Veracruz, a state full of history, culture and gastronomy


Veracruz, a Mexican state that borders the Gulf of Mexico, has several beaches and the highest peak in the country, Pico de Orizaba, an inactive volcano. It has an area: 71,820 km², its capital is Xalapa-Enríquez and until 2015 it had a population of 8.113 million. Brief History Culture of the State Gastronomy

Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave, also called simply Veracruz, is one of the thirty-one states that, together with Mexico City, form the United Mexican States. Its most populous city is the port of Veracruz.

In the pre-Hispanic era the Olmec, Huasteca and Totonaca civilizations inhabited. The first Spanish contact was in 1518, due to an exploration led by Juan de Grijalva in the Tonalá river. In the Viceroyalty of New Spain, the current territory that makes up Veracruz was very similar to the Province of Veracruz. After the Independence of Mexico, it was one of the original states (seventh in order of creation) with a territory almost identical to the current one (with the exception of a portion of territory that belonged to Puebla) and with the promulgation of the Constitution of 1857 reached its current extent.

Its Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.713, considered High; It is the fifth state with the lowest HDI. As an example of its cultural importance at the international level, it houses two of thirty-five places considered World Heritage Sites in Mexico: the Pre-Hispanic City of El Tajín and the Historic Monuments Area of ​​Tlacotalpan. The name of “Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave” is due to the homonymous city of Veracruz and the former governor Ignacio de la Llave.

The climate is warm tropical, with an average annual temperature of 25.3 ° C and an average annual rainfall of 1500 mm. During the months of September, October, November, December, January and February, the phenomenon known as “north” occurs, which are gusts of wind from the North and reach speeds of approximately 50 to 130 kilometers per hour. Sometimes the temperature drops several degrees, although its duration is short; one to three days.

It is found watered by the Medio, Grande and Tenoya streams, with good beaches and islands such as Sacrificio and Verde. Also in the interior of the city there are numerous lagoons such as Lagartos, La Ilusión, Malibrán, Real, Los Lagos, El Vergel, etc.
It also has the Veracruz Reef System National Marine Park
This is a protected natural area considered one of the most important reefs in Mexico. This reef system is located on the Veracruz coasts. It has a dimension of 52,238 hectares.
In this extensive area the development of several species of stony corals make up the structure for the establishment of mollusks such as clams and snails; marine worms, starfish, sea urchins and sea biscuits, in addition to an infinite number of plants, among which the sea grasses stand out. It is home to thousands of fish and shellfish like shrimp and lobsters.

She is four times heroic
In 1826 Veracruz was granted the title of Heroica for the first time for its defense in 1823. In 1898 the State Legislature granted Veracruz the second and third time the title of Heroica. On December 16, 1948, being President of the Republic Miguel Alemán Valdés, decree number 73 was issued declaring it Four Times Heroic Veracruz for having been the scene of four of the most important events in the defense of national sovereignty; in which the population heroically fought against foreign invaders:

• On November 18, 1825, with the surrender of the last Spanish forces garrisoned in the fortress of San Juan de Ulúa.
• On November 27, 1838, by the bombardment of the French forces during the Pastry War.
• On March 22, 1847, by the bombardment of US forces in the American Intervention War.
• Going back to the Mexican Revolution, General Victoriano Huerta took power by force and his government was not recognized by the United States; in March 1914, President Woodrow Wilson sent a flotilla back to Veracruz, for this event Veracruz received in 1948 the title of “four times heroic” from the hands of President Miguel Alemán Valdés. It is the first Mexican city to have this honor.
• On April 21 and 22, 1914, by the defense during the landing of US troops.

All those who enjoy visiting Veracruz receive affectionate treatment from its inhabitants known as “jarochos”, who are always ready to shake hands and a warm welcome to anyone who visits this city. Traditional music is danzón and son, salsa, marimba, Internacional Bamba, and wind music. Veracruz artisans make a variety of decorative figures, using wood, shells and sea snails as raw materials, among which ships, masks, sailboats, necklaces, jewelry, bracelets and earrings stand out. They also make typical regional crafts such as piggy banks and figurines made from the coconut bark. The city is the headquarters of the Veracruzano Institute of Culture, a state body founded in 1987. Also, in 2005, the Veracruzano Center for the Arts was founded, with the participation of the three levels of the Mexican government: federal, state and municipal.

Among the most popular festivities are; Veracruz carnival festivals, considered the most joyous in the world and most important in the country, Easter festivities, silver shad tournament, friends race in Galveston, Texas, Cumbre Tajin Festival, Salsafest, as well as the festivities for Día de Dead that take place in a large part of the State, in addition to the traditional branches with live guitars as part of the December festivities, the old and the rebirth of modern quetzalcóatl.

The State has six magical towns; Coatepec, Xico, Papantla, Coscomatepec, Orizaba and Zozocolco, each with its own magical traditions.

Veracruz has an extensive culinary tradition, it is the result of the fusion of pre-Hispanic ingredients with those condiments brought by the Spanish upon arrival in these lands. Today the mixture of all those ingredients has created dishes with an unmatched flavor to delight the palate. Some cities such as Orizaba, Córdoba, Tuxpan, Nautla and Tecolutla, to name a few, have gained international fame for the food served there.

Veracruz cuisine can be classified into four regions: the Huasteca, the central region, Sotavento (corresponds to the Rio Papaloapan Basin) and the Tuxtlas, which reaches the southern tip of the state. In the first three is where there is a greater Spanish influence throughout the country, since for more than four centuries the port was the main entrance of Spain to Mexico, its dishes are characterized by having the use of the products of the sea ​​with which they make broths, soups and stews: shrimp, crab, oysters, octopus, snails, mojarras are those that come to the table with an incredible aroma and flavor, from products, utensils and techniques of European and indigenous cuisine result Mexican culinary art that is easily distinguished throughout the state.

The gastronomic miscegenation that occurs in Veracruz begins with the arrival of butter, which as a result gives a cooking method not yet known, which is frying, later rice, wheat, cattle, sheep, pork, milk arrive in our lands. , cheeses, wine, sugar and spices at the same time that the Spaniards take corn, beans, turkeys, cocoa and quelite to introduce it to Europe. As a result of our miscegenation, the atoles and cocoas are benefited with the piloncillo and the milk, with the frying of the tortilla the garnachas, tacos, enchiladas, chilaquiles, among others, are created.

As a last piece of information, I must mention that on July 11, 2009, Veracruz gastronomy was declared Cultural Heritage of the state of Veracruz, one more reason to be sure that any dish we try will not disappoint us. After a bit of history, we are ready to discover Veracruz delicacies.

1.- Rice lying down

One of the most important in Veracruz and the most emblematic of Alvarado, it is a mixture of rice, condiments, onions, shellfish (shrimp, octopus and whole crab) that bears his name because it is “felled” by fire and quickly served to avoid to dry.

2.- The tamales

The weakness of most Mexicans, I have tried from many places since there is a great variety, but I will always prefer the veracruzanos, those casserole tamalitos that are prepared with whipped dough, chicken, acuyo, chile de arbol sauce, guajillo, tomato and wrapped in banana leaves or corn that although prepared in a very similar way are wrapped in corn leaf and have an exquisite flavor.

3.- Chilpachole of crab

There is a great variety of chilpachole but one of the richest is jaiba (broth with chilpaya chile, tomato and a little dough). The acuyo gives it a really delicious flavor that adheres to that of the crab.

4.- Chopped

They could not miss the bites; It is an omelette with edges around and inside (in other places they are known as pinched and are similar to sopes) on top they have sauce that can be of different types either red or green, meat, cream and cheese.

5.- Coconut shrimp

It is a delicious dish prepared with shrimp that are filled with cream cheese and grated fresh coconut, covered and fried with ground bread and coconut, accompanied by a rich sauce prepared with mango manila, white wine and cream cheese on a par with a salad and a little beans.

6.- Seafood casserole

Better than a good seafood dish it can only be a seafood casserole, a mixture of acamayas, crab, shrimp, octopus, squid, snook and scallop, prepared with tomato, onion and garlic that are left to cook in the casserole, with a little chili, epazote and shrimp broth to give it an even better flavor.

7.Fishing to Veracruzana

It is one of the most important and well-known dishes of Veracruz, it is delicious and it is a feast in the mouth, it is a red snapper that is browned with a little butter, bathed in a tomato sauce with bell pepper, olives and capers, seasoned with different species, it is served with white rice or with a mixed salad.

8.- “Vuelve a la Vida” (Come back to life)

It is a cocktail with a delicious mixture of shrimp, crab pulp, oyster, tomato, onion, and ketchup and spicy sauces.

9.- Chiles rellenos

It is considered a typical dish, to fill the jalapeño peppers, sweet hash of raisins, olives and capers, ground meat, plantain, and finally they are weathered.

10.- Oysters a la diabla

The shells are placed and marinated with a mixture of pepper, chipotle sauce, bacon and seasoning juice, covered with cheese to melt and gratin to serve, it is really exquisite.

As for drinks, you have to try and it is the famous torito that is based on milk with ice and cane brandy, there are many flavors, but the peanut is unique, of course, coffee, a milkman who are recognized for its delicious flavor, thereby confirming that Veracruz is a very good quality coffee area.

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