There are many incredible things to do in Mexico City, but devouring all of the incredible street food has to be top of the list. All the time I’ve been here, I have, of course, been opening my mouth and shoveling in food like the practice of eating is going out of fashion, and trying anything and everything that I can lay my hands on. When you are in a city with a great street food culture, a lot of your culinary discoveries will be through a process of trial and error. But as I have a deeper interest in my beloved DF, I wanted to know a little bit more about the food I have been eating, and also to make some new discoveries. Fortunately, the lovely folks over at Eat Mexico invited me on to one of their morning street food tours so I could do exactly that.
I have a healthy appetite, and the idea of eating food non stop for 4 hours was very appealing to me. These were some of my highlights from street food tour. Try not to dribble on yourself while reading.
- Visiting a tortilleria
Obviously, I already have some familiarity with tortillerias (a place that sells tortillas, durr) because it’s basically impossible to live in Mexico and not find yourself on intimate terms with this most common of Mexican foods. Even after the many hundreds of tortillas I have consumed in Mexico, I still crave more. In the UK, it is a challenge to get your hands on a proper corn tortilla, and when you do, they are overpriced. Suddenly, I am in a country where this exotic food is consumed every day, multiple times a day, by virtually every person here, and I am still charmed by them. But on this tour, I learned something completely new about tortillas.
Tortillerias are not legally allowed to sell tortillas for more than 12 pesos ($0.93; £0.55) per kilogram. Considering that the minimum wage in Mexico City is 67.29 pesos a day ($5.19; £3.07) this is a guarantee of at least some affordability for the working population of DF. Absolutely delicious, tortillas also happen to be the most viable economic option for filling your stomach if you are a Mexican working for the minimum wage.
- Juice, juice, juice; Fruit fruit fruit
Okay, juices and fruits may not be typically Mexican (you can pretty much find juice everywhere, right?) but I wanted to include this to try and combat the idea of the fat, unhealthy Mexican. Yes, Mexicans have a penchant for frying foods, and smothering foods in cream, cheese, and other goodies – BUT Mexicans are certainly not eating processed foods and they always know what is going inside their mouths. They are not picky eaters either (picky eaters really grind my gears – anyone else?) and can often be seen shovelling fresh fruits and juices into their gobs. If you want to eat in a healthy way when you visit Mexico City, it is really not as difficult as you think it might be – pinkie promise.
The juice I chose (the Vampiro) definitely had love/hate appeal within the tour group because of the copious amounts of beetroot that were whizzed up inside. I just can’t understand what is so offensive about beetroot, and from a very early age I remember enjoying the earthy-sweet taste of this root veg – and so I really enjoyed this juice. The fact that it turned my pee bright pink was just an added bonus.
And then, of course, there is the fruit. Right now in DF it is mango season and people are not-quite-literally throwing mangos at me on the street. I can think of very little that is more satisfying than fresh mango, cut up into bite size pieces, and covered in lime and chilli. And the good news is that you kind find this all over the city (all over Mexico, in fact).
- Flor de Calabaza burritos
I wanted to include this because back home in England, the Mexican food that everybody knows is the burrito. Except, until this street food tour, I had never actually seen a burrito in Mexico. Tacos – yes. Quesadillas – sure. But burritos? It’s really hard to find them. At this burrito street food stall, the style of burrito was also quite different to the tex-mex versions we eat at home. For a start, there is no rice inside so these are not quite as filling and heavy as the burritos I am used to (which was appreciated after 4 hours of non-stop eating). And for those with lighter eating habits or vegetarians, flor de calabaza (courgette flowers) were an option for the filling. I have eaten these on many occasions and I absolutely love them. With a smattering of beans, and this flor de calabaza filling, this was the best burrito I have ever had.
We had loads more great stuff on the tour – tamales, atole, tlacoyos, and heaps of other deliciousness. If you happen to be in DF, make sure that you book yourself on this tour to experience all of these great Mexico City street food treats for yourself.