I travel to Mexico at least 3-4 times per year, and I’m always in awe of the fantastic cuisine that I have while visiting. Mexico is a land of much vibrancy, beauty, and diversity, and this applies as much to its cuisine as the landscape and wildlife! This past December, I took yet another amazing cooking class in the home of Lily and her Rivera’s Kitchen in Tulum.
Lily opened up her home to an intimate setting in which 5 of us cooked together and made authentic Mexican dishes from scratch. On the menu was mole ranchero, homemade tortillas, quesadillas, salsa verde & pico de galo, rice with corn and crickets. Yes, I said CRICKETS! Our fried up appetizer enjoyed with the mezcal drink was quite a new taste to explore!
Though the average tourist may consider quesadillas, tacos, fajitas, or burritos to be quintessential Mexican cuisine, a Mexican national will tell you that there are many more traditional recipes; mole (pronounced Moh-la) being one of the most iconic! This rich, thick sauce comes in many forms and can make a delicious meal all on its own when spread over fresh, fluffy tortillas!
We sipped on mezcal, the Mexican spirit distilled from the agave succulent and learned several amazing things about Mexican tradition. Spending the afternoon with Lily felt more like reconnecting with old friends—if those old friends knew how to whip up a 20-ingredient mole from scratch.
Lily is patient as she teaches us how to make tortillas from nixtamalized masa dough, the kernels soaked in limestone to unlock their niacin. She states that “Recipes should be shared so they don’t go extinct” and she did just that sending us all we learned from our cooking class.
At the end of the meal we say our goodbyes, gather our things, and mosey on. I left feeling calm, happy and that I had a little piece of Mexican cuisine history that day too. I can’t think of a better way to experience Mexican cuisine than start to finish, from the market to the kitchen to the plate? The class is a whole experience – from learning about the ingredients, to learning techniques and recipes, and finally enjoying everything you cooked on a beautiful authentic Mexico dinner table. I thoroughly enjoyed my class, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone with a passion for food and a desire to learn more about Mexico’s incredible cuisine.