro and epazote wait 8 minutes,  then add thezucchini,  the mushrooms, and the pumpkin flowers,  wait 5 minutes and your soup is ready.

 Served hot,  you can add to the soup chopped chile serrano and cheese.

Horchata  water (EDIT – JOHNNY: This is effing delicious!)

2 cups of milk

1 cup uncooked white long-grain rice

5 cups boiled water rome temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Sugar

Mix the rice and water and let stand at room temperature for one night.

Blend water and rice for about 1 minute,  Strain the rice chunks out of the water,  Add the vanilla,  sugar,  milk, and cinnamon in to the rice water,  Chill for a half hour,  serve with ice.

Guacamole

2 avocados (very ripe)

1 tomato medium size chopped

¼ chopped onion

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon salt

2 serrano chile chopped

1 teaspoon olive oil

Peel the avocados,  discard the pits (put them in a glass with water) and chop the flesh. In a food processor or blender, combine the avocados,  onions,  tomato, lime,  olive oil,  saltand the chile. Process until smooth.

Try the guacamole with crisp chips or with quesadilla (tortilla with chesse).

Beans   Soup

    2 cups  of beans
1 onion
6 tablespoons oil
4 Red Tomatoes
50 Grams of Queso Añejo
chips
Salt to taste

Prewashed Cook beans in a saucepan or pressure cooker with water and onion.

Grind in blender cooked beans with 4 cups of water.

Wash, dry and roast the tomatoes on a griddle or skillet until exposed to fire without burning your skin change.

Blend the roasted tomato and onion. Strain and fry in a pan with three tablespoons of oil.

Add the cooked and mashed beans, and when thickens the broth, season with salt and simmer a bit.

Add cheese and tortilla chips

Chicken   Tamales

   Tamale Filling:

   1 1/4 pounds cook chicken

   1 large onion,  halved

   1 clove garlic

   4 dried chile serrano

   2 cups water

   1 1/2 teaspoons salt

   Tamale Dough:

   2 cups masa harina

   1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth

   1 teaspoon baking powder

   1/2 teaspoon salt

Use rubber gloves to remove stems and seeds from the chile pods. Place chiles in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Simmer,  uncovered,  for20 minutes,  then remove from heat to cool. Transfer the chiles and water to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture,  stir insalt, and set aside. Shred the cooked chickenand mix in one cup of the chile sauce.

Soak the corn husks in a bowl of warm water. In a large bowl, beat the lard with atablespoon of the broth until fluffy. Combinethe masa harina,  baking powder and salt; stirinto the lard mixture,  adding more broth as necessary to form a spongy dough.

Spread the dough out over the corn husks to1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Place one tablespoon of the chicken filling into the center. Fold the sides of the husks in toward the center and place in a steamer. Steam for 1 hour.

Remove tamales from husks and drizzle remaining chile sauce over.

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