I’ve spent the last three weeks poking around Tulum, Merida, and Playa del Carmen, Mexico. There was cenote swimming, beach laying, and lots of reading while laying a hammock. Also: face-stuffing.
If you grew up in America, you probably eat some form of ‘Mexican’ food on the regular. (I put quotation marks around that because I don’t think they use Colby Jack cheese in Mexico city.) My regular go-tos are tortilla soup, horchata, and I used to get in full-fledged arguments with an ex-boyfriend about the ‘right’ way to make guacamole. (I’m pro-cilantro, pro-cumin, pro-tomato. He wasn’t.)
Like any travel experience, when you’re in The Actual Country, you discover that
a) the food you’ve been eating at home bears only a passing resemblance to the food locals eat
b) THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER DELICIOUS THINGS THAT PEOPLE COOK HERE. Why u keep secrets, Mexican restaurants in Minnesota?
Here are six delicious things I discovered on my trip – and recipes to recreate them in your own, Midwestern kitchen!
Now, I looooove me some tortilla soup, but it can be a bit rich and heavy day after a day of roasting on the beach. Sopa de lima is a lighter alternative with a lot of the same ingredients and a brightening shot of lime. Frequently, you’ll find wedges of lime in your soup! It’s traditionally made with chicken but it’s easy to pick around it and if you’re making it yourself, you can obviously leave it out.
I’m on a personal mission to bring agua frescas to America. True, they’re basically watered-down juice, but doesn’t that seem like something those green juice drinkers would like? Jamaica translates to ‘Hibiscus’ and this drink is essentially delicious flower tea. While that probably doesn’t sound very appealing, it tastes like slightly sweeter cranberry juice.
Ooooh, you’re about to win your next potluck. “Oh, this? Well, it’s just an ancient Mayan recipe that I ate on a beach in Mexico. NBD.” (You’ll also win because it’s totally good.)
While we Midwesterners hold sweet corn in proper esteem as a summer staple (Garrison Keillor allegedly likes sweet corn more than sex!) I think it’s high time we incorporated it into more dishes. Sweet corn ice cream! Sweet corn au gratin! And this insanely moist, delicately sweet cake.
First, I would like to address the fact that THERE IS A DESSERT THAT INCLUDES NUTELLA AND CHEESE AND CARBS AND YOU GUYS DIDN’T TELL ME. Rude.You can make it up to me by coming to my house and making a dozen of them. These wafer thin waffle-y cookies can be filled with all sorts of delicious things. Even Nutella and cheese. Like, that’s a socially-sanctioned filling. Yes, I considered cancelling my return ticket.
Now, I cannot personally speak to this dish’s awesomeness because I eat very little meat. However! My girl Meredith had it (based on another friend’s raving endorsement) and loved it. And what’s not to love about citrus-marinated barbecued pork?
Tell us about your favorite discovered-through-travel recipes!