Delicacies of Pre-Hispanic Cuisine

Hotel Mansión Iturbe invites you to experience the uniqueness of Pátzcuaro’s market, where you can find literally everything from soup to nuts.  Vendors from the Pátzcuaro basin deliver a huge variety of seasonal plants, fruits, herbs, cheeses, spices, fish, grains (and yes, soups and nuts!) to our market, and prepare scrumptious things like corundas, uchepos, tortillas azules, quesadillas, charales, carnitas, and much more. Support our indigenous communities; buy and enjoy their exotic and delicious products.

Delicious products from the Pre-Hispanic Cuisine
Delicious products from the Pre-Hispanic Cuisine

Specialty products that have come down to us from pre-Hispanic times form part of Michoacan’s daily dining experience.

As with any region of the world, most fruits and vegetables are seasonal.  But it is in the wet season when the greatest variety of these comestibles can be seen in the market.

Delicious pre-hispanic products that you can buy at Pátzcuaro's Market
Delicious pre-hispanic products that you can buy at Pátzcuaro's Market

One exotic and outstanding pre-Hispanic delicacy is the huitlacoche. It’s an edible fungus that grows on the top of corn, and was considered a favorite of the kings of the pre-Hispanic era.  They probably didn’t know it back then, but huitlacoche is rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and amino acids.
Delicious products from the Pre-Hispanic Cuisine
Delicious products from the Pre-Hispanic Cuisine

Today, huitlacoche is a principle ingredient in many dishes that satisfy the most discriminating palates, from filling for tacos, quesadillas, chili peppers, crepes, or pastries, and sauces and complex dishes that distinguish innovative Mexican cuisine.

The humble squash is a vital part of the modern and ancient Mexican kitchen, including its flower and its seed.

One pre-Hispanic delicacy that survives today is the flor de calabaza, or squash blossom, which has a thousand and one uses, such as in quesadillas, soups, salads, or an ingredient for a special filling.

Squash Blossom
Squash Blossom

 [Note:  The feminine squash blossom turns into squash; the male squash blossom is the edible blossom and doesn’t produce fruit; it has a longer stem. This delicious, surprising side dish is low in fat, and is a great source of vitamins and minerals.]

When you return from shopping, let your imagination fly and prepare some interest dishes of your own using products you bought in the Pátzcuaro market!

Sauteed of Huitlacoche, squash blossom and nopales
Sauteed of Huitlacoche, squash blossom and nopales

Our US friend Andrew Carhartt, who has lived in Pátzcuaro for 12 years, gave us this simple recipe for Huitlacoche tacos.  Huitlacoche is a seasonal product, available for only a short time in September-October.

Huitlacoche Tacos (4-6 tacos)


Olive oil, as needed
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
2 green serrano chiles, seeds removed, finely diced
leaves of 3 branches epazote, chopped (often hard to find; it’s not critical)
2 cups fresh huitlacoche, washed and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add garlic, onion, and chiles, and sauté until onion is transparent.  (The heat of the chiles reduces considerably with sautéing.)
Add huitlacoche and epazote and mix well with other ingredients.  Continue stirring while cooking until huitlacoche is tender.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Continue stirring until any liquid has disappeared.
Serve as tacos or quesadillas.


Top with a portion of your favorite grated cheese, crema, lettuce, etc.

*Text and pictures property of Hotel Mansión Iturbe.

We invite you to check more post in our blog, you will find information about Pátzcuaro and it's surroundings that we hope will help you to plan your next trip to our colonial town in Mexico.

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Hotel Mansion Iturbe
Portal Morelos 59
Plaza Vasco de Quiroga
61600 Patzcuaro, Michoacan

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Tels: +52 (434) 342 0368 / 342 3628

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