Where is the "tequila" region of Mexico?
I am planning a trip to Mexico this fall, and I want to try foods and drink from different regions without going to traditional tourist trap areas. I would like to know are there any places off the beaten path (but in a safe area) for an American to some authentic regional fare?
Also Tamaulipas is part of the tequila region, but you'll definitely want to focus on Jalisco.I've driven to the city of Tequila, where most of the tequila distillers are, from Guadalajara and had a blast.The Tequila Express is cool but quite on the beaten path.If you're not familiar with the area the Express is a great way for your first trip.
Also within driving distance of Guadalajara are Tepatitlan, Arenal,Arandas,Amatitan, and Atotonilco, which are all great tequila pueblos.Pueblo Amigo is in Tepatitlan, and many of my favs are from Arenal.Oh, Jesus Maria,Zapotlanejo,Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara round out the pueblos with distilleries in the state of Jalisco.Bigger names like Cuervo and Sauza in Tequila with give the tourist friendly tours with all the frills thrown in, and some smaller distilleries will not be very interactive at all.You want the show, or the tequila?I think Herradura delivers both.
For the food, Guadalajara has excellent restaurants, a rich culture, sights to see, and I believe it is quite safe for a large city.Mariachis, tequila, and comida rica!!
Other regional beverages:Sotol(agave) in Chihuahua, Bacanora(agave) in Sonora, and the wines of the Valle de Guadalupe.
Every region of Mexico has a distinct cuisine, so it depends on what you're looking for.And, for every tourist trap there is an alternative location within that given region that will suite your quest for adventure.Hey, even many of the tourist traps have great options once you leave the tourist zone with the exceptions of Cancun and Cabo.Those places are hopelessly absent of regional Mexican culture.
For more information than you probably want about tequila and its production in Mexico, have a look at this: http://www.ianchadwick.com/tequila/defined.htm
The only parts of Mexico where it is legal to grow blue agave cactus for tequila production are the entire state of Jalisco and parts of the states of Michoacán, Nayarit, and Guanajuato.
You would be wise to visit the town of Tequila, near Guadalajara, to learn more about this marvelous beverage. You can take an excursion train, the Tequila Express, from the Guadalajara train station directly to the Herradura tequila distillery in Tequila itself. The excursion includes all the tequila you can drink, mariachi on the train, a full-course dinner at the distillery, a tour of the distillery, and a folkloric dancing demonstration. Look here for more information (in Spanish): http://www.tequilaexpress.com.mx/