7 de noviembre de 2014

Traditional food of Nuevo León

Food in Nuevo León is practical and delicious. Here, agriculture developed after livestock breeding, which is why many typical dishes are based on beef, goat, and milk. Other important ingredients are corn and wheat.


Nuevo León’s cooking combines three culinary cultures: Catholic Spanish, Jewish Spanish, and Tlaxcalteca indians that arrived from the center of Mexico.

From the Jewish tradition we find dishes based on baby goat and certain types of bread. Dry meat and Bustamante pastry are of Tlaxcalteca tradition. Wheat tortillas are an adaptation of Spanish bread to the customs and techniques of America.

Typical Dishes

Dry Meat and Machaca

Dry meat is first cooked, marinated and shredded before it is put to dry. Tlaxcaltecan indians used this technique to store food in a land that wasn’t fertile.

Normally it is mixed with egg to make machacado or machaca con huevo. You can also eat it alone or with lemon drops.

Cabrito (Kid Goat)

There are many ways of cooking baby goat. The most popular are roasting it on mezquite wood and cooking it in its blood. The chopped entrails of the kid goat are cased in the intestines to make a sort of sausage called machito.

Similarly to the sheep, the kid goat must be a very young animal (up to 40 days old) and fed only with goat milk.

Carne asada

On weekend afternoons the state starts to smell like carne asada, or barbecue. Arrachera is a typical cut in Nuevo León. Usually, men are the ones to do the cooking. Agujas a las brasas, asado de puerco with colorado chile and puchero soup are other common dishes.

Other traditional dishes

Zaraza meat is strips of meat served with guacamole. It is a traditional dish of Montemorelos.

“Sierra” baby potatoes, or Galeana baby potatoes come from that municipality in the south of Nuevo Leon, which is one of the main potato producers of the country. It is a unique potato: small and with a stronger and distinctive flavor.

Tortas compuestas are Mexican sandwiches popular in the center of the country and in Linares, Nuevo León. The tortas are served cold. It is a fresh dish and has attractive colors.


Glorias are made of “burnt milk” and pecans. They were invented in Linares in 1932 and there are currently 15 companies dedicated to their production in that municipality.

Perlitas or besos indios, rollos, encanelados, revolcados, natilla and marquetas, in different designs, are other traditional sweets.

Also delicious are milk candy balls, candied pumpkin cooked in pilloncillo (Mexican dark brown sugar), and Montemorelos orange preserves and other fruit preserves.

Bustamante home-style pastry is made following an old family tradition. It contains wheat flower, piloncillo, anise, cinnamon, pecans and cocoa. Some of the most popular types of Bustamante pastry are pecan empanadas (pasties), turcos (sweet minced meat pies), semitas (round bread with pecans and pilloncillo), and hojarascas (cinnamon cookies).

Quick facts

Nuevo León's traditional cooking combines three culinary cultures: Catholic Spanish, Jewish Spanish, and Tlaxcalteca indians.

Dishes: Cabrito (kid goat), machacado, carne asada, tamales norteños

Sweets: Glorias, bolitas de leche, Bustamante pastry

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