5 Wonderfully Weird Mexican Dishes You Must Try

Mexico is a fantastic country not only to live in, but also for travel and work. Although this nation of over 120 million has garnered something of a bad reputation in recent years due to raging cartel wars, there are still plenty of wonderful, and safe, places to visit! As you can imagine, a country as big as Mexico features vastly different cultures depending on where you go, and nothing speaks to each culture the way food does. Whether you head north, south, east, or west, you’re bound to find some pretty interesting local dishes. Check out our list of 5 wonderfully weird Mexican dishes you absolutely must try next time you visit México lindo y querido:

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1. Chapulines

Oaxaca is known as something of an art hub in Mexico, but it is also famous for its rather unique cuisine. Probably one of the most curious things you’ll find when you visit Oaxaca is that grasshoppers are something of a staple. You’ll find them on pizzas, inside stuffed chilies, or even sold on their own as sweet, salty, or spicy snacks (imagine replacing chips with crunchy grasshoppers, yum!). Chapulines may not be something you’ll want to eat every day, but they are a traditional dish you absolutely must try if you want to get into the true Oaxacan spirit!

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2. Chinicuiles

Since we’re talking bugs, chinicuiles, or maguey worms, cannot be overlooked! You can usually find this interesting dish in areas in central Mexico like Puebla. If you literally can’t stomach the idea of eating one raw, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to cook these tasty little red creatures. Not only can you eat them roasted or fried, but you can also have them in a taco and smothered with delicious sauce. If you’re not into eating beef, pork, or chicken, chinicuiles an excellent source of protein and the perfect meat substitute!

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3. Nopales

If you’re looking to eat your daily serving of vegetables a la Mexican style, nopales should be at the top of your list. These cactus leaves are harvested from a specific type of cactus found in Mexico. Almost anywhere you travel you will usually have the option of tasting nopales. Don’t worry, the thorns and bumps are all peeled away before the leaves are cooked so you won’t be having a thorny meal! Try them cooked whole, or cut into strips. Eat them in salad, soup, or as a main dish. The options are many, as are the health benefits!

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4. Menudo

Menudo is a Mexican favorite and the perfect hangover cure after a night of too much tequila! At first glance you might be a little confused as to why it has made its way onto our list of wonderfully weird foods, so let me enlighten you as to its contents. Menudo is made with beef tripe (think the lining of a cow’s stomach), cow’s foot, and marrow. These are all boiled in a pot along with chilies, herbs, and spices to make a rich soup. You can add lime, chopped cilantro and onions to your bowl for a perfect post-party meal!

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5. Tacos de Lengua

In case you haven’t noticed yet, it’s not just beef that forms a big part of Mexican cuisine, Mexicans love putting the entire cow to good use when it comes to cooking. Tacos de Lengua, roughly translated as tongue tacos (rhymey isn’t it?), are beloved throughout Mexico. These types of tacos are pretty similar to others with one exception: the meat is cow’s tongue. It sounds a bit wonky, but trust me it’s delicious. You’ll have your typical soft taco filling of onions, cilantros, lime, and jalapeños, over strips of cooked cow’s tongue. The texture of the meat may take some getting used to, but once you try it you’ll be sure to go back for seconds!

Hopefully this small glimpse of the varied and amazing nature of Mexican cuisine has you hooked on the idea of exploring Mexico’s marvelous foodie landscape. After all, you can’t ever truly experience a foreign culture until you’ve tried some of its traditional (and sometimes weird) dishes. Through Mexico’s food, you’re sure to get a distinct look at the different cultures of each and every place you visit. So happy travels and happy eating!

Do you have some wonderfully weird favorite Mexican dishes? Share with us which ones you like and why!