Mexico is a fascinating country that offers a lot of attractions for travelers, from its stunning beaches and ancient ruins to its vibrant cities and colorful festivals. But one of the best ways to experience the culture and cuisine of Mexico is to visit its supermarkets.
Yes, you heard that right. The supermarkets in Mexico are not just places to buy groceries, but also to find unique and authentic souvenirs that will remind you of your trip and impress your friends and family.
Here are 10 must-buy Mexican supermarket souvenirs that you should not miss:
Chocolate is one of the most delicious and popular souvenirs from Mexico, as it is the origin of cacao, the main ingredient of chocolate. The ancient Maya and Aztec civilizations used cacao beans to make a bitter drink called xocolatl, which they considered sacred and medicinal.
Today, you can find different types of chocolate in your Mexican supermarket, such as chocolate bars, chocolate tablets, chocolate powder and chocolate syrup.
You can use chocolate to make desserts, drinks or sauces. Or you can simply eat it as a treat.
Some of the most popular brands of chocolate in Mexico are Abuelita , Ibarra , Carlos V and Turin . You can also find artisanal chocolate made with organic cacao and natural ingredients.
Chocolate is a sweet souvenir to buy from Mexico, as it will delight your senses and warm your heart.
Mexico is one of the largest producers of coffee in the world, and you can find some of the best coffee beans and grounds in your Mexican supermarket.
You can choose from different regions and varieties of coffee, such as Veracruz, Chiapas, Oaxaca and Coatepec. You can also find different roasts and flavors, such as dark roast, medium roast, vanilla and cinnamon.
You can brew your own coffee at home with a French press, a drip coffee maker or a traditional clay pot. Or you can buy instant coffee or coffee pods for convenience.
You can enjoy your coffee black or with milk and sugar. Or you can make it more special with some whipped cream, chocolate syrup or liqueur.
Coffee is a great souvenir to bring back from Mexico, as it will remind you of the aroma and taste of this wonderful country every morning.
Mexican candies are fruity and often either unapologetically sweet or relatively spicy and covered with a layer of chili. (Seriously, everything is spicy here that you cannot even trust the candy not to set your mouth on fire!)
Pica fresas are particularly addictive strawberry-flavored gummy candies. They are covered in a layer of chili, and are spicy and sour at first, before becoming sweet. You can buy them in giant bags at Walmart, Super Aki, and virtually every Mexican supermarket.
If you like these, chances are you will also like Mexican lollipops that are often strawberry or cherry flavored and served with a little bag of chili on the side for dipping.
Another popular Mexican candy is Mazapán de la Rosa. This is one of Mexico’s most classic candies. The treat dates back to the 1950s when it was created by a couple from Guadalajara who had opened a candy business to support their large family of 13 kids.
It is immediately distinguishable by its yellow and transparent packaging with a picture of a rose on the front. The simple treat is made with just powdered sugar and peanuts. It is based on marzipan, which the Spanish had introduced to Mexico during the occupation.
You will find this treat sold in little boxes on store counters virtually everywhere. Even the most random stores seem to have Mazapán de la Rosa for sale.
So, if there is someone with a sweet tooth in your life, one of the best Mexican souvenirs/gifts that you can buy for them is perhaps an assortment of different candies and treats.
Tequila is the national drink of Mexico, made from blue agave plants that grow in the state of Jalisco and some neighboring areas. Tequila comes in different varieties depending on the aging process: blanco (white), reposado (rested or aged), añejo (old) and extra añejo (extra old).
You can find tequila in different shapes and sizes of bottles in your Mexican supermarket, from small souvenir bottles to large premium bottles. You can also find different brands and flavors of tequila, such as Jose Cuervo , Don Julio , Patron , Herradura , Cazadores and Sauza . You can also find flavored tequila, such as lime, mango, coffee and almond.
You can drink tequila straight or with lime and salt. Or you can mix it with other ingredients to make cocktails, such as margaritas, palomas or tequila sunrises.
Tequila is a must-buy souvenir from Mexico, as it will give you a taste of the spirit and culture of this country. Just remember to drink responsibly and enjoy it in moderation.
Mexico is a land of spices, and hot sauces are one of the most essential condiments in Mexican cuisine. You can find a wide range of hot sauces in your Mexican supermarket that will enhance your dishes and add some heat to your palate.
Some of the most famous brands of hot sauces in Mexico are Cholula , Valentina , El Yucateco , Salsa Huichol and La Costeña . You can also find homemade salsas in jars or plastic containers, such as salsa verde (green sauce), salsa roja (red sauce), salsa de chile de árbol (tree chili sauce) and salsa de molcajete (stone-ground sauce).
You can use hot sauces to season meats, vegetables, soups, stews, sauces or dips. Or you can use them as dips for chips or tostadas. Or you can simply add a few drops to your food to spice it up.
Hot sauces are a colorful souvenir to buy from Mexico, as they will bring some flavor and fire to your kitchen.
No Mexican meal is complete without tortillas, the flat breads made from corn or wheat flour. You can find fresh tortillas in the bakery section of your Mexican supermarket, or you can buy them pre-packaged in the bread aisle.
You can also find different types and sizes of tortillas, such as blue corn tortillas, whole wheat tortillas, mini tortillas and burrito-sized tortillas.
You can use tortillas to make tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas and more. You can also fry them to make chips or tostadas. Or you can simply warm them up and eat them with butter or salsa.
Tortillas are versatile and delicious, and they will make your Mexican dishes more authentic and satisfying.
If you love cheese, you will love the variety and quality of Mexican cheeses. You can find fresh cheeses like queso fresco , queso panela and queso Oaxaca , which are soft and crumbly and perfect for sprinkling over salads, tacos or soups.
You can also find aged cheeses like queso cotija , queso añejo and queso manchego , which are hard and salty and ideal for grating over dishes or eating with crackers.
You can also find creamy cheeses like queso crema , queso doble crema and queso de cabra , which are smooth and rich and great for spreading over bread or tortillas.
These cheeses will add flavor and texture to any dish you make, or you can enjoy them on their own as a snack.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are a healthy and delicious snack that you can find in abundance in your Mexican supermarket. You can choose from different types of nuts and seeds, such as peanuts , almonds , pistachios , cashews , walnuts , pecans , sunflower seeds , pumpkin seeds and pine nuts .
You can also find roasted, salted, spiced or candied nuts and seeds that are perfect for munching on. Or you can find nut butters and pastes that are great for spreading on bread or tortillas.
You can use nuts and seeds to make desserts, salads, granola bars or trail mix. Or you can simply enjoy them as they are.
Nuts and seeds are a nutritious souvenir to buy from Mexico as they will provide you with protein, fiber, healthy fats and minerals.
Soups and sauces
Soups and sauces are a staple of Mexican cuisine, and you can find a variety of them in your Mexican supermarket. You can choose from different types of soups and sauces, such as chicken soup , beef soup , vegetable soup , tomato sauce , green sauce , red sauce , mole sauce , enchilada sauce , salsa verde , salsa roja , salsa de chile de árbol and salsa de molcajete .
You can use soups and sauces to make quick and easy meals at home, such as chicken enchiladas , beef tacos , vegetable burritos or cheese quesadillas . Or you can use them as dips for chips or tostadas .
You can also find canned or dried beans that are essential for making refried beans or black beans .
Soups and sauces are a convenient souvenir to buy from Mexico, as they will help you recreate the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine.
Mexico is a land of spices , and you can find a wide range of spices in your Mexican supermarket that will enhance your cooking and add some heat to your dishes.
Some of the most common spices in Mexican cuisine are cumin , oregano , cilantro , epazote , bay leaves , thyme , marjoram , cloves , cinnamon , nutmeg , allspice , anise , coriander , sesame seeds , poppy seeds and saffron .
You can also find spice mixes that are ready to use, such as taco seasoning , fajita seasoning , adobo seasoning , mole seasoning and chili seasoning .
You can use spices to season meats, vegetables, soups, stews, sauces or dips. Or you can make your own spice blends with your favorite combinations.
Spices are a colorful souvenir to buy from Mexico, as they will bring some flavor and color to your kitchen.
These are just some of the many products that you can find in your Mexican supermarket that will make great souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones. You can also look for other items that suit your taste and preference, such as breads, pastries, cakes, cookies, jams, honey, teas, coffees, wines, liquors, oils, vinegars, herbs, fruits, vegetables and more.
The Mexican supermarket is a place where you can discover the diversity and richness of Mexican culture and cuisine. You can also learn more about the history and traditions of this amazing country through its products.
So next time you visit Mexico, don’t forget to stop by the supermarket and buy some of these must-buy souvenirs. You will not regret it.