GASTRONOMY OF ZACATECAS

México » States » Zacatecas » Gastronomy

Typical Food of ZACATECAS

Zacatecan cuisine is the product of multiple inventions, influences and exchanges, inheritance and remembrance of the indigenous and Spanish presence in the territory of the state.

Mezcal - Zacatecas
Mezcal – Zacatecas

In pre-Hispanic times, the Chichimeca tribes took advantage of what the semi-desert soil offered for their food: nopales, tunas, magueys, biznagas, dates, roots; wild animals such as hares, rabbits, squirrels, wild boars, snakes, deer, and insects. Some of these supplies were prepared in order to be conserved for a long time, anticipating periods of famine.

With the Hispanic presence in Zacatecas, the establishment of trade routes and the development of mining, new products were introduced and added to existing ones, giving rise to baroque dishes, such as the exceptional wedding barbecue, made from chili peppers from different varieties gilt in butter, spices and pork, which has been present at banquets and celebrations for several centuries.

In the region, it is also customary to consume beef in broths, such as menudo and pozole and birria de borrego. They are worth mentioning the gorditas of corn stuffed with stews, the enchiladas miners or zacatecanas, the artisan wheat bread, the old cheese and other derivatives of milk as typical sweets.

The traditional drinks are aguamiel (mead), colonche de tuna, tejuino, agua cuaresmal (Lenten water), quince liqueur and mezcal.

Currently, corn, beans and mirasol chili (considered the best not only in Mexico, but in the world), constitute the basis of food and represent the largest agricultural production in the state.

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DISHES

Tacos Envenedados (Poisoned tacos)

There are many stories behind the origin of the poisoned tacos; one evokes Don Lauro, a playful merchant who joked about the dish’s secret ingredients; others say that his name refers to the danger miners run in their work and the relationship with what they eat.

The recipe has also had modifications but the original consists of a bean filling with potato, cheese and chorizo. They should be fried in lard and served with lettuce and tomato. They are so classic in the state that they even have a festival in August.

Asado de Bodas
Asado de Bodas
Asado de Bodas (Wedding roast)

It is the flagship dish of Zacatecas; of course it takes its name from being served at parties and on special occasions.

It is made with pork and various chili peppers, including guajillo and colorado. It is seasoned with bay leaf, garlic, pepper and cloves; Oddly enough, it also has bread, whether it be bolillo or white bread and chocolate.

It is a preparation that could well be an interpretation of mole although it is not as sweet as those found in Oaxaca, Hidalgo or Puebla.

Birria de borrego

Perhaps for each state in the country there is a different birria and in Zacatecas it is not different, here they have their way of preparing it. One of its constants is that it is almost miraculous when we talk about curing a hangover.

The Zacatecan birria is made with lamb or lamb, it has ancho chili, rattlesnake and morita. Among the spices they use to give it more flavor are cloves, thyme, oregano, pepper and cinnamon; in addition mass is used to thicken.

When serving, it is topped with onion cut into squares and coriander.

Caldo de Rata (Rat broth)

No, we are not in China, in Zacatecas they also eat strange animals. The rat broth is a mixture of pumpkin, carrot, broccoli, chipotle, xoconostle, corn and of course, rat. Rodents are used for this traditional Zacatecan dish, but don’t worry, they are very different field animals from those that live in the sewers of big cities.

It emerged as many dishes that we know: due to the need to eat something and the scarcity. There are those who say that it is miraculous and that it even has healing properties (it makes sense if we take a look at how nutritious its ingredients are). Without a doubt, when you visit Fresnillo do not hesitate to eat a good warm rat broth.

Enchiladas de Zacatecas
Enchiladas de Zacatecas
Enchiladas Zacatecanas (Zacatecan enchiladas)

There are three variations depending on the region in which you eat them. The first is with a poblano chili sauce that is mixed with cream and cheese; These are stuffed with cooked, shredded and fried pork loin.

The second is with cuaresmeño chili sauce mixed with egg, onion and salt, stuffed with asadero cheese.

Finally, the traditional ones that we can also find in San Luis Potosí and Guanajuato are flavored with guajillo chili. The way to prepare them is to soak the tortilla in sauce and fry it; They are filled with cheese and are accompanied by pickled vegetables, lettuce and sour cream.

Jeréz Tostadas

Jerez is one of the five Magical Towns of Zacatecas along with Nochistlán, Pinos, Sombrerete and Teúl de González. Here they prepare a traditional dish that is the famous Jerez tostadas.

You can find them in almost any corner and street stall. They have pork trunks cured in vinegar (which can be substituted for cueritos); They are garnished with red sauce and served on a golden omelette or a piece of pork rinds.

Now there are quite a few variations with more ingredients, for example, with buche or carnitas.

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SWEETS AND DRINKS

Quiote

Eating quiote is not exclusive to Zacatecas but here it is a traditional sweet. It is the thick stem that sprouts from the center of the maguey; It can be up to five meters high and produces flowers that are also eaten.

In Zacatecas, it is sliced, cooked, and roasted with sugar until completely caramelized.It can also be prepared baked and its flowers are used to make pancakes or savory dishes.

"Tuna" Cheese
“Tuna” Cheese
Queso de Tuna (Tuna cheese)

Is a cheese that does not contain milk really cheese? In states where tuna cheese is consumed as sweet, of course it is! It is prepared with cardonas tunas and it is also a typical dessert of San Luis Potosí.

The magic of this fruit is that it has the ability to give cheese texture to what is actually an “ate”. Making it takes about two days. In the whole process, the sugars in the prickly pear play a key role, first creating the molasses and then adding flavors.It is said that it was named cheese because of the texture it has and the way it was pressed, although now it may have different shapes.

Colonche

The colonche is an intense red drink made from cardona prickly pear that grows in the Bajío states; You can also find it in San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato and Aguascalientes.Its origin dates back to pre-Hispanic times as a ritual for the harvests in the months of August and September.

The texture is very similar to pulque and the flavor is acidic. It is a careful drink since, although it does not have a higher alcohol content, the sweet notes are deceptive and you will never know when you got all the way back.

Tejuino

Taking tejuino is a tradition that honors corn and Zacatecas, being one of the products of this food, could not be left behind. We are talking about a refreshing drink made from corn fermented for months. To balance the acidity, it is prepared very much like an atole: mixing dough, sugar and water. Salt, baking soda, lemon and lots of ice are also added.

Mezcal

As strange as it may seem, in Zacatecas mezcal is also made; It is one of the states with a designation of origin to produce it together with Durango, Guerrero, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Puebla and of course Oaxaca. Seven are the municipalities that can produce it and that have registered agave varieties; Huitzila, García de la Cadena, Teúl de González, La Pendencia, Jalpa, Saldaña and Juchipila.

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