Mexico is truly the land of corn. Corn was first domesticated in Mexico. All Mexican indigenous cultures worship corn deities. Corn and huitlacoche or cuitlacoche are everywhere. Yet, somehow I was able to survive a week in Mexico without a single allergic reaction. Here are my suggestions for visiting this fascinating country.
- You must either speak fluent Spanish or have local contacts willing to translate for you at every place you eat. Reading Spanish (or speaking French and/or Italian) is not enough to get by: kitchen staff generally speak only Spanish, few understand the concept of allergy, and, in small and/or rural restaurants, many are not very literate either.
- Corn is the most common cooking oil. (Sunflower and safflower oils come in at numbers 2 and 3, with lard a close fourth). Food stalls and small and/or rural restaurants are bad bets unless you can ascertain that they cook with lard. Higher-end restaurants will likely have olive oil and/or butter on hand.
- Bring safe snacks with you.