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What: A common street snack at busy corners and inside bustling zócalos, marquesitas are like crunchy crepes: A batter is poured into what looks like a waffle maker, sweet add-ins are thrown in, then the whole thing is rolled up once crispy. The crepe itself tastes like a waffle cone—delicious, with hints of vanilla and almond—but it’s all about what sweet and savory fillings you choose: Nutella, cajeta (caramel), lechera (sweet condensed milk), banana, queso de bola (Edam cheese).
The marquesita originated in Mérida; as one story tells it, an ice cream vendor devised it in 1945 during a cold winter when ice cream sales were down (the idea was to use the waffle cone in a different way). Luckily for beachgoers, it’s since spread to other parts of the Yucatán Peninsula. Good luck having just one.
Good to know: Why Edam cheese? As we mention in the queso relleno entry, no one knows for sure how the Dutch cheese got to this part of Mexico: Some attribute it to Caribbean trade routes (or even a Dutch Antillques-bound boat blown off course); others claim wealthy Yucatecan hacienda owners who grew henequen, a fiber used to make rope, brought it back from their European travels. In any case, it’s here to stay, common in several dishes spotted around the peninsula.
See also this blog post: East Coast Mexico's Dutch Influence.
Where: On Isla Mujeres, where these are especially popular, there are usually two or three street vendors around the corner of Avs. Hidalgo and Lopez Mateo (map) during the latter half of the day. In the early evening, the area fills up with people eating these, bottoms wrapped in napkins. It's in your best interest to join them.
When: Daily, 1pm-8pm
Order: Through our own grueling research, we learned that the best combination is Nutella and queso de bola (25p), which is shaved right into the crepe. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and salty inside a crunchy handheld shell—a delicious portable snack!
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