Xochimilco Culinary Experience
Mexico City, Mexico
Savour the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Xochimilco, Mexico City's best garden market, before buying ingredients ferried in along an ancient system of canals and taking them back to a local family's house to learn a traditional recipe.
Xochimilco is one of the most traditional markets in Mexico City. To tour it from start to finish is an activity the locals carry out every day, but an unusual experience for visitors. Venture into it and become seduced by its colourful fruits, its food stands, its immense variety of plants and flowers, its toys and everything being sold in its corridors.
To walk along the long main corridor of Xochimilco market is a rich cultural experience, and, undoubtedly the best way to get close to the local gastronomic tradition. You will certainly be drawn to the huge clay pots containing different kinds of mole – a sauce prepared with over 30 ingredients, whose base is a blend of chillis and spices, often including chocolate, spices, fruits and other ingredients dating back to pre-Hispanic times.
If you want to learn about a unique dish, hard to find elsewhere in Mexico City, taste the small minnow tamales, corn snacks with sun-dried fish from the lake, and seasoned with salt. Locals accompany their meals with a cactus salad, containing chopped onion, coriander and chilli (you can buy a hearty portion for $10 Mexican pesos), and be sure to visit the fruit stands, where you can ask for samples to taste, and choose the sweeter, juicier fruits.
Women prepare the famous comal quesadillas in front of the customers’ eyes, and stuffed with a variety of fillings such as squash blossom, huitlacoche (a mushroom that grows on corn and is called the “Mexican truffle”), cheese, mushrooms with epazote, chicken and beef tinga, picadillo (ground beef cooked in tomato sauce) and many more.
After buying your ingredients, with advice from your guide, you'll visit a local family and be taught how to prepare a delicious traditional Mexican dish.