Apart from being rich in history, both ancient, modern and artistic, Mexico is rich in produce. In the month and a half I was in Mexico I visited about 13 different cities, so I managed to pass through a few towns boasting their speciality.
Mexico is the world’s leading silver producer. Honestly I wish I brought more! I only brought a total of two silver earrings while I was there. For one, it’s cheap and secondly it should be of good quality, coming directly from the country itself. (Just check that it has its 925 engraving, or a 950, like the earring I brought.)
It’s a little debatable what’s the best city to buy silver in Mexico. Mexperience says the best place to buy silver is Taxco. Geo-Mexico says Zacatecas is Mexico’s leading silver producing state and Visitmexico says silver was first discovered near Guanajuato in the mid-1600s, which a century later was the leading centre of silver mining in the world. So let’s just say the best silver comes from the mines in Zacatecas and near Guanajuato and the best place to buy is Taxco.
However, I am going to talk about Guanajuato because that was the place I visited.
It’s a beautiful town right? Unfortunately I didn’t make it out to the mines, but I did make it to a few silver shops and managed to dedicated a whole day to explore the interesting streets.
However, I’m going to mention a cool little fact. Perhaps this photo looks a little congested? There’s a lot of buildings in the one place. Yet despite having so many buildings so close together, there isn’t much traffic. The secret of this town is their underground tunnels. Originally they were built to divert the flooding of the river. However, today they’re used to monitor the traffic. It’s a lot of work, but a good idea to add a unique touch to the city and keep it traffic free.
I think this even makes one of the stereotypes of Mexicans -tequila lovers. So while we were here how could we not take a Tequila tour. From the little I remember, it was a very educational tour. Just kidding. I remember it all. Apparently there’s more to it than it being a strong spirit.
So Tequila is best found near the town called Tequila.. surprise, surprise? While we didn’t make it to this town, we stayed in the same state, called Jalisco and took our tour from Puerto Vallarta. Apart from tasting three different types of pure tequila and three different types of liquors we also learnt how it was made and how to effectively drink the spirit.
To make the drink you need a blue agave plant.. blue specifically. (You can spot these plants all around Mexico.) From this plant, they don’t use the leaves but they take the pine of the plant, its “heart”. In thirty words or less, these pines are then placed in the oven to be steamed and chemically modified. Once the sugar is extracted they are fermented, stored and ready to sell as the tequila we know today.
Let’s keep it real, it’s not the most pleasant of tastes. To drink it effectively -breathe in, take a swig and then breathe out. So technically since you’re kinda holding your breath, you’re not going to taste it much, but rather feel it’s warmth as it makes its way down your throat.
Mexico isn’t necessarily renowned for its leather, but if you wanted to find it, the best place would be in Leon, in the state of Guanajuato. This is a city just an hour away from Guanajuato, Guanajuato, best considered as the industrial capital of the state, while Guanajuato is the prettier, colonial city. But walking through the streets of Leon we saw shops and shops of leather, enough to satisfy the shopping needs of leather lovers.