Shopping in Mexico
From Mexico you can bring tequila, silver jewelry, ceramics, woven bedspreads, cactus sweets, hammocks of all colors and sizes and, if there is room in your luggage, some more tequila. It is worth paying attention to the handicrafts of the Indians: embroidery, woodcarving, paintings in the spirit of “developed primitivism” and ritual masks. The galleries sell copies and reproductions of paintings by famous Mexican artists, including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. See other countries beginning with M.
Almost all locally produced goods are sold at a constant price all year round, which cannot be said about the products of world famous brands: during the traditional sales periods – after the New Year and at the end of summer – solid discounts are offered in shopping centers.
Taxco is famous for original high-quality silver jewelry, wicker baskets and painted wooden animal figurines; San Cristobal de las Casas for hand-woven and embroidered shirts; Morelia – sweets, Guadalajara – handmade gizmos of the Huichol Indians; Zacatecas – woven bedspreads and sweets from cacti; Merida – blouses, jewelry, hammocks.
In large cities, it is worth visiting shopping centers: they sell a lot of clothes of famous brands at quite reasonable prices.
Shops are open from 9:00-10:00 to 20:00-22:00, from 13:00 to 16:00 almost everything in the city closes for a siesta, Sunday is a day off. The main shopping areas are concentrated in Mexico City. In the Condeza area there are salons with the creations of Mexican designers (dresses, shoes, jewelry, art objects), as well as all kinds of shops with clothes, antiques, furniture and jewelry. Paseo de la Reforma is completely reminiscent of the Champs Elysees: the number of fashion boutiques goes off scale, like the pulse of a shopaholic wandering through them. Cancun has an amazing La Isla shopping center: under a giant dome, entire streets and canals are recreated in detail, reminiscent of the landscapes of Venice. A walk through the Cancun markets, the most famous of which is Mercado-28, will also bring vivid impressions.
- What to bring from Mexico
Cuisine and restaurants in Mexico
Mexican cuisine is more of a colorful mixture of regional gastronomic traditions than a single set of dishes. In the north of the country, the main components of the meal are beef and goat meat, and the way they are cooked is reminiscent of the American one – most often barbecue. In central Mexico, everything revolves around corn, legumes and spices (which, however, does not displace meat at all) – in the form of tortillas, various stews and casseroles. The southern part of the country is a fan of chicken and spicy vegetable dishes – this is easily explained by the influence of Caribbean cuisine, and the coast gorges itself on fish and seafood.
The entire population equally loves hot chili peppers, which are added to almost all dishes here.
As a rule, national dishes cannot do without three typical components: tortillas (corn tortillas), beans and hot chili peppers. Olya podrida (goulash), carne asado (fried beef with a bean garnish), fragrant tamales (steamed pieces of corn dough wrapped with a corn cob leaf and poured with sauce) are popular. Spoiled with papaya, mango and chayote, Mexicans revere pieces of fried sugar cane – canas asadas – as the biggest delicacy.
From alcoholic beverages, tequila brought real glory to the country, of which there are more than 300 types (only 4 are officially approved: Blanco, Joven, Reposado and Anejo). Mexican wines are also good (mostly made according to European technologies), Don Pedro brandy and Corona beer. Popular non-alcoholic drinks are rice flour-based horchata, chilled agua de jamaica hibiscus tea, champurado thick hot chocolate. Excellent coffee is produced in the south of the country.
Fun fact: the Mexicans themselves, who have been treating mankind with tequila for a decade, do not drink it with salt and lime at all according to the “lick-tip-eat” scheme. No, for real muchachos everything is simpler: from the throat, without snacks, at best, washed down with spicy tomato juice or beer. As for the “salt and lime method”, there are two main versions of its appearance. The first is a publicity stunt by which tequila vendors successfully pushed hitherto little-known agave moonshine into the global market, making it a trendy drink. The second version, medical, is associated with an influenza epidemic in Mexico in the 1920s. 20th century. Allegedly, since there was a tension with antibiotics and other aspirin in the country at that time, doctors prescribed tequila with salt and lime juice to patients: salt to compensate for what came out with sweat, and lime served as a natural antiseptic.
Most Mexican restaurants specialize in traditional dishes, masterfully combining all of the listed (and not only) ingredients, treats and drinks on the menu. Seafood in a variety of variations is served in “mariskeria”, the aromas of fresh pastries lure you into bakeries. Bistros are in fashion, updating the assortment with the season in mind: fruits and vegetables from the garden, meat recently grazed on farms, fish from the sea-ocean – right to the table. Classic fast food is gradually losing ground, giving way to eateries with healthy food in a hurry. Restaurants with Thai, Italian, French, American, Japanese cuisines are open in large cities and resorts.
The average check for lunch in a restaurant in the resort of Cancun is about 700 MXN, for a pizza snack in the capital, about 270 MXN.