Nuevo Leon’s climate and the conditions of the land allowed for the development of livestock rather than agriculture. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the main element in the diet of the inhabitants of the State of Nuevo Leon is meat. The cortadillo, a stew prepared with beef, tomato and guajillo chili, or some delicious arrachera (grilled beef) tacos are just some of the delicacies prepared in the kitchens of this Northern state.
The Spanish heritage is evident in dishes such as the famous “machito”, prepared with the entrails of a goat, very similar to the Castilian “zarajo”. On the other hand, the pre-Hispanic traits remain in the dry meat or machaca, because the Tlaxcalteca people used to dry their meat in the sun in order to preserve it for a longer period of time. Today, it is cooked with egg and served as a breakfast common to the region, along with lemon and salt or in a broth.
You very probably have heard someone speak of the famous cabrito, the iconic dish of Nuevo Leon, goat meat cooked slowly on the embers of a fire built with mesquite wood. Enjoy it with “charros” beans, stewed with bacon, pork, cilantro and serrano chili. Be sure to try the pork roast, with red chili, or a delicious stew.
You can also eat meat in tacos, gringas and pirates. You must try the delicious “al pastor” tacos, prepared with pork topped with a mixture of spices and cooked over charcoal on a giant column shaped like a spinning top. The gringas are also served with pork “al pastor”, along with cheese and flour tortillas. If you are very hungry, be sure to order a pirate, an enormous tortilla stuffed with al pastor meat.
Dairy products also play an important role in the cuisine of Nuevo Leon. You will find delicious ranch cheese, the famous Glorias, sweets made out of burnt milk with nuts, custards, small goat or cow milk balls and many more delicacies. You can’t miss tasting the Bustamante bread, made from wheat flour, sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with anise, cinnamon, nut and cocoa. Bon appétit!