When Asda's food innovation team travelled across the Atlantic, they were surprised to learn that Mexican empanadas have their origin in Cornwall. However it turns out that that was just the first of many surprises on their trip! On their journey to Mexico to discover new flavours and ingredients, these professional foodies were lucky enough to sample many different dishes and delicious foods, some of which can be seen in an exciting new range of authentic Mexican products due in store soon. Some of the foods that the innovation team tasted, however, were pretty bizarre! Keep reading to find out about some of the weird and wonderful flavours Asda's food team enjoyed on their trip to Mexico.
The entire team agreed how delicious 'mole' sauce was. This rich sauce is typically made with one or more types of chilli pepper and can be enjoyed with various meats, tacos, enchiladas and more
A special drink that was not exactly to everyone's taste was 'Pulque,' a fermented beverage made from the Agave plant. Pulque is a sour drink that looks a bit like milk and is actually thousands of years old. Nicknamed the Aztec drink of the gods, this frothy alcoholic drink was certainly an aquired taste. Something that the entire team could all agree on however, was how delicious 'mole' sauce was. This rich sauce is typically made with one or more types of chilli pepper and can be enjoyed with various meats, tacos, enchiladas and more. There are many different types of the sauce across Mexico, but the best-known variety contains chocolate and usually takes a few hours or even days to prepare. Asda's food team even tasted a 987 day old Mole sauce at the acclaimed Pujol by Enrique Olvera restaurant, in Mexico City's posh Polanco neighbourhood. Pujol ranks number 25 in the world’s top 50 eateries, and the team deemed the experience totally amazing. Our keen travellers discovered that the key to a good mole is to use the bits of the sauce that catch on the sides of the pan, and to scrape and stir these bits back into the sauce to create a rich, intense flavour.
Here in the UK, we may be more used to chocolate as a dessert but it actually adds a lovely depth of flavour to savoury dishes, too. Why not try adding a few tablespoons of grated chocolate or cocoa powder to a chilli or BBQ rub?
When it comes to tasty treats, how would you like to tuck into a handful of crispy fried worms or flying ants? It sounds strange but in Mexico they're both considered a delicacy! Our food team reported how locals flash with excitement over them, not unlike a child would a sweet stand. Don't worry though - you won't be seeing any bugs on Asda's shelves anytime soon!
Some of the other weird and wonderful foods that the innovation team sampled were actually more about interesting combinations rather than strange ingredients. For example, corn and custard, pineapple juice and chilli, and salsa and tequila. If you want to try something a little different, tuck into this vegetable, bean and tortilla soup recipe below - the chips add a lovely crunch to the delicious soup.
Veg, bean and tortilla soup recipe
Roast red peppers, red onions, cherry tomatoes and a little garlic until soft. Whizz with some hot vegetable stock in a processor until smooth. Add to a pan with a can of Good & Balanced Beans In Chilli Sauce and chopped coriander. Heat through. Scatter tortilla chips on a baking tray, top with sliced jalapeños (from a jar) and grated Manchego cheese, then grill until the cheese is just bubbling. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the tortilla chips to serve.
Find out more about Mexican cuisine with Asda's Mexican food blog.