One of the great things about traveling to different parts of the vast and magnificent country of Mexico is its variety of regional cuisines. The Baja California Peninsula is home to a fabulous selection of specialties inherent to the region, with a focus on the dizzying assortment of fish and seafood caught in the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortes. If you are planning a vacation to the Baja peninsula, be sure to sample plenty of the outstanding regional dishes for a gastronomic experience your taste buds won’t soon forget! Here are just a few of the must-try regional dishes in Baja California that have made the area a foodie destination:
Almejas Chocolatas Tatemadas (Chocolate Clams)
This mouthwatering delicacy consists of locally harvested chocolate clams which are roasted on a bed of stones and covered with romerillo, an edible shrub found in the desert. The shells are roughly 2-¾ inches large and feature meaty clams inside. This recipe is typically served with warm flour tortillas and a variety of salsas and is one of the most iconic regional dishes in Baja California.
Tacos de Pescado (Fish Tacos)
Perhaps the dish most commonly associated with Baja California, tasty battered fish (and shrimp!) tacos are a mainstay of the diet here and are typically accompanied with delicious salsas. You can find local taco stands just about everywhere you go, and they are a featured item on many sit-down restaurants as well, so you can feed your craving no matter when it strikes!
Machaca de Mantarraya (Stingray)
Don’t let the name keep you from trying it! A local favorite, this delectable dish is prepared with shredded stingray meat simmered and seasoned with diced tomatoes, green chiles, onion, cilantro and native spices. It is served wrapped in a warm flour tortilla, similar to a burrito and is one of the favorite regional dishes in Baja California among locals.
Comida de Pobres
Though the name of this dish literally translates to “food of the poor”, you will feel like a king as you feast on this appetizing seafood soup, which features rice, beans and a mix of vegetables. It is served with warm flour tortillas, which makes this a satisfying meal you will fall in love with.
Other Seafood Delights
While the list is nearly endless, a few other seafood favorites are smoked marlin tostadas, crab that is roasted or stuffed (jaibas rellenas) and a dish called “Chilorio de Abulon o Calamar” which is prepared with abalone or squid and seasoned with garlic, oregano, cumin, coriander seeds, salt and pepper, then cooked in a chili-based sauce. There are countless exquisite dishes featuring lobster, shrimp and abalone that should also be explored.