Dishes You Can’t-Miss On Your Trip To Mexico’s Gastronomic Capital
Puebla is called Mexico’s gastronomic capital thanks to its delicious cuisine based on the region’s pre-Hispanic traditions. The colonial city evolved over five centuries to become one of Mexico’s most influential food cities.
There are a variety of dishes unique to the east-central region of Mexico. Foods across Puebla are inspired by the indigenous people from the area, along with the individuals who settled in the region. Here are five popular dishes from Puebla for you to sink your teeth into on your next trip to the Mexican city.
#1 Chile en Nogada
Chile en Nogada is a rich, savoury dish featuring ground pork, fruit, and nuts stuffed inside a poblano pepper. The stuffed pepper is then dipped into an egg and deep-fried. Chile en Nogada is topped with a creamy sauce made from walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and parsley leaves. The toppings, which are red, green, and white, represent the Mexican tri-colour flag.
Chile en Nogada is a seasonal dish eaten from late July to early October. You will find it at Meson Sacristia de la Compania, a historic boutique-style hotel and restaurant
#2 Pipian Verde
Pipian Verde is created with toasted pumpkin seeds, cilantro (lettuce can be used as a substitute), and chiles. When mixed together, the mixture is bright green and used as a topping for pork or chicken. Rice is served alongside the meal.
The Pipian Verde is a savoury sauce and pairs well with meat dishes. One of the best places in Puebla to find Pipian Verde is El Mural de los Poblanos, which serves up an artisanal version of the sauce.
#3 Taco Arabe
Taco Arabe, aka “Arabic” tacos, made their way to Mexico in the 1930s. The dish was brought to Mexico by Iraqi, Lebanese, Syrian, and Iranian immigrants looking for a new life. Today, Taco Arabe is a street food staple and can be found around Puebla.
Taco Arabe is made using pork and onions piled onto a spit. It resembles a shawarma or kebab spit at a Middle Eastern restaurant. The meat is then sliced off the spit after it is cooked over a charcoal fire. The meat is placed on a flatbread similar to pita bread. Fresh lime, salt, and salsa are added to Taco Arabe for even more flavour.
Taqueria El Sultan is located near Puebla’s main square and is a popular place to order the famous Middle Eastern-style tacos.
Chalupas were made famous by Taco Bell, but you can trace the dish made in Puebla back to colonial times. Women in the region would quickly fry up corn tortillas at the end of the day after a hard day of domestic work. The fried tortillas would then be topped with beef or pork, onions, and salsa (red or green).
Legend has it locals began calling these quickly-prepared meals chalupas after the flat wooden baskets housewives carried down to the Almoloya River to do laundry.
Chalupas are typically served as appetizers or snacks in Puebla. La Abuelita is one of the popular restaurants in the city that serves up delicious chalupas.
The cemita, which the state government calls “part of the gastronomic identity of Puebla,” is the local version of a “torta,” Mexico’s equivalent to the sandwich. It’s easy to spot, as you’ll notice the large sesame-seed bun with “papalo” – a type of herb.
You can get all kinds of fillings on your cemita, including thinly sliced beef (milanesa – a thin breaded and fried slice of meat), with additional toppings of ham, cheese, onions, avocado, and jalapeno peppers. You can also try the cow jelly topping “pata de res” if you feel bold.
Cemitas Beto is known as one of the best sandwich restaurants in town. It is located inside the Mercado de la Acocota (Avenida 4 Oriente #1619, Barrio de la Luz) and is popular with diners due to the cheese the restaurant uses.