Tortillas, beans, rice, and chiles are staples in Mexican households and Mexican restaurants all over the world, but in Mexico people enjoy many other foods you may not have heard about. Here are a few of them.
A deliciously sour-sweet watery and nutritious cactus fruit.
Smells like pineapple, tastes like strawberries and apple with a touch of citrus, with a creamy texture, like coconut or banana, and generous amounts of Vitamins B and C.
A delicious and nutritious edible “disease,” huitlacoche, the fungus known in English as corn smut, can bring a higher price than the corn on which it grows. Raw or roasted, it makes delicious tacos, quesadallas, enhiladas, and other delicacies.
Flor de Calabaza
This beautiful flower can be cooked or eaten raw, made into poppers, or used as an ingredient in vegetarian pozole.
Nopal y Tuna
It may look like something to avoid touching, but this is a desert feast. The tunas (cactus pears) taste as sweet as jam when they are ripe, and they can be found in an explosion of different bright colors. The leaves, known as nopales in the mercado, are a rich source of protein an fiber. They can be scraped, chopped, seasoned, sauteed, and enjoyed in a variety of dishes.
(Original version published by M. Lesh in Coffee Talk, September 1, 2019)