Artisanal Food Practices in Oaxaca

In Oaxaca, food too is art. Cuisine is informed by ancient indigenous traditions and rituals and is made with local ingredients. To me, the chocolate cultivated and prepared here is among the most delicious in the world: chocolate drinks are prepared hot or cold and made with hot water or hot milk.

Mole, a traditional Mexican “sauce” made from a multitude of ingredients ground together including nuts, chocolate, coffee, and ┬áseeds is especially delicious here. It comes in different colors that vary according to the ingredients included: black, brown, red, yellow, and green and served with a variety of poultry and meats.

The presentation of food is art as well, whether in the market, or on the plate in a restaurant or in someone’s home. I have been having a great time eating my favorite dishes again, and finding new ones too. My new ritual “splurge” is arriving in the market in the afternoon when women from the towns that surround Oaxaca city arrive to sell their bread. My favorite: rolls filled with Oaxacan chocolate and cinnamon! Each woman personalizes her recipe and calls out to the customers in the market announcing what she offers that day. I love the colors, smells, and sounds of the market!

Bread in Oaxaca Market
Bread in Oaxaca Market
Traditional Plate including Cecina, a thin slice of pork seasoned with Chile, roasted nopal (cactus) and onions, and guacamole. Delicious!
Traditional Plate including Cecina, a thin slice of pork seasoned with Chile, roasted nopal (cactus) and onions, and guacamole. Delicious!

Another food adventure is the “Menu del Dia” or menu of the day. In my hotel, the Oaxaca Real, it includes a soup, a plate such as the one above, and a dessert like flan or Tres Leches cake, all for about $5!!

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