Som Tam (Papaya Salad)
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What: This variety of agua fresca is particularly popular in Oaxaca. Horchata—a sweet, milky-looking agua fresca made of ground rice, water, cinnamon, sugar, and sometimes vanilla and/or nuts, such as almonds—is common all over Mexico, but in Oaxaca, in addition to serving it plain and/or studded with nuts, they like to mix it with tuna, the sweet fruit of the prickly-pear cactus (not to be confused with tuna the fish, or atún). The cold, bright-pink beverage that results is quite sweet, but also nutty and refreshing.
Where: We found horchata con tuna (14p) inside the Mercado Benito Juárez (Miguel Cabrera at Las Casas, map) at a puesto called Susi (no. 29), where it’s served dotted with walnuts and hunks of cantaloupe.
Alternatively: Another popular spot for this is Susi’s neighbor in Benito Juárez, Casilda (no. 30-31), which offers lots of different horchata-and-fruit variations, including this one.
Good to know: If you’re in this part of Mercado Benito Juárez and have a sweet tooth, don’t miss the nearby neverías, like El Niagara.
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