If you’re thinking of going out for an evening meal or need to head out early for breakfast, Mexican street food is perfect! Otherwise known as Antojitos (which translates to “little cravings”), street food in Mexico is typically eaten in the time between lunch and the next meal – basically they’re there as a way to curb those hunger cravings before dinner (though street food makes great dinner too!).
If you’re craving some corn on the cob, look no further than Elotes! In Mexico, the best Elotes can be found on the grill. Choose from a variety of toppings, such as chili powder, cojita cheese, lime juice, hot sauce, or mayonnaise. When served in a cup as kernels with the usual Elote seasonings, they are called Esquites and are eaten with a spoon. These make a great easy late afternoon snack if you’re feeling peckish!
Similar to pasties, gorditas are small, thick masa cakes, sliced in the middle and stuffed with meat, cheese and other fillings (a bit like a pita pocket). They can also be laid flat with a bordered edge to hold fillings such as coriander, pork, avocado and cotija cheese.
Chalupas are most popular in the region of Puebla, and consist of small tortilla cups filled with beans, meat, salsa and lettuce. Another variation, called Chilapas, use a crispy tortilla cup with similar fillings with the addition of avocado, cream and onion. Yum!
Sandwich lovers – don’t despair! Mexico has its own type of sandwich – the empalme! Empalmes are a type of Mexican sandwich (akin to stacked tortillas), and are more typical in the Street Markets of Nuevo Leon. An empalme consists of two corn tortillas, with refried beans, salsa, tomatoes, oregano, chorizo, cheese and chillies filled in between, and grilled on a charcoal grill or a comal (a flat griddle, similar to a frying pan).
Toasted and crunchy, these are usually made with leftover tortillas that are not fresh enough to be made into tacos, but are still fresh enough to be eaten. They can be served as an accompaniment to stews and seafood, or topped with salsa, avocado or cheese. A similar variation can be found in your local supermarket as tortilla chips, though these are the real deal!
Now here’s a must-try! Tlacoyos (La-caw-yo) are oval or football shaped patties made from corn maize, and can have a dark-grey charcoal-like colour or the golden colour typical of tortillas. These are either baked or toasted, and filled with ground beans, cheese, fava beans, pork rind and array of other ingredients. Tlacoyos are best eaten immediately, while fresh and warm, as the bread can become tough and dry when left out or reheated.
Here’s something for you soup lovers – Pozole is a hot soup made with hominy, pork (though other meat can be used), chili, onion, garlic, radish, avocado, salsa or limes. It is frequently served during celebrations such as Quinceañeras, weddings, birthdays, baptisms and New Year’s Day, but can also be found in street markets. Pozole can be served white, red or green (depending on whether the soup is made from hominy, red or green chili).
Got your own Mexican snacks you love to make? Perhaps you’ve had some of the snacks above - let us know on Facebook