After 6 months spent in Celaya, the food has definitely become one of my favourites things here in Mexico. The food reflects Mexico and its culture perfectly: eclectic and fun. But the big important question is: what makes Mexican food special? When asking this question to people that have been here quite a while, they all come up with a similar answer; the spicy, yet delicious, homemade food. The Mexican delicacies go from sweet Cajetas, a thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelised goat’s milk (especially famous is Celaya, Guanajuato), to a saltier, but famous world-wide, choice: Tacos.
Realistically speaking, the Mexican Tacos are nothing like the ones we see all over the world. Taco Bell doesn’t meet the standards of homemade tacos with chicken, beef, lamb, cheese, beans etc. As a foreigner, I instantly fell in love with Chorizo Tacos, but people here in Mexico seem to love “Tacos al Pastor”, which strongly resembles “Hawaiian Pizza” in taste, as they add pineapple on top on the chosen meat. It might sound unbelievable, but Mexicans do not eat Tacos, Burritos or Quesadillas on a daily basis: in fact, the Mexican menu, in a household, is often much healthier, involving the use of vegetables, soups (like “Pozole”, “Caldo de Pollo” and “Menudo”) and their favourite part of the meal, Beans.
Even though the meals are mostly a healthier version of what is found around the world, due to the fact that natural ingredients are used, Mexico still uses a tremendously high amount of oil on a daily basis, making its meals, sometimes, quite unhealthy. I asked a Mexican friend whether she would recommend a Mexican meal and her face, as soon as I asked, lighted up with joy: she said, “Yes! It’s delicious and spicy. However, I would recommend it only if the products were coming from Mexico”. This is because, as mentioned earlier, a Mexican meal made with Mexican ingredients tastes much better than one made with foreigners’ ingredients. Food, however, isn’t the only special part of a Mexican meal: when I asked my friend whether she thought the drinks were better than the food, she said she didn’t believe so, but the drinks still were extremely good. “Hot chocolate” is something special here in Mexico, as cocoa beans actually come from this country. However, some drinks like “Horchata”, made with milk and rice, and “Atole”, a sweetcorn drink, even though a bit less healthy, are still picked by Mexicans on a night out. It is usual, in Mexican families, to accompany their delicious meals with “Agua de Sabor”, which is essentially water with a fruit of season (Often papaya, lemon or mango). This helps the meal become even healthier, as well as making it taste better by adding a flavour to the otherwise blunt water. Mexico, however, doesn’t live outside the world: Mexican cities are filled with American fast-food chains, and in most of the shops you will find products coming from European countries, like Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France and the UK. Although my time in Mexico is coming to an end, I am extremely happy and very much looking forward to making my way back to Celaya. Meanwhile, I will see you at the Taco place down the road, I’ll be the one stuffing his face with Tacos, Quesadillas and Burritos!
See you soon, Francesco