11 Essential Experiences in Oaxaca [wuh-HAH-kuh]

3. Savor the Flavors

Oaxaca Chocolate is one of the world's best

Oaxaca Chocolate is one of the world's best

Oaxaca is world-renowned for a variety of specialties that every foodie or connoisseur should sample. First and foremost is Oaxacan chocolate (the original!), a rich, slightly gritty variety often ground with sugar, cinnamon and almonds and made into a thick, frothy hot chocolate. It’s also a key ingredient in Oaxaca’s legendary signature dish, mole, a complex spicy savory sauce that can take days to prepare. Oaxaca’s famous queso cheese, a mild, stringy, stretchy ball of dairy deliciousness, is not to be missed. You also have to try a tlayuda, a popular local snack made with a crispy tortilla topped with refried beans,shredded meat, avacados, queso and salsa – kind of like a Mexican pizza. Oaxaca is one of the largest coffee growing states in Mexico, and it makes one strong, smooth, satisfying cup of joe. Most is reserved for export, but ask around and you’ll find a cafe that serves the home-grown brew. Can’t forget the prized local liquor, mezcal, a distilled tequila-like alcoholic beverage made from the maguey cactus. Then there are the chapulines, crunchy fried crickets served with chili and lime, which are great to munch on with a cold cerveza.

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