The Flavored Esquites of Bernal – Bernal, Mexico - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

The Flavored Esquites of Bernal

This small town specializes in a rainbow of corn snacks. 


Throughout Mexico, esquites are a popular street food. The traditional esquite (from the Nahuatl “izquitl,” to toast) is a snack that consists of frying or boiling corn kernels with epazote, chili and onion to later serve them with cheese, lemon, mayonnaise, or chili, according to the diner’s taste.

However, only in the small town of Bernal is it possible to find them prepared with a rainbow different flavors and recipes that give the stalls selling them a colorful appeal. Here they are sold with butter, or habañero chili, shrimp, drowned in green mole, and garnished with guajillo, pipián, or even chicken legs. Each different recipe gives a different color to the corn kernels, which also come in different shades themselves: generally the white variety,  but also yellow and red. The dish is also completed with cheese, mayonnaise or more chili at the time of serving. 

In Bernal, esquites are traditionally prepared in clay pots on charcoal stoves, although the street vendors who pass through the streets of Bernal with carts prefer aluminum pots. Several famous spots for esquites line Calle Hermenegildo Galeana, a central street.  Doña Lupita and La Güera are two of the most popular options.

Know Before You Go

Each stall has its recipes and varieties. Most of them are distributed along Corregidora street, which is the obligatory path for those who climb the Peña de Bernal monolith, but there are also some on Independencia and the streets surrounding the Main Square.

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June 16, 2022

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