If anything characterizes the people of Oaxaca, it is their deep religiousness, as well as their deeply rooted customs. This can be seen in the kitchens of Oaxaca, where recipes brought from Spain, and indigenous dishes are prepared daily and passed down from generation to generation. Among the traditional dishes, dishes served during Lent play a significant role. These allow the people of Oaxaca to enjoy one of their greatest pleasures –food – while complying at the same time with abstaining from meat as required by the Catholic religion. This is why, during Lent, there are many tasty dining options.
Beginning early in the mornings, long tables are placed in the courtyards of churches and temples, on which clay jars containing fresh juices, are placed. There are the usual flavors, such as horchata (a rice and cinnamon based beverage), Jamaica (prepared with hibiscus flowers), mango, tamarind, watermelon and lemon with chia (a small seed). There are also exotic flavors such as rose petals, prickly pear and nut. Here they also sell tejate, a traditional drink prepared with cocoa and corn. The perfect complement for breakfast is egg yolk bread, prepared with egg and baked daily in traditional bakeries, and chocolate prepared with milk or water and served with a lot of foam in a clay cup.
In the markets you will find women selling browned grasshoppers with garlic, lemon and salt. Don’t just take a picture of them: dare to try them! You will be surprised by their delicious flavor and crunchy texture. You should also try the tlayudas, giant tortillas with mashed beans, cheese and salsa. For dessert, there is nothing better than sherbets in flavors such as burnt milk, cheese and mescal.
In the restaurants in Oaxaca, you will find quite a varied menu: plantain molotitos filled with fresh cheese, small corn tamales with cream and the classic lent broth (containing potatoes, string beans, nopales (catus leaves), peas, epazote, tomato, egg and fish), among other delicacies. Don’t forget to accompany your meal with a small glass of mescal together with maguey worm salt. Order it white or aged. Bon Appétit!
Where to eat:
20 de noviembre Market
Located two blocks from the main square of the city of Oaxaca, Here you will find curd, butter cheese, pure or flavored mescal, egg yolk bread, grasshoppers and cooked products such as tlayudas, fresh quesadillas and tortilla chips.
Aldama, between 20 de Noviembre and Miguel Cabrera, historic center, Oaxaca, Oax.
This elegant restaurant, housed in an old mansion, offers a dining experience like no other. To begin, order a grasshopper’s nest in olive oil, served with guacamole, and shrimp tostadas from San Mateo del Mar with onion, cucumber and habanero chile. As a main course, how about roasted sea bass with grated zucchini and caramelized tomato?
García Vigil 105, Dowtown, Oaxaca, Oax.