Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ricos Tacos de Mixiote Estilo Tulancingo Hidalgo, Mexico City: Three Generations of Street Taco Tradition From Tulancingo, Hidalgo

Are you taking notes?This is major part of my food sleuthing philosophy. When someone shouts out their hometown, they usually mean business.

Mexico City is both pain and pleasure for the sensualist. Do I stop here and try this and risk losing something even more special and delicious? The street food choices boggle the mind.

But, the more regional a stand, the more likely that you've struck gold.

I first visited Ricos Tacos de Mixiote last summer, but realized I hadn't taken any notes. While on a short trip to Mexico City a couple of weeks ago, I came back for the other half of the menu and a chance to talk with the cook, Paty Andrade. They only serve tacos of pork mixiote and cochinita(pork).

Paty is from Tulancingo, Hidalgo, the second largest city in that state. The recipes for her tacos of pork mixiote and cochinita have passed three generations, from her grandfather, to her mother, and for the past 30 years, Paty has held the family's secret recipe.These tacos have been replicated for 80 years.

The stand is near the Isabela Catolica metro stop on the south side of Jose Maria Izazaga. Walking through the narrow passage between the shops and endless row of stands that stretch from Mercado San Juan to La Merced, if you sneeze you'll miss them.

There was a sweet girl from Chiapas working there last year who couldn't stand the frenetic pace of DF and went back home.

There are two plastic chairs in front of the condiment stand where I sat and chatted up the nice chiapaneca, and Paty on this recent stay. Paty saw me taking notes and made sure that I spelled her name correctly.

She offers a salsa of guajillo chiles, a pickled onions with habaneros, diced pineapple, and a molcajete full of guacamole.

While cochinita pibil is considered a specialty of the Yucatan, it is done in many parts of Mexico. In Hidalgo, the pork is pit roasted in maguey spines rather than banana leaves as in the Yucatan.

The difference is subtle, but the flavor in Paty's cochinita is in her juicy achiote marinade.

The mixiotes are pit roasted for 12 hours in maguey parchment and then she splits the product with her husband who sells Paty's tacos in another part of the city.Paty has been at her current location for the past 4 years.

The cochinita is superb, but mixiotes are specialties of Hidalgo, and the stand's signature taco. The taste is of succulent pork with a proven blend of chiles and spices that have endured 80 years.

Hidalgans have been known for their cooking since the time of the Aztec Empire, and pride on their cooking seems so matter-of-fact, or just pure instinct.

These are must have tacos in Mexico City, and a destination for the street food connoisseur.

Ricos Tacos de Mixiote Estilo Tulancingo, Hidalgo
Mon-Sat 9AM-3PM, or when the tacos run out.
Jesus Maria Izazaga(south side of street)
near the Isabela Catolica metro stop
Mexico City,Mexico

1 comment:

Jorge Tovalín González-Iturbe said...

I gotta try this tacos. I love mixiotes :)

Mexico City