Essential Cooking: Anais Martinez, aka The Curious Mexican, showcases Mexico City’s culinary treasures

Food writer and tour guide Anais Martinez talks about the culinary gems that travelers can look forward to when visiting Mexico City, which she also writes about in her blog, The Curious Mexican.

Anais Martinez focuses on providing an enriching experience for tourists, while honoring the foods and people of Mexico City. Photo credit: Omar Alonso

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In this episode

  • Anais Martinez offers rich culinary experiences in Mexico City
  • The difference between cacao preparations in Mexico and the rest of the world
  • Why it’s important for food tourists to learn about history and culture of the foods they sample

Anais Martinez is a culinary tour guide based in Mexico City and has a blog, The Curious Mexican, all about the culinary treasures that call Mexico home. 

Getting into the food tour business took some time. First, Martinez went to culinary school for five years. It wasn’t until she graduated that she realized she didn’t want to cook or work in restaurants. But she still loved food and sharing it with people.

Soon, she started giving food tours in Mexico City. She’s been doing it for eight years now.

A lot of Martinez’s day-to-day is scouting for new stops on her food tours, which are about four hours long and feature a combination of street food and restaurants.

People who go on Martinez’s food tours usually only expect to taste signature foods, but they get much more than a simple eating experience. They leave Mexico City knowing about the ways culture, history and food interact. 

Take limes for example. Before European settlers came to the region, there were no limes. Now, they’re a mainstay in Mexican cuisine. Another example is the variety of ways cacao is prepared and used in Mexico, as opposed to the rest of the world.

Martinez focuses on providing an enriching experience for tourists, while honoring the foods and people of the city. There used to be a lot of Australians on these tours, Martinez says, but after The New York Times named Mexico City the No. 1 travel destination, 85% of the tourists on Martinez’s food tours are from the United States.

You can keep up with Anais Martinez’s writings by following her blog, The Curious Mexican.

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  • David Leins
    David Leins is a Podcast Coordinator and Producer at WDET. He also oversees the StoryMakers program. When he isn't making radio and podcasts, David is probably on a hike somewhere marveling at the trees.