10 Unknown Mexican Foods that Will make you Drool!

10 UNKNOWN MEXICAN FOODS - cover image

Mexican food is worldwide famous thanks to the many Mexican restaurants and some delicious iconic dishes: think about Guacamole, Tacos, Burritos, Tortillas, and Hot Chillies to name a few!! 😀

What many people don’t know, is that the mainstream Mexican foods that everybody knows are just the tip of the iceberg of Mexican cuisine, which boasts a variety of traditional yummy foods that could well compete with French, Italian, Indian, or Chinese cuisines to name a few! ;D

In this article, I will show you 10 Unknown Mexican Dishes that will make you drool and re-think the complexity and creativity of Mexican Cuisine!

These foods are not always easy in Mexican Restaurants abroad, but if you’re planning a trip to Mexico soon, be sure to take notes as they will truly surprise you! 🙂

My mouth is already watering, so better start right away! ;D

Let’s Discover

10 Unknown (but Delicious!) Mexican Foods! 🙂

1. Mazapan:

Mexican Peanut Candy!

unknown mexican foods - original mazapan from mexico

Mazapán is a sweet and delicious peanut-based candy widely available all across Mexico and loved by children and adults alike!

The genius and the explosive taste behind the Mazapán (which, pay attention, is not “Marzipan”!) is hidden within just two ingredients: peanuts and powedered sugar. 

Mixing these two ingredients in the right doses, gives birth to a sweet treat with a “harder” and crunchy consistence (easy to crumble, yet with an intensely creamy texture).

The dough of Mazapan, once prepared, is normally packed into disk or square shapes, wrapped in plastic, and sold at virtually every grocery or bar in Mexico!

The popularity of Mazapan Candy in Mexico is so high, that people here also decided to dedicate a national day in honor of this traditional sweet: January 12th! 🙂


2. Budin de Pan:

the Simplest Mexican Recipe!

budin de pan - mexican recipe

You thought that Mexican cuisine was all about savory meat and spicy chillies? Think again! ;D

Mexican people also love desserts (a lot!), and here’s another sweet that will make you drool:)

The Budin de Pan (“bread pudding” in English) is a traditional Mexican dessert that consists in a sweet, moist, and tender bread pudding made with bread, cinnamon, raisins, brown sugar, and spices 🙂

Easy to make with left-over bread, the Budin de Pan is one of the simplest Mexican recipes, yet so popular and delicious as the combination of the ingredients creates a gentle combination normally enjoyed by both adults and children.

The brown sugar cooking at the bottom of the bread, melts into caramel during cooking, leaving a sweet surprise at the first bite!


3. Torta Ahogada:

the “Drowned Meaty Cake”


torta ahogada mexicana

The Torta Ahogada is one of the most typical and representative dishes of the state of Jalisco in Mexico (and one of the most loved in the city of Guadalajara).

This dish, which roughly translated into “Drowned Cake“, is essentially a delicious meat sandwich plunged into a tiny lake of tomato sauce, water, and spicy sauce.

In the original recipe, prepare a “Torta Ahogada” is normally used a hard and crusty variety of bread (called “Salty Birote”), filled to the brim with pork meat fried in lard (can you feel the calories going up? 😉 ).

After submerging the bread in the spicy sauce; cumin, onion, garlic, and some drops of lemon are added.

A curious fact about this mouth-watering Mexican dish is that the Mexican city of Guadalajara detains a Guinness World Record for the largest Torta Ahogada in the world: cooked with 1230Kg of pork meat, 1640kg of tomatoes, 820kg of onion, 258 liters of spicy sauce for a total length of 646m!!!

Crazy Mexicans! ;D


4. Chongos Zamoranos

chongos zamoranos - unknown mexican foods new novelty

Back to another popular Mexican dessert: the Chongos Zamoranos!

This curious dish, which takes its name from the Mexican colonial city of Zamora that gave it its origins (Michoacàn region), is a dessert made of curdled milk.

Indeed, “changes” in the Spanish slang describes an unpleasant, nasty, dirty person ;D

I know what you’re thinking: Yeeeek! D:

But wait for it because it gets damn tasty: the curdled milk is indeed mixed with rennet tablets, milk, sugar, and cinnamon. 

This weird mix results in a soft cream with a cheese-like consistency, which is then poured over brown milky sugar while lime juice is added on top.

After some rest, the Chongos Zamoranos get a spongy-like texture and are ready to be served and eaten, which personally I have to admit are surprisingly tasty: an original and ideal dessert for surprising someone with something new ;D

5. Tacos al Pastor

tacos al pastor - mexican original recipes

Tacos are so loved in Mexico like Pizza is in Italy, Curry-rice is in India or Hamburgers in America!

The same goes for the variety: Mexican Tacos are not just “chilli con carne” (the most popular and easy variety to find abroad), but do have an incredibly long history and tradition behind them, which led to the dozens (if not hundreds!) different tacos recipes that we can find in Mexico today.

The Tacos al Pastor (in English: “Sheperd-Style tacos”) is one of the most beloved taco-variant in Mexico.

In this recipe, the tacos are filled with roasted smoked meat (cooked on a vertical rotisserie, a bit like doner kebabs are cooked) and a fresh “adobo” marinade, which consists of a mix of dried chillies (usually guajillo), ancho chillies, pineapple juice, vinegar, garlic, cumin and, depending on the chef (ahah 🙂 ), other local spices.

The result is a healthy taco yummy from the first bite, where it’s possible to appreciate the flavour of the smoked meat to the fullest (the marinade complements the taste, but does not cover it!).

Normally, this kind of tacos is served with corn tortillas, onions and spicy sauce.


6. Chiles en Nogada

chiles en nolgada - unknown mexican foods

The Chiles en Nogada is an extremely eye-catching foodgasm-inducing Mexican food that tracks back to 1821 when it was first invented by the nuns in Puebla (Mexico), in honor of the visiting Mexican Army General Agustin de Iturbide (an important military figure that leads Mexico to win the Mexican war of independence).

This dish, which name translated in English as “Peppers in the Walnut Tree“, is a Mexican specialty not so easy to find beyond Mexican borders (but extremely popular in the country!).

To prepare a “Chiles en Nogada”, the main ingredient is a poblano chile, which is then stuffed with meat and fruit, and covered with a waterfall of the main ingredient: the Castilian walnut cream!

The plate is usually completed by parsley and pomegranate, which both complete the flavourful mix and add the color green and red to the white of the walnut cream sauce, to re-create the colors red-white-green of the Mexican flag.

All in all, a patriotic and delicate food you should try if you’re planning a trip to Mexico! 😀


7. Tlayudas

mexican tlayudas - discover mexican foods you didnt know

From the looks, you might be tempted to call Tlayudas a “Mexican Pizza”, but this less-known Mexican dish is on a planet on its own which goes beyond what meets the eye!

Typical of the city of Oaxaca and pre-colonial times, the Tlayudas are a triumph of calories and flavors: large crunchy tortillas on the bottom, toasted lard, boiled beans, avocado, and fresh cheese on top! Of course, all topped with a classic Mexican spicy sauce! 😉

This is a must-try if you’re traveling to Mexico: think that also the Mexican government defined the Tlayudas as a “complete, versatile and balanced dish, rich of Mexican history and identity!”.

Indeed, the name “Tlayudas” derives from the Maya word “to-tlayu” which means “shelled corn”, the main ingredient of the tortilla 🙂

Last but not least, a quick fun fact: the Tlayudas won the Netflix Street Food Latin America Championship in 2020 which started pushing in recent years this recipe even outside of Mexican borders!



8. Tacos Gobernador

tacos gobernador - mexico food to try

Let’s go back to Tacos, and let’s go with one of the most modern variants of this traditional recipe: Tacos Gobernador (“Ruler Tacos“).

This time the tacos ((similar to a “quesadilla” in this case) are filled with seafood, and if you know a bit about Mexico, you won’t be surprised to know that the origins of this Mexican food track back to Sinaloa, a state of Mexico famous for the quality of its seafood cuisine.

What’s so interesting about these tacos?

The Tacos Gobernador, are filled with seafood (such as shrimp) and cheese, a combination that might scare most, but which tastes damn fine!

The first time this recipe was conceived, as the legend goes, was in 1987, when the chefs of the restaurant Los Arcos in Mazatlan gave birth to this creative recipe to impress the governor of Sinaloa, who was visiting them.

All in all, an original, unknown, and out-of-the-ordinary Mexican Food to try if you’re traveling through the country ;D


9. Pozole

mexican pozole - unknown mexican foods

The Pozole is one of the oldest and most authentic Mexican Foods you can eat in Mexico!

Its origin is pre-colonial and pre-Colombian, as it dates back to the first centuries of the Mayan, Aztec, and Inca empires.

Originally, this antique soup dish was considered the fundamental nourishment for a healthy diet and held great ceremonial and religious significance (was also used against sicknesses and pains!).

The Pozole was prepared with “Nixtamal“, a mix of corn seeds boiled in water and limestone, washed and, and fermented.

During the centuries, every Mexican region slightly changed the original recipe of this traditional soup to adapt it to the local taste: in some regions, it’s now possible to find vegetables in the soup, in some others chilies, while in others also avocado (a variant that was also beloved by the popular Mexican painter Frida Kahlo).


10. Mole

mexican mole sauce - mole

And in the end, we could not forget about mole!

Maybe you might have heard the name of this Mexican specialty in some Mexican restaurant before, or maybe you’ve tried it already too!

The fact is, that mole is never the same, and behind its original recipe there are always disputes and quarrels!

Indeed, in Mexico, three states claim its origin: Oaxaca, Tlaxaca, and Puebla.

Between just these three regions alone, there are over 15 different variants of mole, which is essentially a stew with different ingredients in it: nuts, chilies, banana, spices, meat, almonds, garlic, avocado, herbs, pumpkin, or… even chocolate!!

All ingredients are normally roasted and ground into a fine powder or paste (so you won’t normally see all the ingredients within the mix!).

The varieties of mole are immense, and to truly understand what is it all about, you need to try it multiple times, in multiple places, and from numerous chefs.

Let’s say is a bit like pasta in Italy: countless variants, countless ingredients and everybody says that the best one you can try it’s its own! 😉


original and unknown mexican food that will make you drool - conclusion

And here we are at the end of the article! 🙂

In this post, we have seen 10 traditional Mexican Foods which are commonly unknown abroad, but very popular within the country of tequila and cactuses! ;D

Before going I would like to ask you:

  • Was the article useful to you? Some of them made you drool?
  • Have you ever been to Mexico before?
  • Do you know any other curious Mexican food that you believe could make it on the list? 

LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! (We always love receiving feedback and exchanging a chat 🙂

Last but not least, if you liked the read, don’t forget you can find plenty of travel inspiration also in the rest of our blog:

As always, thank you a lot for reading,

And see you in the next article! 😀




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