Antojitos in Oaxaca
Antojitos in Oaxaca definitely include some of the tastiest dishes that Oaxaca and indeed Mexico has to offer. Some of the dishes listed here aren’t exclusive to Oaxaca but they are common place so they have been included. Tlayudas and Tamales are included in the antojito category but these are so popular that they have been given their own pages on the website.
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Quesadillas are very common in Oaxaca and whilst not exclusice to Oaxaca, the quesadillas in Oaxaca are slightly different to other parts of the Mexican republic due to the cheese that is used. Quesadillas in Oaxaca are made using Oaxacan produced quesillo (aka Oaxacan cheese queso oaxaca) giving them a unique flavour. Quesadillas are prepared in two distinct ways, one is to have a tortilla folded over with cheese in the middle that is then toasted, the other is to have quesillo folded inside a pasty-like dough that is made from maize dough (the same that is used to make tortillas) and then deep fried. Both are excellent but the flavour is different. Quesadillas are normally served with guacamole and chili sauce to taste.
Tostadas are thin brittle tortillas that various ingredients are put on to of and then eaten. Tostadas aren’t exclusively a Oaxacan dish but they are very common in Oaxaca so they have been included here. There really isn’t any limit to what you can put on a tostada and there are indeed a great number of variations. In Oaxaca it is common to find tostadas with salchicha Oaxaqueña (Oaxacan sausage – these are red) at sporting events etc. It is also common in Oaxaca to serve tostadas with refried beans, lettuce and cheese; served with chili sauce and guacamole to taste unless another topping is specified.
Tacos are of course in no way restricted to Oaxaca but tacos are as abundant in Oaxaca as anywhere else and they fall into the antojitos and ‘vitamin T’ categories so are included here. Tacos need little explanation so one is not going to be given, however we are going to point out two different kinds of taco. In Oaxaca you find tacos from the taquerias which tend to be beef, pork etc with machine made tortillas, and tacos de cazuela which are normally hand-made tortillas that are then filled with your choice of filling which are kept in large dishes (‘cazuelas’) that are kept warm on hot plates. Both kinds are fantastic!
Memelas are another must try whilst in Oaxacan, memelas are found outside of Oaxaca with some slight variations but they are known by different names so we could perhaps say that memelas are exclusive to Oaxaca, and they are a very common. These mouth-watering snacks are in their simplest form a thick tortilla brushed with pork dripping, refried beans, cheese and chili sauce added to taste. However you can also buy memelas preparadas, which are memelas with other ingredients on top of them. These are quite often given as aperitifs by Oaxacan restaurants.
Molotes are not exclusive to Oaxaca but they are common in Oaxaca especially if you go for breakfast in the local markets. This interestingly flavoured food is made by mixing maize dough with potatoes and meat (in Oaxaca this is nearly always chorizo) and then deep frying the mix in little maize kern shaped portions. Molotes are normally served with guacamole and chili sauce to taste.
Empanadas are not exclusive to Oaxaca and indeed not even to Mexico but they are very common in Oaxaca and the village of El Tule is famous for them. Empanadas in Oaxaca are made by folding maize dough (the same as that used for making tortillas) over the filling ingredient (of which there are many options) and then baking them on a comal (a large clay hot plate). Empanadas are a delicious treat that is a must try for anybody visiting Oaxaca.
Garnachas are a speciality of the Isthmus region of Oaxaca that consist of a small maize tortilla with shredded meat on top that is then deep fried with pickled cabbage and crumbled dried quesillo cheese sprinkled on top and then served with chili sauce to taste. Enough good things cannot be said about garnachas you simply must try them.
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