Cinco de Mayo is an important Mexican celebration that commemorates a battle won by Mexico in the city of Puebla against French military forces in 1862. Here in the United States, we usually celebrate the holiday with margaritas and tex-mex. This year, consider indulging in some traditional fare from the state and capital city of Puebla located in Central Mexico as a way to more authentically appreciate the Battle of Puebla. To assist you, we found a series of dishes featured in local restaurants that hail from the central region of Mexico. Keep reading to see the full list.
Cauliflower at Maiz 64
Mole is Puebla’s signature culinary specialty. The literal translation is sauce and, like all sauces, it comes in a variety of flavors. Most moles include grinding nuts and spices, combining them with roasted peppers, and cooking all the ingredients together over the course of days. Pipian is a variation on mole, made with a host of fragrant and enticing ingredients including ancho, chipotle, and guajillo peppers, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, allspice, garlic and cumin. Spooned over roasted cauliflower, the pipian at Maiz 64 is bold and intoxicating and the star of the dish. A smattering of almonds adds a bit of crunch as the finishing touch.1324 14th St. NW, DC; maiz64.com // @maiz.64
Cemitas at Taqueria Xochi
Cemitas are Puebla-style sandwiches, made with a sesame seed adorned roll and a myriad of fillings. The vegetarian cemita at Taqueria Xochi is divine, with breaded and fried eggplant, tomatoes, queso, avocado for a creamy element, mayo for creaminess and chipotle for a spicy note. Wash it all down with a housemade aqua fresca, available in tamarind, hibiscus and horchata flavors. 924 U St. NW, DC; taqueriaxochi.com // @taqueriaxochi
View this post on Instagram
Chilaquiles at Oyamel
Popular in all of central Mexico including Puebla, chilaquiles are a fun Mexican dishes that are akin to a baked nachos dish. The chilaquiles at Oyamel are especially tasty with housemade tortilla chips smothered in loads of melted cheese, spicy salsa verde and a dollop of crema. 401 7th St. NW, DC; oyamel.com // @oyameldc
Chile Relleno at El Sol Mexican
Poblano peppers are wildly popular in Puebla, and the chile relleno is the best way to sample this tasty ingredient. At El Sol, the chile relleno is stuffed with cheese, sour cream, salsa, rice, and beans, making for a dense, hearty dish highlighted by the wonderful distinct smokiness of poblano peppers. 1227 11th St. NW, DC; elsol-dc.com // @elsoldc
Huitlacoche Tetala with Squash Blossom at Muchas Gracias
Tetelas are popular in both Oaxaca and Puebla. They consist of a triangular corn tortilla, similar to an empanada, but griddled and stuffed with cheese and other fillings. The one at Muchas Gracias is delectable; it is oozing with beans, cheese, salsa, and includes huitlacoche, which is a super earthy Mexican corn truffle that originates in Central Mexico, as well as squash blossoms, also popular in Central Mexico and called flor de calabaza. 5029 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; muchasgraciasdc.com // @muchasgraciasdc
Memelas at Taqueria Habanero
A popular street snack in Puebla, memelas are small fried discs made of masa flour and topped with various tasty ingredients. You can enjoy an order at Taqueria Habanero where they come crowned with earthy mashed black beans, fresh onions and queso fresco, plus a duo of spicy salsas, one green and one red. 3710 14th St. NW, DC; taqueriahabanero.com // @taquriahabanero.com
Enjoy this piece? Consider becoming a member for access to our premium digital content. Support local journalism and start your membership today.