Join us on this extraordinary and pioneering journey to explore Mexico’s ancestral culinary and textile traditions from vanilla from La Chinantla, Oaxaca, amaranth from the Valley of Tehuacan, blue corn and pulque from Tlaxcala, among other heritage dishes and ingredients. This trip also explores the rich textile traditions of these regions and covers a wide variety of experiences in: Veracruz; La Chinantla, Oaxaca; Tehuacan, Puebla; Tlaxcala and Mexico City!
Day 1: Friday, Tonight we will have a fun relaxing gathering / evening at the Portales in the Port of Veracruz
Day 2: Saturday, Alvarado: Shrimp Capital, Tlacotalpan: Son Jarocho, Arroz a la Tumbada, Arrive Tuxtepec, Regional Gastronomy and Slow Food Event at Meson de la Chinantla, OVERNIGHT TUXTEPEC
After breakfast in Veracruz Sanborncito we travel to Alvarado, the shrimp capital of Mexico. We will meet with the fishermen and fish sellers on the Alvarado lagoon. We will possibly (TBD) take a lancha from Alvarado to Tlacotalpan. Arriving in Tlacotalpan we will be met by Julio and the “jaraneros” from the region for an introduction to their traditional musical expressions and instruments. We will enjoy an “arroz a la tumbada” on the shores of the Rio Papaloapan. We transfer to Tuxtepec, check into the Gran Hotel Tuxtepec to freshen up before our welcome Slow Food Presentation and food demo (and eating!) at Meson de La Chinantla, where the owner, Francisco de la Iglesia is the President of the Slow Food Chapter in the region.
Day 3: Sunday, Full Day at Rancho Grande: Meet Raul Manuel, OVERNIGHT TUXTEPEC.
Today we will meet with the community of Rancho Grande and learn about their major contributions to the culinary world, particularly the revival of vanilla and the Slow Food International Award of Raul Manuel. Coffee, honey and other products are very important here, as well. We plan to make this a combination of: field and foraging activities/visits (coffee and quelites), as well as a food demo in their pavillion. Fashion show, including hand woven ethnographic textiles will be on display and for sale!
Day 4: Monday, Soyaltepec (from El Pescadito), exit Ixcatlan. Then go to San Lucas Ojitlan
We travel to El Pescadito, where we will be met by “lanchas” to transfer us to San Miguel Soyaltepec to learn about the creation of the Miguel Aleman Dam and how it changed the physical and human landscape in the Mazatec region. We will be invited to a special demonstration of their beautiful hand embroidered “huipiles”, also for sale! We return via San Pedro Ixcatlan to proceed to Ojitlan.
We will be met by members of the community who will provide welcome remarks about their traditions in food and dress. We will enjoy the following food items that are unique to this region and are being consciously preserved: Municipal Market. Note: the woven huipiles from this community will be on view and demonstrated by members of the community.
Day 5: Tuesday, Today we will transfer to Orizaba, Veracruz, as we make our way to Tehuacan. But before we leave, we will experience the singular “Caldo de Piedra” or stone soup that is made by the men of the region, riverside, as their women wash the clothes! Overnight in Orizaba.
Day 6: Wednesday, Today we enter they Valley of Tehuacan, where our first visit will be at the Museo del Agua to learn about the revival of amaranth. We’ll enjoy dishes using amaranth, including “alegrias”. We will visit the community of San Gabriel Chilac, as well, to learn about their traditions in dance, dress and other regional customs. The blouses from this region are particularly beautiful and were the inspiration for the traditional “China Poblana” outfit. We return to the Hotel to rest and relax, poolside.
Day 7: Thursday, Today we travel deep into the Tehuacan Reserve, to visit the potters of Los Reyes Metzontla, to learn of their prehispanic form of burnished pottery. We will also make a brief visit to the Ethnobotanical Gardens there! We transfer to Puebla, for our overnight and wonderful dinner of ancient “pipian”, “mole” and “manchamanteles” sauces at Mural de Los Poblanos, with Chef Liz Galicia, and active member and contributor to Slow Food in Puebla. She has initiated a project to revive the ancient worms and to have the recognized in the Ark of Taste of Mexico. Overnight Puebla.
Day 8: Friday, Tlaxcala and Mexico City.
Visit Maguey Fields to learn of the history and importance of this plant in Mesoamerica. This plant provided fiber, drink, nutrition, and hence it was greatly venerated. We will learn about pulque, the first fermented drink of Mesoamerica. We will also work with corn, making tamales, and we will learn about a project to revive an ancient blue corn variety. Overnight Mexico City
Day 9: Saturday, National Museum of Anthropology in the morning, to focus on the halls that honor the Corn Goddess and other important Prehispanic Deities. Our afternoon will be in the floating gardens or “Chinampas” to meet the farmers who are reviving this ancient agricultural system. Overnight Mexico City
Day 10: Sunday, Return Flights home
Welcome to San Felipe Usila
la casa del pueblo
4 pineapple for 25 pesos
By the river
The river is waiting
Choosing the rocks
preparing the fire
rocks on fire
preparing the ingredients
preparing the dish
the fire is over
choosing the rocks
putting the hot rock
canoe passing by
taking coffee’s pulp off
drying the grains
coffee is ready