Famous for its cheap beers, thrills and tequila, Mexico has put forth some crazy effort to solve one of the world's oldest drinking problems: la cruda.
The magical culture of Mexico has given the hangover an identity of her own: a nasty, head-splitting auntie that gives you hurts you for forgetting how to say no mas, por favor!
Luckily, food in Mexico works miracles and they've come up with ways to feed you back to life. Way more than a quick fix, these local colors will make the morning after a toast to doing it all over again.
A fresh, well-done, aguachile is the doctor's order for any hungover junkies passing through. Not to be confused with citrus-cooked ceviche, this dish is meant to be eaten completely raw. It will usually consist of shrimp or scallops, topped with onions, cucumbers, chillies and plenty of lime juice. The sour taste of the lime might be the secret to this dish's famous morning-after properties and the in-your-face freshness makes you feel new again.
Huevos con Nopales
Nice and easy, anyone could go down on a little cactus. If you've never had it before, think of canned green beans mixed into your scrambled eggs with some salsa. This dish follows the sour and spicy rule (the basic hangover-slaying formula) in a prickly-delicious way. Throw a little salt (to draw out the moisture) on your cacti so you won't be stuck chugging Gatorade in the middle of Tijuana.
For all you hair-of-the-dog people, we present the Mexican remix. Whoever thinks a drink in the morning won't cure a hangover simply hasn't done it, and the michelada is the hairiest dog on the block. A select cerveza, usually Pacifico or Modelo Especial, mixed in with many of the same ingredients as our favorite bloody old people drink, but with the local twist of lots of lime and salt. Slurp on one while relaxing on the beach and get caught in the drunk cycle for a bit.
OTP Drink bonus: If you insist on boozing no more, most places will blend you a piña colada minus the rum, which is good and cooling for the collapsing orb of fire in your stomach. Horchata, found pretty much anywhere, does the same thing with its rice-milky-cinnamonness.
When your stomach's giving you a run, the Mexicanos say you need to "run on stomach." Menudo is already a famous off-track eat: hot, spicy cow stomach soup with hominy, chickpeas and vegetables for flavor. For the feel-better version, make sure to throw in tons of lime to cancel out some of the cow gut. According our Chinese doctor, Dr. Liu, menudo's actually a good trick, since you should always eat that which has got you down. Stay tuned for Chinese fertility cures.
Props to the stoners who came up with this one: chilaquiles will cure your munchies in conjunction with your hangover. Think chips, salsa, beans, cheese, eggs and tortillas (and whatever else is leftover) fried up into a big scramble. It's reminiscent of the hot dog-pizza in Amsterdam, and with good reason: Chow down and take a nap; you'll be fine by party time.
This one's total hearsay, but people say it works (if only because you'll feel like a champ). Not the cheapest way to pass a hangover, a big, juicy swordfish steak done right will fill your stomach with some of the best pescatarian-friendly meat Mexico has to offer.
Mexican tortas bring the joy of tacos and burritos face-to-face with the world's obsession for sandwiches. This one, a Jalisco specialty, is enjoyed by all-night partiers as both drunk food and hangover cure. The catch is that you'll have to take the fork-and-knife approach to this carnitas, re-fried bean and vegetable sandwich because it's doused in thick, super spicy chili sauce. Chill though, the lady behind the counter will usually offer you a choice if she can tell you're a gringo. We say go for the spicy sauce and kill some street cats with your demon breath later on.
There's no reason to endure a hangover while on a strict party schedule. Whether you're going the sour seafood or spicy sauce route, always make sure you're washing it down with plenty of bottled water. As obvious as it might be, water truly is the best pairing to any hangover remedy. And for your notes... Beer is 97% water. ¡Que viva Mexico!
-- Lorenzo Roberto Ramos
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