Here at El Camion, our menu comprises of mostly cuisine from the Baja California region of Mexico. This Northern part of the country has links to the United States, and comprises of lots of fish, tacos, burritos and quesadillas, as well as fish and steak.
So it was fun to explore the other gastronomic delights of Mexican food when we went On Tour to Mexico City recently, and see the dishes that don’t make it as frequently across the seas. Here’s a little round-up of what we found:
Yep, that’s right – a salad made from cactus. Actually refreshing and completely delicious. It had the texture of green beans but was much more flavoursome, and was marinated with lime juice, coriander, chilli and onion. Cactus is actually incredibly good for you, having many of the same properties and nutrients as Aloe Vera (it’s from the same genus). We also had cactus pears (very tasty), and wonderful cactus juice.
Chilaquiles is a traditional breakfast dish in Mexico containing, as many meals do, tortilla chips.The tortilla chips are fried until they start to soften, then placed on a plate and topped with pulled chicken and sour cream, and served with refried beans on the side. To ensure the tortillas remain crisp, the salsa is added last – in this example it is red salsa.
BLUE CORN TORTILLA QUESADILLAS
Quesadillas can be eaten at any time of day (we serve some very popular ones at El Camion!) but these particular varieties were eaten at breakfast. They have a variety of fillings, including mushroom, cactus and pulled pork. What makes them quesadillas is the melted cheese inside – the name comes from the Spanish word ‘Queso’, which means cheese. Blue corn (also known as Hopi maize) is a variety of flint maize grown in Mexico. It contains 20 percent more protein than white corn, and has a sweeter, nuttier taste.
Enchiladas, for anyone who hasn’t chowed down on our El Camion variety, is a corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered in sauce, usually containing rice and a mix of meat and vegetables. This variety has three colours made from green and red salsa and black beans. The sour cream also adds to the impression of colours from the Mexican flag.
These tortillas crop up everywhere! Well, they are a staple item in Mexican food. It’s very popular to have them cut into strips and added to soup, such as this tomato variety made with chicken stock. Other additions include avocado chunks and fried onions.
So there you have it – a little gastronomic tour of our visit to Mexico City! If you fancy experiencing the flavours of Mexican Food yourself then come down and visit some day – and here’s a picture of our fabulous Mixed Botanas to tempt you!