Oaxaca’s cuisine varies widely due to the relative geographic isolation of its peoples, and the climates in which foods are produced.
Chapulines, Oneunique aspect to Oaxacan cuisine is the consumption of “chapulines,” which are a type of grasshopper which has been fried and seasoned with salt, lime and chili pepper.Oaxaca produces seven varieties of mole called manchamanteles, chichilo, Amarillo, rojo, verde, coloradito and negro. These moles and other dishes are flavored with a varietyof chili peppers such as pasilla Oaxaqueña, amarillos, chilhuacles, chilcostles and costeños. Epazote, pitonia and hoja santa are favored herbs in Oaxacan cooking. Thelast is indispensable for the preparation of verde version of mole.
Chocolate, which is grown in the state, plays an important part in the making of certain moles, but isbest known for its role as a beverage.
The cacao beans are ground then combined with sugar, almonds, cinnamon and other ingredients to form bars. Pieces of these bars aremixed with hot milk or water and drunk.
Oaxaca cheese is a soft white string cheese which is appears similar to mozzarella. It is sold in “ropes” which are wound ontothemselves into balls. It is eaten cold or lightly melted on quesadillas and other dishes.
There is a saying in Oaxaca, “Para todo mal, mezcal, para todo bien, también”(For everything wrong, mezcal; for everything right, too.) Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks (as well as food items) based on the maguey plant. The tradition of themaking of the distilled liquor called mezcal has been a strong tradition in the Oaxacan highlands.
The town of Santiago Matatlán calls itself the world capital of mezcal.