By Nate Proell, Special to OnMilwaukee   Published Aug 25, 2018 at 1:16 PM

The festivities have just begun at the 45th annual Mexican Fiesta. And with the weather this weekend set to be as hot as some of the salsas, it is a great opportunity to make it down to Henry Maier Festival Park to join in on the fun.

While being mostly known for margaritas and traditional tacos, Mexican Fiesta offers an even more vast selection of traditional Latin American cuisine. So to help aid in the experience, here are five of the tastiest foods and drinks one can try at Mexican Fiesta to be able to fully experience the cultural celebration.

1. Taco de lengua (beef tongue taco)

As unappetizing as eating tongue may sound, taco de lengua is actually a Latin American favorite and has a taste that soothes over the idea of eating cow tongue.

The meat itself does not appear any different than a traditional steak taco. The dark, well-cooked appearance adds to how tender the meat actually is. At first bite, one may be surprised at how it seems to almost melt in one’s mouth – and when seasoned right, the experience is even more enjoyable.

The best taco to compare taco de lengua to is perhaps a steak taco in terms of its consistency. However, the meat certainly has a much more tender texture and is surprisingly quite easy to eat and enjoy. This taco can be found at the El Rey food stand at the Miller Lite stage. 

2. Michelada de tamarindo

It may be hard to guess exactly what michelada de tamarindo for those who've never experienced this alcoholic beverage before. However, the ingredients are quite simple: beer – usually a Miller Lite – chili powder, some sweet and spicy syrups and a straw coated in a Latin American favorite: tamarind candy.

The name of the drink revolves around that tamarind candy, which is made with the pulp of the pod-like fruit found in tropical areas. The candy has a taste which could be best described as a sweet and sour licorice with a somewhat more grainy texture. At first bite, one first experiences a sour taste and then, while it is not exactly the spiciest food in the world, a little bit of a kick.

As a whole, a michelada de tamarindo has almost the same exact taste as the candy – and is certainly a unique drink to experience for the first time. This can be found at the Chicken Palace drink vendor at the Miller Lite stage.

3. Papa rellena (stuffed potato)

This deep fried potato is as crunchy and satisfying as it looks. Stuffed with ground beef and cheese, papa rellena is certainly comfort food for all palates at the festival, packing a powerful crunch on the outside while the inside is just as warm and satisfying as a regular baked potato.

While perhaps not the most daring food at Mexican Fiesta, papa rellena is certainly sure to satisfy any festival goer – and can be found at El Pilon, which is located across from the Summerfest store.

4. Sol cerveza

As of October of last year, MillerCoors took control of Sol cerveza U.S. sales and marketing – and the now beverage is available nearly everywhere, including at the Fiesta. This Mexican beer has been brewed since 1899, meaning the unique taste has certainly withstood the test of time.

A cold Sol certainly goes well with nearly any type of taco and has a crisp finish that is sure to satisfy – especially with the hot August sun beating down. It's a great accompaniment for kicking back and listening to some of the great music acts Mexican Fiesta has to offer.

5. Chicharrones

Perhaps one of the more popular Latin American snacks is chicharrones. This deep fried pork rind has a taste that surly everyone could enjoy.

The texture of chicharrones could best be compared to that of a regular tortilla chip. It is not as rough as a traditional pork rind and is best served topped off with hot sauce and lime juice. It’s the perfect food to just snack on while enjoying a cold drink on a hot day.