Whatever you do, don’t upset the Mexican mama!

When I left my hometown in the southwestern United States behind, I didn’t think I would miss any part of it. Not dirt or the brown-ness of everything, not the urban sprawl, not the year-round summers and scorching temperatures, or all of the poisonous things… But once I started putting down roots in other parts of the States, it was obvious there was one thing I had forgotten about: Mexican food. And, ohhh, how I missed it! Even good Tex-Mex was hard to come by at times.

And then I came to Japan, and sad things like finding 10-packs of tortillas for nearly US$8 and not finding cilantro anywhere started happening and, well, let’s just say Mexican food – and even its Americanized counterpart Tex-Mex – has yet to make the mainstream here.

South Korea, while already having been exposed to “Mexican food” through Taco Bell for a number of years, is much in the same boat as Japan. However, unlike the subtle soy sauce, dashi, and mirin flavors of a lot of Japanese cuisine, Korean food is similar to Mexican food in that it tends to be quite spicy and flavorful. While spice alone isn’t enough to guarantee the success of authentic Mexican food in Korea, it turns out that there are a number of other similarities between the two countries’ cuisines, as pointed out by the seven adventurous Korean girls who gave some good, home-cooked Mexican meals a try.

What all did they try? First, they were eased in with an authentic version of a world-renown classic: tacos! The fillings included carnitas, chorizo, tripas, and lengua.


Next, they were gifted with those sweet little pouches of love — tamales! Learning how to eat them was an adventure in itself, though the taste did get some mixed reactions.


Then they were given a very authentic Mexican soup to try, full of tripe. Yummm. The soup reminds some of the girls of a similar tripe/intestine soup from Korea.

▼ One of these girls is very happy with her tripe soup. The other, not so much.


Next it was time for a couple of Baja classics: fish and shrimp tacos. The flavors of the dish were pretty well received, although the tricky taco-eating method seemed to baffle at least one of them.


Finally, after all of those strong, spicy flavors, it was time to wrap it up with a sweet, chilled palate-cleanser for dessert: horchata. It’s hard to displease someone with horchata, and the female taste-testers were quite happy with their end-of-meal treat.


The group seemed to enjoy most of the dishes they tried, and agreed than many other Koreans would like them as well.

If Mexican food does happen to take hold in Korea, at least I can take solace in the fact that the country is only a couple-hour flight away!

Source: YouTube/Digitalsoju TV via Next Shark