The Northern Gulf region includes the state of Tamaulipas and the northeast of Veracruz. The region features a long coastline that enriches the local diet with products from the Gulf of Mexico. It blends into the Huasteca region along the Sierra Madre Oriental as well as with other desert and irrigated areas that support its ranching and farming.
The region’s natural diversity is expressed in a wide variety of sea foods such as mackerel, shark, oysters, shrimp, crab, clams, dogfish, mullet and red snapper. On land there are species such as deer, armadillo and rabbit. Agaves and other cacti such as prickly pear, jacubo, cruceta and barrel cactus—alongside mesquite and piñon trees as well as date palms—are examples of the region’s rich desert flora.
Tamaulipas’s main economic activities are fishing and petroleum extraction; goat and cattle ranching; large-scale corn and grain cultivation, as well as vegetable farming, largely for exportation (as is the case with okra, which, though not endemic to the area, has been incorporated into the state’s cooking. Growing chiles such as those known as piquín or chile del monte support numerous rural communities. In the north of Veracruz, fishing, shrimp farming and tourism are the principal economic activities.


Crab Chilpachole
Crawfish huatapes