Welcome to our post about Veracruz Food! Honestly, we will never finish naming this place’s authentic dishes. However, we hope that this article gives you a better context and introduction to Veracruz’s food. Hopefully, by seeing these delicacies, you can be encouraged to visit the beautiful state of Veracruz, Mexico:

Importance of Veracruz Food

Veracruz food is one of the most important foods in Mexican gastronomy. Why? The simple fact is that just like its ecosystem, this state combines the sea with the land in its dishes. For example, it is one of the most famous ports in Mexico. Its seafood is rich and famous, and there is even a dish with the name of Veracruz (we will see it later).

On the other hand, being at sea level, the coffee plantation is one of its great strengths. You can’t say you have visited Veracruz and enjoyed its food without drinking a good coffee and enjoying its wonders.

It is also necessary to mention where the term ‘Jarocho’ comes from:

“The word ‘jarocho’ comes from New Spain. Today, it means people who live in the Veracruz-Boca del Río area. But this old word has changed its meaning over time. After the Spanish conquest, cattle farming spread to an area south of Veracruz port called Sotavento. This area included parts of what we now call Tabasco, Chiapas, and Oaxaca.

Back then, ‘jarocho’ meant mixed-race cowboys. They used long sticks called ‘jaras’ to control cattle. Historians agree on this old meaning. But as the country changed, so did the meaning of ‘jarocho’. According to historian Antonio García de León, ‘jarocho’ has now been used to refer to all people living in the Veracruz port area since the 1800s. It has come to mean ‘the essence of what’s local.’ Source: Diario de Xalapa.

A very famous saying in Mexico goes like this: “Only Veracruz is beautiful.” And then, through its food, you will realize why this state, despite not being as famous as the southern states of Mexico or some of the northern ones, is an underrated jewel for travelers from other countries. Undoubtedly, Veracruz is a blessed state for its land, music, traditions, culture, history, towns, sea, people, and, of course, for its food and coffee!

Veracruz Tour
Danzon – Traditional Dance from Veracruz

Picaditas

This is a traditional Veracruz food prepared on the Gulf of Mexico coast. The so-called antojitos in various parts of the Mexican Republic are known as “sopes. “ They are ‘picadas‘ because the tortilla is chopped or pinched on the edges to lift it a little, which prevents the ingredients that cover it from spilling.

🌽Check out our post: Traditional Food of Mexico Top 20 Dishes

Unlike the traditional ‘sopes, ‘these little delicacies do not contain beans, sour cream, lettuce, chicken, or chorizo. The traditional ones are simply salsa with onion and cheese. The magical touches of these little delicacies are their sauces and soft and delicious dough.

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Traditional picaditas jarochas

Pambazos

This type of pambazo is very different from other regions of Mexico. Mainly because of its visual aspect, which makes this pambazo unique. It is not red and has no classic chorizo filling with potatoes. In fact, many people from Veracruz claim that the original pambazo comes from this state. Here is a little context:

It is said that Carlota, the wife of Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg (emperor of the second Mexican empire), asked her chef to create a dish that resembled the tip of a volcano (perhaps one that looked like the Pico de Orizaba).

The type of bread used for this pambazo is an ‘al natural’ bread. These breads do not have chili; they only have a layer of flour. The bread must be unbaked, as this is one of the significant characteristics of this little pambazo.

😋May interest you: Pueblos Magicos in Mexico: Top 8 Secret Pueblos You Need to Visit

veracruz food
Antojito typical of Orizaba, Veracruz

Bocol

This typical food from Veracruz is very similar to gorditas, a popular antojito, especially in Mexico City. This kind of gordita can be filled with whole beans, ground beans, cheese, and beef lard. Originally, bocoles were simple, without any filling, and only with its traditional and delicious dough. However, as time passed, food like the one mentioned above began to be added to this dish.

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Ladies preparing bocoles

Chilpachole

As we mentioned before, Veracruz has one of the most beautiful ports in Mexico. That said, it is evident that this place has a wide variety of seafood. This Veracruz food can be an exquisite crab broth, although it can also be prepared with shrimp, fish, or any other type of seafood.

It is made with tomato, onion, different types of chili, and a touch of onion or garlic. Also, it can be thickened with masa (dough). It is a classic Easter dish in Mexico, and it is said that its origin is French (soupe aux fruits de mer). If at any time you are in Veracruz and you go out partying and end up having a tremendous hangover, this dish will bring you back to life!

Pescado a la Veracruzana (Veracruz style fish)

Remember we said there was a dish in honor of Veracruz? This is it! Fish a la Veracruzana is a classic gem in Veracruz and the Mexican Republic. The history of this type of fish dates back to the arrival of the Spaniards in Aztec lands. In fact, the conquistador Hernan Cortes arrived in Mexico, and the first thing his ships touched was the beautiful and magical port of Veracruz.

Later, the Spaniards brought olive oil, olives, capers, and spices, mixing them with tomato, chili, parsley, and local fish. It is said that it was born in Lent when red meat was avoided, and Veracruz took advantage of the fresh fish with a sauce inspired by the Spanish vizcaína dish.

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Veracruz style fish

Zacahuil

Zacahuil is a type of tamal but originally from the Huasteca region. It is a combination of chiles and spices with pork or chicken. It is also much larger than a traditional tamal from another state in Mexico. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? In the Nahuatl language it means ‘zacate’.

In Tantoyuca, Veracruz, people cook tamales for 15 hours. They start at 1 PM and finish at 4 AM the next day. Then they sell them in nearby towns. Some people have special ovens for zacahuil, and others use their neighbors’ ovens. As you can see, the food of Veracruz is history, tradition and Mexican culture on the tip of your tongue. Its flavor transports you to pre-Hispanic and ancient places, and to the bottom of the sea.

veracruz food
Traditional Zacahuil

Bomba

You can’t leave Veracruz and you can’t say you’ve tried their food if you don’t go to breakfast at La Parroquia restaurant. Here and elsewhere in Veracruz, you will find a famous sweet bread known as ‘concha’. However, here in Veracruz they serve this bread filled with beans and cheese or cream.

It sounds crazy to mix salty food with sweet, but believe me, this (literally speaking) explosion of flavors will make you want to come back to try this delicacy hundreds of times. Plus, you can accompany it with a famous ‘café lechero’ which is basically a coffee latte. But this great combination is an experience that you must live at least once in your life. Veracruz is perfect for all the foodies and coffee lovers of the world!

Chileatole

This other dish also has a pre-Hispanic tradition. It is a combination of a corn-based drink called ‘atole with chili. Again, a combination of salty and sweet. This dish used to be drunk with cocoa and sometimes with a touch of honey, but the base of this dish has always been chili and the spicier kind. This is why the Spaniards considered it a very energetic drink, but with a very powerful and spicy flavor.

That said, they changed the recipe and added a sweeter touch, and with this came the famous ‘atole de champurrado’ which is based on cocoa but without any chili. Basically, it is a salted corn atole, seasoned with chile, thickened with corn dough and eaten as a soup or stew. In each state it is prepared differently, in Puebla it is eaten with cheese and in Veracruz with chicken, while in Tlaxcala no animal food is added.

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Antojitos and chileatole

Torito

This one is a popular drink from the state of Veracruz. It’s a sweet and creamy alcoholic beverage that many people enjoy. The main ingredients are milk, peanuts, and sugarcane alcohol. Sometimes, people add other flavors like coffee or fruit to make it even tastier.

Torito is often served at parties and celebrations in Veracruz. It’s usually very cold and comes in small glasses. Many travelers like to try torito when they visit the area since it’s a special and cherished local drink. Some people say it’s like a dessert you can drink because it’s so sweet and rich. If you have stomach issues, this drink is miraculous, it is a unique digestive that you will only find in Veracruz.

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Torito beverage

Coffee

Veracruz is a land where coffee is sacred. It breathes, eats, drinks and dreams of coffee every moment of the day. To any Veracruz town you go, be it Coscomatepec, Coatepec, Xalapa, Tlacotalpan, Xico, among other places, you will see that there are more coffee plants than people in this state.

Coatepec is a magical town that has the reputation of being the place where most coffee is sold, and I can confirm from my own experience that the whole town has a delicious smell of roasted coffee. From the moment you arrive you see traditional bakeries and places to eat and drink a delicious coffee. So now you know, if you are a coffee lover or have a severe addiction (like me), you have to visit Veracruz, there is no other option.

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Informative video

Coffee in Coatepec is a must for every foodie and coffee lover!