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Santa Rosalía, the Flavors of a Magical Town


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Like elsewhere in Mexico, gastronomy in Santa Rosalía is a combination of influences that have enriched it throughout history. From the first hunters and fishermen, the Jesuit missions and later the French settlers, up to traditional northwestern Mexican cuisine, a range of contributions have led to the creation of a living and luscious culinary identity.

Are you ready to be amazed by the surf and turf delights this place has to offer?

The Daily Catch

The Gulf of California, or Sea of Cortez, is the largest fishing zone in Mexico, and its waters have fed the people of the Baja California Peninsula since time immemorial.

As a coastal city, the basis of the gastronomy in Santa Rosalía is the abundance of fresh seafood found at food stands and restaurants: shrimp, lobster, oysters, octopus and scallops prepared in myriad ways: ceviche, aguachile, steamed or grilled.

Two seafood delicacies may not to be passed up on any visit: lobster in butter and chargrilled chocolate clams. Since the peninsula produces plenty of both shellfish, finding them fresh is never a problem. 

When it comes to fish, red snapper and jack mackerel are standouts, prepared in a variety of ways, such as zarandeado (opened out, seasoned and grilled on both sides) and in garlic marinade (mojo de ajo,) although the local fish specialty is cooked on the grill en papillote with vegetables, scallops and clams. Superb!

If you have the chance, taste the fried empanadas, with either a sweet bean or shredded beef and potato filling.

Finally, the more adventuresome should try manta ray machaca, a fusion of a northwestern dish with an extremely Southern Baja California ingredient. Ready for a taste?

The Spanish Influence

When the missionaries came to these lands, led by Father Juan María Salvatierra, they brought crops with them such as olives, wheat, corn and pork, beef and goat livestock; all ingredients incorporated into the regional cuisine.

Special mention goes to the introduction of the Vitis vinífera grapevine, known as mission grapes. After more than 300 years, they are still being used to make artisanal wines in mission towns.

Similarly, date palms, which also came with the Spaniards and currently grow on huge Mulegé plantations, must be noted. Bakers in the region, especially in the Bonfil area, use the fruit to bake richly sweet, famously exquisite date bread.

Very Mexican Flavors

Naturally, traditional Mexican food is also available at local Santa Rosalía restaurants, where you will easily find tacos, enchiladas, pozole (hominy soup,) mole and other corn-based Mexican treats. We recommend Baja California Sur tamales or tamales amarrados (literally, tied), made with corn flour, red colorado chilli, beef, green chilli strips, potato and olives.

Another not-to-be-missed Mexican dish is beef machaca burritos. Locals cooked this dried shredded meat with chilli, onion and tomato; or scrambled into eggs. Burritos are, of course, wrapped with local flour tortillas.

Last but not at all least, you should definitely try barbacoa, a dish from nearby Sonora that is steamed underground with potatoes and carrots and is perfect with an ice-cold beer.

Now to wrap up, check out the products in Santa Águeda, a town to the south of Mulegé known for its empanadas featuring incredible fillings: guava, cream with orange rind, goat cheese and dulce de leche caramel spread. And that’s not all: its seasonal conserves are just as fabulous: mango, squash, fig, lime and so forth.

Last of all, we will briefly mention one of the most emblematic flavors of Santa Rosalía: the baked goods from El Boleo, a local treasure and legacy of the French who made the city their home during the last century. However, you will found out all about it later on, in the digital magazine.

Have any of our recommendations whetted your appetite? Of course, the best cuisine in Baja California Sur awaits in Santa Rosalía. 

Bon appétit!

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