Get ready for the SPICIEST Mexican food tour! In this episode of Heat Eaters, Esther Choi teams up with acclaimed taco scholar Bill Esparza for a tongue-sizzling journey in Los Angeles, unearthing the vibrant, chili-infused cuisines of Sinaloa, Oaxaca, and the Yucatan regions of Mexico.
First stop is Del Mar Ostioneria, an unassuming food truck that serves incredible chili-laced aguachiles and ceviche from Sinaloa, with top-quality marsicos that you’d expect to find at Nobu. Next, they meet up with the Oaxacan Queen herself, Bricia Lopez, to try a rare, hyper-regional spicy mole from Candelaria Lopez, who drove from Santa Maria Valley to whip up a special feast. To cap it all off, Esther and Bill head to a backyard taco pop-up, Ek Balam, to sample spicy cochinita pibil tacos and — as is customary in the Yucatan — chase them down with raw habaneros!
Mexican cuisine has over 60 varieties of fresh and dried chilies, and Bill’s deep-dive into the history will make you appreciate how these fiery jewels have influenced one of the world’s greatest cuisines. Now, let’s dig in!
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