I knew Chiapas would wow me with its beauty as soon as I received my latest Mexico itinerary. What I didn’t expect, though, was to be introduced to unknown Mexican food. You know, dishes I had never seen at a typical Mexican restaurant in the USA.
I think living in Florida is partly to blame. I’m sure Southern states such as Texas and Arizona get a wider variety of Mexican dishes!
Either way, my audience comes from all over the world. So! I wanted to introduce you to five Mexican dishes you’ve probably never heard of today. These are some of my new favorites after my Chiapas tour:
Unknown Mexican Food: 5 Delicacies You’ve Probably Never Heard of
Asado de puerco and pollo
Up until July, I thought all moles were spicy. Chiapas food proved me wrong once again!
Namely, I learned that asado de puerco varies from region to region. Northern Mexican asados, for instance, tend to be tearfully-spicy, vinegar-based stews. Southern varieties, on the other hand, are more like mole-style stews.
While “puerco” means pork, another popular spin of this underrated Mexican food is made with chicken. Then, it’s called asado de pollo. Either way, it is full of Spanish spices and flavor, typically served with a mountain of rice.
The asado I tried was made with chicken, soaking in a thick chocolate base. The dark cacao notes really stood out, blending beautifully with a chili sauce that was actually served for my nachos. Yum!
I’ll admit: I wouldn’t have tried pozol if it weren’t for my Karma Trails guide. It is commonly sold in less-than-appealing plastic jugs, so most foreigners never dare to try it.
Made out of coarse cornmeal, sugar, and sometimes even cacao, this meal-replacement drink is a staple for farmers to kill hunger whilst on the field.
If you plan to go out and explore several Mayan ruins in a day, go ahead and have pozol for breakfast. You will thank me later!
I’ve never been a fan of tripes pork or cow. However, I must admit that Latinos have a special gift to turn these typically-unloved organs into something delicious.
Akin to Puerto Rican mondongo, chanfaina is a hearty, time-consuming soup made with pork liver, heart, and kidneys.
While it originally hails from Western Spain, the Mexican version is typically cooked with tomatoes, garlic, onions, potatoes, sour orange, bay leaves, sweet and white chilies.
Sopa de pan
This warming soup is a delicacy of San Cristobal de Las Casas, a charming colonial town up in the Chiapas Highlands.
Traditionally, it is made with pork lard–although it is not as common to find this hard to version and restaurants anymore.
What your sopa de pan will sure have no matter where you go, though, is hen broth, cut vegetables, plantains strips, and bread.
OK, so this is not Mexican food. Still, I had to come in its defense. Why does tequila take all the glory?! Mezcal is its unknown Mexican sibling. A mellow, smoky-flavored alcoholic beverage made from the same agave plant.
Literally meaning “oven-cooked agave,” mezcal is most commonly drunk in Oaxaca. As that region is just north of Chiapas, I got to sample a few shots at Belil Restaurant. Wonderful spot for authentic, mostly unknown Mexican food by the way. I highly recommend it if you drop by San Cristobal de Las Casas!
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Special thanks to Karma Trails for my unforgettable 10-day press trip to Mexico this past July! I highly recommend them for any of your Mexico tour, accommodation, transportation needs. I was not paid for positive reviews however; all views set forth are product of independent research and my own opinions.