Oaxacan gastronomy is very varied, in every region changes, for example in Central Valleys the tamal is different than in the Papaloapan where they make another type of tamal called Pilté (the Pilté is made with ¨pozolero¨ corn).
These weeks I have been doing gastronomy posts, this one is going to be the last one for now, but let me know if you like this kind of posts.
Returning to the subject in this post I am going to present you 5 dishes that for me are delicious, emblematic and easy to find that you can´t miss when you come to Oaxaca.
The oaxacan essential dish is the Tlayuda, this delicious dish is compound by a big tortilla and a little bit harder than normal ones, to this big tortilla they put mashed beans, avocado, cheese and quesillo, meat (is optional), tomato and it could have guacamole and sauce.
If you are vegetarian the Tlayuda is a dish for you, only ask for it without meat.
The name of tlayuda comes from náhuatl ¨tlao-li¨ that means ungranulated corn and the suffix ¨uda¨ is added, which refers to abundance.
Probably is from prehispanic origins, because all the ingredients, including the big tortilla except the tasajo existed in prehispanic times.
DID YOU KNOW THAT…?
In Oaxaca there are 35 corn species from 64 that exist in México. There are proves that the domestication of the corn could start in Oaxaca and in the zone of Puebla that is next to Oaxaca, an example of this are the caves of Mitla and Cuicatlán.
This dish is very common and very delicious, you can get it probably in every restaurant, in some mexican street food stand and in every little town.
The memela is compound by a tortilla a little bit thicker than normal, and is almost always oval this tortilla gets cooked in a comal (a comal is the one showed in the image up there), when the tortilla is in the comal they put asiento, mashed beans, cheese and/or quesillo and you can put some meat, and sauce.
There is a lot of diversity in this dish in México, but Oaxaca is the state that has more diversity of tamales, some investigators say that tamales probably existed before tortillas, this food is very common in the Festivity of the Candelaria and is common to have them with atole or champurrado.
The tamales like big part of a mexican diet are made of corn, and they can have inside black mole, green sauce, yellow mole, chepil, and this in Central Valleys because for example in the region of the Papaloapan they have like a tamal called pilté that has inside a red sauce with chicken.
In the 8 regions there are a lot of diversity of tamales and I have mentioned the pilté but there is another one that has been even in the newspaper, this is the tesmole tamal, some people call it the door to the gastronomy of the region of the Cañada, this tamal is wrapped in banana leaves, and the inside of it has tesmole sauce, other example of tamales are the fish tamales in the region of the Istmo and the list can continue and continue.
There is a great variety of moles in Oaxaca, the most common and representative of Oaxaca is the black mole, but the variety of moles goes beyond the black mole, and in any place the mole will have its unique touch, the mole is the combination of many things, and the great variety of moles, in my opinion is due to the enormous variety of chiles that Mexico has.
ORIGINS OF MOLES
Moles have pre-Hispanic origins like many dishes of Mexican gastronomy.
Research has revealed that the indigenous peoples mixed various chiles with pumpkin seeds, hierba santa and tomato, this mixture was called mulli.
The indigenous people accompanied these mixtures with turkey meat, although nowadays it is eaten with chicken.
With the arrival of the Spaniards, new products also arrived, and thus mole was transformed, adding anise, cinnamon and was eaten with chicken and pork.
7 MOLES OF OAXACA
Oaxaca, as in tamales, has a great diversity of moles, here are seven that you should try when you come to Oaxaca.
You can even find this mole in tamales, although it is also sold with street empanadas in the Benito Juarez market.
This mole is not yellow, it is more like orange and is traditionally served with dumplings called chochoyotes.
This mole is red and is prepared with stews and other things, it is more liquid than the previous one and has a sweet touch.
You can probably find coloradito in a restaurant easily.
This mole also has the color of its name and its color is due to its ingredients, since it is made with green tomatoes, herbs such as epazote and the chile used is green chile.
The chichilo is a special mole, it is prepared for ceremonies, and is not very common, this mole is thicker and is dark brown, a recommendation if you want to try this mole is that you come on the Day of the Dead since it is more elaborated during these dates.
You may be interested in:GASTRONOMY OF DAY OF THE DEAD
This mole is quite common, but I recommend you try it in a town, usually served with pork, and each place will delight you with a unique touch.
The red mole is perhaps the most famous mole, it has ancho and pasilla peppers, sesame seeds, almonds, chocolate and onion.
This mole is served with anything but mainly chicken.
We have reached the end of the list of moles, and this is the most emblematic of Oaxaca, it is served in festivities such as the Day of the Dead, in the Guelaguetza and is prepared in the chocolaterias and molerias, this mole is used and you can probably get it in any restaurant, it is usually accompanied with chicken, and there is a tamale of black mole with chicken, this is a must if you come to Oaxaca.
The ingredients of this mole are many and can vary sometimes, but what is put in it is chiles, sesame seeds, pepita, raisins, pepper, chocolate, oregano, cinnamon, salt, sugar, plantain, onion, tomato, peanuts, nuts and chile chilhuacle.
This is not a specific dish , but is eaten a lot in Oaxaca, you can eat them with a tortilla, you can put them to the tlayuda, or you can eat them like a snack with quesillo.
I have finished, I hope you have liked the post, and when you come you eat this delicious dishes.
See you in the next post.
SOURCES: IN THE BOTTOM OF SPANISH POST. https://travelinoaxaca.com/5-comidas-tipicas-y-emblematicas-de-oaxaca/
The part of the moles from this post was translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)