Puebla, a small city a few hours outside of Mexico City, is known for its art. The entire city is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site, which brings the city more attention from citizens and governments! Heritage sites are able to receive more protection and conservation efforts from the government.
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Examples of famous UNESCO World Heritage sites are Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, and Venice. While Puebla is not a capital for textiles, it is well known for culinary artistry, street art, and hand-fired ceramics, all of which are created by local artisans.
The best art out of Puebla may be the mole. Have you tried mole?! Mole (pronounced MOH-lay) is a thick, spicy sauce made from the perfect combination of crushed nuts or seeds, chocolate, and chilies. Mole poblana is specific to Puebla, but there is a rivalry between the mole in Puebla and in Oaxaca, in the South. This sauce is unforgettable in Puebla and around the world as Poblano artisans spread the word and recipe outside of Mexico. In addition to mole, however, you can find cemitas poblanas, molotes, chilaquiles verdes y más!
Puebla wears many hats, one of which is Puebla: City of Murals, especially evident in Xanenetla. In this part of the city, every wall is covered in murals, spray paint, and messages to any passersby, regardless of if they are a current resident, visitor, or a tourist lost on their way to the zócalo. Xanenetla used to be a dangerous and unwelcome pocket in Puebla, but with restorative efforts and many cans of paint, local artists have reintegrated into the vibrant fabric of the city.
Additionally, Puebla has a history of creating masterful ceramics, specifically talavera pottery. To receive the special designation of talavera pottery, the ceramics must meet specific government requirements in terms of clay, natural paints, and production techniques. It is challenging to master and retain this art form but this tradition has continued to thrive in Puebla since the 16th century. If you're looking for an artist to give you an introduction to this craft, I would recommend @artesaniaspoblanasjoselito on Instagram! So, next time you're in Puebla (or any city for that matter) be sure to examine all the variety that local artistry has to offer.