A Guide to Mexican Food Festivals
As well as being rich in culture, Mexico has a rich and varied cuisine. There are various gastronomic festivals all over the country every year and if you are planning a trip, you might be interested in one of them.
There is wine tasting, as well as lots of regional dishes on offer in May, at the Vineyards Flowering Festival. This takes place in Ensenada, Baja. In Queretaro, there is an International Wine and Cheese Festival, every May too, which serves up the country’s best examples of wine, and cheese.
August is the time for the mid-August Mushroom Fair in the Chihuahua region and towards the end of August, you can catch the Chili in Walnut Sauce Festival in Puebla. Chili growers enter the chili competition to try and win a prize for the biggest chili and be named in the Guiness Book of World Records.
The National Mole Fair takes place in San Pedro Actopan in October and this delicious sauce, which contains chocolate, peanut, spices, and more is celebrated here. There is a prize for the best mole sauce. In November, there is a Shrimp Festival in Sonora and also a Candy and Nut Festival in Coahuila, where there is a price for the largest nut candy. The Festival Gourmet International also takes place in November, in Jalisco, and so does the Festival of the Radishes, in Oaxaca. Radishes feature as both food and artwork at this one.
Even if you are not planning a trip to Mexico any time soon, it is always fun to make authentic local dishes at home and enjoy this wonderful cuisine.
5 More Festivals worth Checking Out
Anyone in Mexico City on January 6 will be surrounded by the Three Kings’ Festival, which takes place in many Spanish-speaking countries. A wreath-shaped rosca de reyes (type of cake) is baked. It has a figure inside and the person who finds it has to host a party on February 2, which is Candlemas Day. The Three Kings’ Festival is held to celebrate the Epiphany, and if you make your way to the main square, known as the zócalo, you will find 200,000 portions of rosca cake being give out, along with over 1,700 pounds of butter!
In Tulyehualco in March is the ice cream festival. This area is now part of Mexico City. Ice from the snow-capped volcanoes was harvested in pre-Hispanic times to make frozen treats, which is why over 80 ice cream producers pay homage to this tradition by offering all kinds of wonderful ice cream flavors from lime to mango and even sweet mole.
The corn and tortilla fair takes place at the end of May and beginning of June in Xochimilco, Santiago Tepalcatlalpan. Man-made islands known as chinampas are where farmers grow corn, and this is a festival celebrating this crop. You can sample tlacoyos, which are bean-stuffed masa cakes, esquites, which are butter-fried kernels with epazote and chili, and ponteduros, which are cornmeal and honey candies.
Check out the apple festival in Zacatl’n in August, and enjoy all kinds of apples from the sweet peruana ones to the rayadas with their green stripes. Do not miss the manzana hojaldra either. This flaky apple tart is just so delicious. There are also plenty of floats, which you can watch while holding out your hands, because people on the floats will be throwing apples to the crowd.
The vanilla festival happens in Papantla at the end of May, and will smell this festival long before arriving at it. Do not miss the Dance of the Voladores, which features acrobats dangling from 100 foot poles and dancing to music up there, and of course all the fragrant vanilla extract and vanilla pods for sale.
Although every Mexican festival is different, something you will often see are plenty of colors, including the red, white and green of the Mexican flag, along with brightly colored piñatas, floats and other decorations. Mexicans never shy away from a good party, and whatever the festival or holiday, you are sure to hear Mexican music, be able to eat and drink all your south of the border favorites, and see bright, colorful sights like in the photo. If you are considering a trip to Mexico, it is well worth finding out which festival your trip coincides with, so you can take part in the party and turn a good trip into a great one.
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