The last business that sells pre-Hispanic food in Mexico City

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This business works hard to keep looking for and offering pre-Hispanic food, although these foods are less and less in demand.

Only seven kilometers from Paseo de la Reforma (one of the several sophisticated areas that Mexico City has) is the last business that works hard to offer only pre-Hispanic food.

Here you can buy fish tamales, formerly known as mextlapique, also acociles, grasshoppers, chauis, big-mouth duck, baked carp, ahuautle, escamoles, fish roe, frogs and fried fish known as anchovies, among other delicacies.

A chest of gastronomic vestiges

That is why this place, located at gate one of the Mercado de la Merced, could be considered as a chest that guards the gastronomic vestiges of the people who lived in this territory before the arrival of Cortés.

Contradictorily, no one appreciates it, or maybe few, because every year there are fewer people who come to buy something here. This could be due to the fact that most of the people who consume these products are elderly people, who naturally are fewer every year.

That is why Hilda Pardines Hernández, heiress of this small pre-Hispanic food business, comments that every time one of her customers arrives accompanied by one of their grandchildren or younger relatives, she offers them her products, so that in the future they also become buyers.

The history of this place begins in the early 1950s, when a pair of sisters from Santa María Tonanitla, Estado de México, brought ancestral products from that region of Mexico to Limón Street, in the Historic Center, especially acociles, fish and mextlapique.

The history of the pre-Hispanic food business

Once the Mercado de la Merced was inaugurated a few blocks away, the small business was established there in a space of just 50 centimeters, over the years it expanded.

Many things have changed since then. In those years in this business they sold live frogs and killed them right there as soon as the customer requested them, they also offered turtles, which is now prohibited.

While the acociles used to be brought from the Zumpango lagoon, which stopped generating them due to urbanization and pollution, and now they have to import them from Pátzcuaro. The changes will continue in this business. Let’s hope it resists.

Source: Mexico Desconocido