Anyone who knows a lifelong Guadalajara resident well enough to understand the obscure word describing them (Tapatío or Tapatía) also knows how, shall we say, passionate they can be in embracing the city’s typical cuisine, very little of which, incidentally, is found in eateries of haute cuisine.
However, little formal recognition has been given to authentic Guadalajara food and its history, leaving local food lovers to be content with complimenting themselves on their good taste and/or frequenting, with a few exceptions, the city’s street stalls or fondas (small family restaurants) that serve up traditional (often carry-out) comida corrida for neighbors.
But now, a unique exhibit at the downtown Museo de la Ciudad sets out to change all that with an exhibit entitled “Sabores y Saberes” (Flavors and Knowledge). The five-room show zooms in, with a light touch, on the city’s nearly 500-year gastronomical history, which comprises a fascinating mix of indigenous, Spanish, Asian and French influences and proves that the study of food is a good way to bring dry history alive.
The exhibit reflects the fact that UNESCO has declared that the cuisine of Mexico — not just Guadalajara — represents part of the world’s Intangible Cultural History.
Although the show may pique your desire to sample authentic Mexican food, unfortunately, visitors can do little actual on-site eating — just one room contains baskets of grains and spices that can be nibbled. (Anyone for raw corn?)