In the traditional Zacatecas kitchen – as in much of the country – the staple ingredient is corn. The average Mexican chef can make a huge variety of main dishes, appetizers and even deserts from the simple ingredient of cornflour. When visiting Zacatecas, be sure to order the traditional Zacatecas enchiladas – rolled-up corn tortillas stuffed with shredded pork, smothered in a poblano chilli sauce and served with onions, fresh cheese and lettuce. Another very popular dish is the wedding stew, prepared with pork meat, lard and black or red chilli. As its name implies, it is customarily served at local weddings.
At the fondas and restaurants, visitors will find birria (a lamb-based soup with various kinds of chillies, tomato, onions and spices including pepper, garlic, marjoram and oregano); red pozole (a soup with corn, pork meat and chilli); adobada meat, gorditas (corn-based savoury cakes stuffed with different stews), and may other dishes prepared with meats, vegetables and chillies. To complement these savoury delicacies, locals usually drink mescal (an agave drink similar to tequila) from Durango, aguamiel (fermented prickly pear juice) or pulque (fermented maguey-based drink). Drink with care: some of these drinks, especially mescal, have a high percentage of alcohol and can have you feeling merry in no time.
Locals never ignore a craving for dessert: that's why they prepare a long list of sweet treats such as semitas (wheat flour bread with milk, cinnamon and sugar, decorated with raisins, coconut or pecans), condoches (corn gorditas stuffed with grated coconut), and dried fruit baked in a clay oven. Other traditional sweet treats include ates (fruit jellies), fruit jam, prickly pear cheese (made from fruit pulp and brown sugar), obleas (caramel-filled wafers), natillas (creamy, milk-based dessert) and coconut alfajores (soft, caramel-filled biscuits).