In 2010, UNESCO added traditional Mexican cuisine to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list, recognizing the local ingredients, farming practices, and regional dishes as an integral part of the national identity. Sabores Mexico Food Tours’ owner Rodrigo Lopez Aldana—himself born and raised in Mexico City—has built a tour business that places Mexican food right where it belongs: at the center of your sightseeing experience.
Mexico City’s el Centro is the location of many iconic sights including the National Palace, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, and the world’s second-largest public plaza, Zócalo (only Moscow’s Red Square is bigger). A site of conflict between the Aztec Empire and Spanish colonizers, el Centro has hundreds of years of history behind it and is the perfect place for a walking food tour.
Guided by locals who love their city, this tour provides the chance to learn about the area’s storied history and to taste many of the regional dishes for which the country has become famous.
You can’t get a dish much more traditionally Oaxacan than mole, and that’s where the tour begins, at the Maldonado family-run Oaxaca en Mexico. Oaxaca has seven varieties of mole, each taking days to make from scratch; here, you’ll get a taste of a black mole.
The next stop is at Mercado San Juan, where you’ll sample the baguettes, cheese, and wines at Delicatessen La Jersey Gourmet. Nearby El Gran Cazador carries exotic meats. Buy anything from iguana to lion, and sample the ants and grasshoppers. Afterwards, you’ll have a sit-down plate of their wild boar.
If you’re just passing by, Rosse Gourmet looks a lot like the other vegetable stands in the market, but you’ll stop to learn about their organic produce and try an edible flower dessert. Street food is abundant in Mexico City, and you should not be afraid to try it. The historic Marisqueria El Caguamo stand serves spicy shrimp soup (known locally as a hangover cure) and a seafood tostada loaded with shrimp, octopus, onions, and avocado.
Another short walk takes you to La Bipo, which offers small Mexican bites—try the cochinita pibil and the quesadillas de flor de Jamaica—in a kitschy setting.
Meanwhile, at the Cantina…
La Mascota is one of the oldest cantinas in the city (serving food and drinks since 1941), and for the price of a drink you can order from a menu of several botanas (tapas). The portions are generous and the offerings hearty. If you’re lucky, you’ll pack in during a football match.
The last stop is at Dulcería de Celaya, the city’s oldest candy store, founded in 1874. This small storefront sells an assortment of Mexican sweets, priced by the kilo—put that in your carry-on.
The Sabores Mexico Historic Centre Food Tour takes about 4.5 hours, covers approximately 2 miles, and includes tastings from 8 locations.
Find out more at http://saboresmexicofoodtours.com/en/centro-historico/
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