Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Mexican Eating Schedule"

Something I've found very interesting (and it's taken me a while to adapt) is the different schedule for the meals between Mexico and USA... Here in USA everybody seems to "be done eating" so early.... In Mexico... it isn't like that at all (I must admit that the American way it's healthier though, but it's still a difficult adjustment)

Here is a common schedule in Mexico:

7:00 a.m. - Desayuno (Breakfast) - probably some toast, fruit, yogurt, milk and banana shake or orange juice (any of those options)

9:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Almuerzo (something similar to brunch) - This is where the good stuff comes: A good example of almuerzo would be "chilaquiles" (wedges of corn tortilla - fried with onions and garlic, green or red salsa), The dish is topped with cheese (typically "queso fresco") and/or Mexican style sour cream ("crema Mexicana"), also some eggs on the side, refried beans and coffee to drink. We can also have "tamales", "tacos maƱaneros" (morning tacos), "barbacoa" (meat roasted in an oven, traditionally dug in the ground) and many other things like that.

1:00 - 4:00 p.m. - Comida (Lunch) - It's usually more abundant than in other countries, and it commonly starts with "sopa aguada"  ( it's like a clear soup, more like a broth) and/or salad, then the main dish ("arroz y guisado") it usually consists of rice and some type of meat -chicken, pork, beef, fish, anything! this is where the "mole" and "picadillo, cortadillo, chiles rellenos, etc" come in. To drink you would have "agua fresca" (it's a delicious and very refreshing fruit drink, which fruit? well, it can be cucumber, lime, watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, tamarind, "horchata" -which is made with rice- and many others)

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Merienda (Like an afternoon or evening snack) where we usually have "pan dulce" (traditional Mexican pastry) and coffee, milk or chocolate milk.

9:00 - 10:00 p.m. (or later) - Cena (Dinner) You can enjoy "taquitos" (very common to eat taquitos from the stands on the streets, no hard shells by the way, I knew those when I came to the USA), "tostadas", "tortas" or anything you like... It is very common to see people having dinner outside their houses or in the informal "establishments" of the streets of Mexico, Coke is also a very common drink in Mexico (even when it's not exactly a Mexican tradition) unfortunately it has INVADED our country.... Pepsi is seen as a "bad imitation" of Coke there... so, it is not as popular.

You will also find that there are "street stands" all day long, those that are specifically for dinner usually open at 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. and close at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning... Trust me, there will be people eating at that time!

 Picture above: My hubby enjoying the "Mexican experience" at a night taco stand in Mexico.

So, there you have it.... A brief example of what our "eating" day would look like... Of course you don't HAVE to have it all... In my home we didn't really use to have "Merienda" but... it's a very traditional Mexican "thing"

I am soooo hungry now!



  1. When we first moved to Mexico, both my Hubby and I struggled with the new eating schedule. Waiting until 2pm to eat lunch seemed like torture. But now, we couldn't imagine it any other way. Plus, we love that we have 2 hours for lunch. There is always time for a SIESTA!

    In our house we do it a little differently though. We have dinner at 7 or 8 and then a merienda of Pan con Leche at 10! :)

  2. So you guys take a SIESTA? I've always told people that's an "urban myth" that our life in Mexico is so busy that nobody really takes a siesta... wow... It seems I was wrong.... Probably there is still siestas in some places in Mexico.... not in the North of Mexico, that's for sure.... And yes... the Mexican schedule is "flexible" ;) Thanks Leslie! Big Hugs!

  3. See? Even in Mexico they know Pepsi is the imitation! HA! We love Coke here too. :-) Paloma, I am enjoying your blog sooo much! Thanks for you sharing your heart with us through food! Yum!

  4. Hey Becca! How sweet of you! Thanks for stopping by! I hope you continue enjoying my blog! :) It's great to see you here!

  5. Oh my cousin! You Mexicans are my-kind-of-eating-people! It's not just the food alone, it's the tradition of it all! It seems more like a festival of culinary experience! Great article! ~Sarah

  6. wrong. -.- Well at least in Mexico city is different.
    we either eat the merienda or dinner. Not both... too much food! xD
    When we go out with friends or a party or something, we have dinner.
    At home with the family we only have a merienda...
    and we're usually in our pijamas! :P


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