What You Should Know About Mexican Cuisine
Never mind the 26-hour flight (including a layover in Europe) from Mexico to Singapore—Chef Daniel Ovadia was happy to be back for the 21st edition of the World Gourmet Summit.
In between his dinner events, he hosted a masterclass in partnership with Miele, and taught us all we needed to know tacos, burritos, guacamole and more. Plus, we were mighty pleased to be given the chance to sample his exotic creations—red worms included!
Here’s a quick cheat sheet about Mexican food:
The three elements of Mexican cuisine are corn, peppers and beans.
Mexicans are famous for eating insects and bugs, but chef Ovadia admits that the worms you’ll find inside mezcal bottles are more for tourists. “We eat chinicuiles (red maguey worms) that grow in the roots of the agave plants. We deep-fry and eat them as a snack or blend them with a bit of salt and chili to reveal the amazing flavours.”
They eat quesadillas with everything—from fish, pork, beef, to cheeses.
One of the most expensive chilies in Mexico is the chichilo. It’s hard to cultivate and only 500 tonnes are produced each year—300 if they’re unlucky. It’s eaten raw on the day it’s harvested, but most of these are dried for three to four months. They are best used in moles (a sauce that goes well with many dishes) and soups.
Contrary to what most people think, mole is not just chocolate sauce. Mexican’s national dish is made of different ingredients, and the most famous is the black mole created using 25 to 30 veggies, spices and more. It takes one week to cook (not surprisingly, with all the things you have to prep), but its taste is worth the wait.
There are a number of restaurants in Singapore that serve delicious Mexican fare. Señor Taco encapsulates the Mexican culture—from the food, drinks and music. Also high on the list is El Mero Mero for its casual fine dining ambience, and Super Loco at Customs House for its amazing marina views.
Photos courtesy of World Gourmet Summit and Miele