Mexico: The Sierra Tarahumara and its Gastronomy


Chihuahua is one of the states with the highest amount of endemic ingredients in Mexico, consequently, its gastronomy is a range of colors and flavors.

The Sierra Tarahumara that houses the Rarámuri people has a diet based mainly on corn: apachito, blue and crystalline are some of the varieties that are grown and that only occur in this region.

Its tradition in the cultivation of corn dates back thousands of years, it is a source of economy in its community but it is also an irreplaceable standard of its culture.

Corn and what else?

In addition to corn, quelites are one of the most deeply rooted traditions in having 120 different species in the Tarahumara Sierra out of 205 registered throughout the country. The pumpkin and chiltepin are also foods that are planted in Chihuahua, where according to José Pedro Tureseachi, who is in charge of the commission of Indigenous Peoples, they do not use chemical inputs since traditional agriculture does not require them.

The ari, a traditional chihuahua food is comparable to spice and many say it is similar to salt, this is because it is used to flavor traditional dishes. It is a resin produced by ants in the samo, a tree that occurs in the region of the Sierra Tarahumara. The ari can cost up to 5 thousand pesos a kilo for the difficulty of finding and collecting. It is one of the umami flavors in Mexico.

One of the main dishes that is prepared at parties in the Sierra Tarahumara is the Tonare de res, venado or goat . The main thing of the Tonare is the coexistence around the preparation that usually accompanies previous days with teguino. When the animal that is going to cook is dead, only the skin is removed and water is added so that the cooking begins, the organs and intestines are also cooked and nothing is added to them, not even salt.

To accompany the Tonare, Nopal is prepared for Yoriki , another of the traditional dishes of the Rarámuris, which is made with cactus, chiltepín and arí chili accompanied by crystalline blue corn tortillas (one of the endemic varieties).

One of the expert Chihuahuas

Ana Rosa Beltran del Río, a chef from Chihuahua, has been responsible during the last thirty years to publicize the cuisine of the Sierra Tarahumara in Mexico and the world, this being the inspiration for its main dishes.

With a wide variety of recognition inside and outside the country, Ana recommends trying pumpkin and jaltomato jams. Of course one of the must-sees for her is the walnut and apple pie, both fruits are grown in Chihuahua being this state the largest producer nationwide.

Ana Rosa shares her recipe for meat with chili past one of the traditional dishes in Chihuahua and of course in the Sierra Tarahumara.

Source: Animal Gourmet 

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