One of the most iconic things about Mexico is the street food options here. These are of course more ubiquitous in the larger cities but for anyone who has visited the pueblitos, you will know that it is the same even in these rural areas. When tourists come to Mexico some will get involved in the street food but others will be a bit more wary. Sadly those in the latter category are those who have bought into some of the myths which surround this kind of food, and that is why we want to try and dispel some of them here.
It is true that some tourists get a bad stomach when they come to the city, and often this is blamed on street food. The reality is that the way food is produced and the crops which are used here can upset the stomach, so too can the level of chili used. In some cases yes, the poor handling and care of meat on the taco stand can also result in a bad stomach. To avoid this, eat small amounts and only do so from food stands which are busy, and which clearly have good hygiene. Many think that because restaurants cook behind a door, that they are instantly cleaner, this is not always the case.
Eating Odd Bits
It is a good idea to be sure of what you are eating before you ask, because they will often cook many parts of the animal and use them for tacos. Many however think that every single stand is cooking up brain and feet, tongue and testicles, this is not the case at all. The overwhelming majority of food trucks have tasty treats which don’t use obscure parts of the animal.
If you come to the big cities like Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City then you will find an enormous range of meat free options. Vegan and vegetarian tacos are everywhere in these cities and they use a range of tasty ingredients to deliver the same results. A friend of mine Rose Burillo has actually created some tacos for these businesses, and from tempeh to tofu, there are some truly well thought out options which you can enjoy.
As much as I’d love to tell you that everything on the street is dirt cheap, it just isn’t always the case. In the main, yes, you can get tacos, quesadillas and hamburgers on the street for next to nothing. The mistake is to assume that every street stand is like this however, because you may end up getting caught out.
Red and Green
Some make the mistake of thinking that the red salsa is always the hot one, and that green is the cool option, this is not always the case. Each stand will vary when it comes to how hot they make their salsas and this is why you must always have a little taste before you cover your taco in your salsa of choice. Some salsas can get super hot, so you have to be careful.