We will visit a small and non-commercialized palenque, a mezcal factory, in a small town at an hours’ drive from Oaxaca. Here we will see the plantations where the agave is grown, and if we’re lucky we will even find a palenquero showing us the harvesting process (this depends on if there are agaves ready to be harvested, so it will not always be the case). We’ll get a tour at the factory where you will learn all about the different types of mezcal and how it is made. Of course, the tour includes a mezcal tasting. We will have lunch at the palenque or in the village in a local eatery. An English speaking guide tells you all about the history and customs related to the drinking of mezcal, so you will get a close understanding of how important and all-present this drink is in the daily life of the Oaxacan people, especially on the countryside.
Mazatec pipián sauce with chochoyotes and mushrooms
Mazatec ‘sandwich’, quesadilla with cheese, hierba santa and beans (with mushrooms or chicken)
Fritter with sour atole (atole of corn dough, with a touch of chile, and pipián sauce)
Not suprisingly, fish and seafood are the specialty of the Oaxacan Coast region. Gambas and fish are used in many dishes, but also nuts and seeds are popular ingredients. The mole estofado (a chicken stew containing ingredients such as olives, onion, sesame seeds, raisins, tomatoes, cloves and capers) is a great dish from this region, that has almonds as a base due to the existence of almond trees along the coast.
Shrimp cocktail Mexican style
Mole estofado: chicken or vegetable stew
Pimbo cookie with icecream from the local Plaza de las Nieves (‘Icecream Square’)
The Mixteca is divided in the high and low Mixteca and is home to many chiles and herbs, due to the dryness in the lower areas and the cold in the higher planes. Dishes like chileajo (a mix of vegetables in a tomato base sauce with added garlic and chiles), caldo de panza (lining belly broth) and barbacoa (grill) are typical for this region, that is remote and difficult to cross.
Tortilla with eatible herbs/flowers and cheese
Chileajo (marinade of chili pepper with garlic and vinegar), accompanied by vegetables or pork, cabbage, and eatible herbs/flowers
Sweet chilacayota pumpkin
Being the most densily populated area in the state of Oaxaca, the Central Valleys have lots of cultivated land with a big variety of crops and vegetation. This is where the most intermixed and refined dishes come from. The mole amarillo is one of the 7 traditional and famous Oaxacan moles, and is an exquisite combination of sweet and spicy flavors.