mexicoThe indigenous Mexicans lived traditionally on a vegetarian diet but after invasion by the Spaniards, the cuisines fused.  Today the national dish, the taco, represents this union between omnivore and vegetarian.

Many Mexicans do not grasp the concept of vegetarianism let alone veganism.  But not to fear, the cities like Mexico City increasingly cater for other diets.  You can find health food shops and the supermarkets will sell a wide range of international foods.  There are even restaurants specialising in the traditional Mayan vegetarian diet as well as modern healthy cafes.

The staple grain of Mexico is corn; good news for those intolerant to gluten.  There is a range of corn "pastries" filled or topped with beans, mushrooms, chorizo or ham.  There are vegetarian tacos on offer, fillings including beautiful Oaxaca cheese, mushroom or “flor de calabaza” (courgette flowers).  You don’t have to walk far to find a fruit stall where you can choose what you want to blend up into a fresh juice or smoothie.  On top of beetroot, carrot, watermelon, celery, various cactus plants are used, rumoured to be highly beneficial for the body.  They also sell a variety of granola and mueslis.

You will also stumble across sellers of freshly toasted seeds and pulses (pumpkin, sunflower, chickpeas, broadbeans) and sweetcorn stew or corn on the cob. 

The choice is endless but do check whether meat stocks have been used in their cooking for those vegetarian among you.

Finally, we cannot fail to mention the popular "tamal" a large, filled corn dumpling boiled and served in corn husks.  These have both meat and non-meat options and are divine.  Mexican use a lot of natural sweeteners as opposed to refined sugars such as “piloncillo” made from unrefined sugarcane.  Not only will your needs be catered for but you’ll discover a whole new variety of delicious recipes to broaden your cookbook.

Many thanks to Mary for this information.

If you have any other information about eating in Mexico, please contact us