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Food Culture in Mexico: which meal at which time?

Berlin, 13.03.2016

As a Mexican, there are plenty of ingredients to miss when moving to the northern hemisphere; however it is not only food itself what I miss but also the times of the day when we can eat it. In my experience, in Germany people have very well defined all meals in a day, it would be difficult to find breakfast after 11am and after 10pm at night would be difficult to find a restaurant; sometimes the only option is Kebap or the usual type of Fast Food.

In Germany it is also very rare to combine Bar and Restaurant, people would move directly after dinner into a bar and no bar would offer other food than peanuts or chips. On the contrary in Mexico we have the "cantinas" or "botaneros" where you get feed if you drink; in Spain, I believe they call it tapas bar. 

In particular Spain and Mexico have more a "tapas" kind of culture, in Mexico that would be street food like tacos or "antojitos".  Most restaurants would offer this food and sometimes people would prefer eating one of more "Antojitos" rather than a regular meal. 

In my opinion, the biggest advantage of "antojitos" is that just like tacos, you can try different dishes, in smaller quantities, and repeat the ones you like the most.

Mexican Meals: eating all day

In Mexico, people would have the chance to eat five times a day and as you see, the "antojitos" are available during most of the day: 

1) Desayuno is breakfast, this is usually a quick one and may include cereal, fruits, and dairy products or just coffee and "pan de dulce" (sweet bread). Some people would also eat a tamal, sandwich or eggs and beans; bread or tortilla are also present, however this is more common for the next meal. 

2) Almuerzo is a meal between breakfast and lunch, it is heavier than breakfast and is served between 10 am and 12 pm. The kind of food for "almuerzo" includes tortas, tacos (similar to a sandwich or panini) or other corn products like sopes, memelas or tlacoyos; they are usually served with beans, meat, avocado and salsa.

3) Comida: Then we have lunch or "comida" in Spanish, which is typically served between 1 pm and 3 pm and may includes soup, rice, beans, main course and dessert. 

4) Merienda: We also have a meal between lunch and dinner; this is called "merienda," a late light snack, usually sweet bread or "pan de dulce" in Spanish (e.g. conchas, churros) and hot chocolate, milk or atole, a corn-based beverage. 

5) Cena: Finally, we have dinner, and there is no particular dish for this. An ordinary dinner in Mexico City would be tacos, the most popular are "bistec" (beef) and "pastor" (marinated pork) and you would get them from a taquería or a street food stand. 

As you can see we have plenty of options to eat the whole day, there is no rule of what to eat at a particular time although usually, eggs and fruits are exclusively for the morning. 

Some restaurants would serve big portions of antojitos; I like smaller portions so that I can eat more than one dish or even the whole offering; this is how I usually eat and what I present in Berlin with cooking sessions and events. 

Next Event:
Mexican Cooking in Berlin