The food of Tabasco state relies heavily on seafood and tropical fruits such as pineapple and passion fruit, which are both cultivated here, along with coffee and cacao. A freshwater fish, the skinny pejelagarto, is particularly prized: the green-fleshed, pike-like fish is usually barbecued and served with chile, lime and a salsa of deadly, caper-size chiles. Other typical dishes to look out for include smoked oysters, coconut tortillas, banana bread, and chirmol, a rich mole sauce flavoured with pumpkin seeds and local herbs that works particularly well with fish. In terms of drinks, hot (or cold) chocolate and iliztle, a sugar-cane alcohol flavoured with pear or peach, are popular. But note that Tabasco Sauce isn’t actually a speciality: although Tabasco peppers are named after the state, they don’t grow here, and the celebrated condiment is in fact an American product made from peppers grown in Louisiana.

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