Mexico: Street Food

If there’s something I love, it’s street food. πŸ™‚

I think that’s why Coralie and I work so well together, because she’s both knowledgable about street food (ah, a fellow eater!) and open to trying new things. And I mean, if you’re visiting a new place (whether domestic or international), why not eat the street food? It’s the food of the people! Just watch out for cleanliness and we’ll all be OK.

Don’t get me wrong, I love fancy takes on local favorites (like these delicious huevos rancheros and chilaquiles salsa verde), but there’s something always so fun about street food. I think growing up in the great tradition of Malaysian hawker stalls made me love the ritual of eating flavorful food in the humid outdoors. I don’t need delicate flavors — give me big, bold tastes that take away the smell of truck exhaust filling your lungs! πŸ˜‰

One of my favorite non-Malaysian street foods isΒ tacos al pastor, which Coralie absolutely insisted I try. These are a byproduct of Lebanese immigration to Mexico. Chile-marinated pork is carved off of a vertical spit very similar to shwarma (think gyros). The meat is cooked with onion and pineapple, which adds both flavor and tenderness to the pork. You can see the pineapple at the very top of the spit, with onions tastily roasting on the grill below.

When served, small amounts of meat are shaved onto a taco tortilla (only 6″! totally snack size!) along with chopped cilantro, onion, and a little bit of pineapple. Add some hot sauce and a little freshly squeezed lime, and you have some deliciousness right there.

The pastor meat can also be used in other combinations, such as a quesadilla:

I also tried a flor de calabaza (squash flower) quesadilla, but I definitely did not enjoy it. The flowers have a rather earthy taste, which is the reason why I don’t like beets… But eh, that’s part of trying new foods — you find a few winners, and you know which ones to stay away from next time!

I mean, look at these squash flowers. Ehhh… πŸ˜‰

So, until next time, keep having those food adventures! πŸ™‚

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