Podcast Episode 83: Where to eat in Oaxaca, Mexico
Dolores Wiarco Dweck of Lola's Cocina talks to us about food tourism in Mexico. We discuss her research on cooking schools in Oaxaca, the importance of molé, and the real meaning of Cinco de Mayo.
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In this episode of the Find Dining podcast, Dolores Wiarco Dweck of Lola's Cocina talks to us about food tourism in Mexico. We discuss her research on cooking schools in Oaxaca, the importance of mole, and the real meaning of Cinco de Mayo.
- Dolores wrote the thesis Culinary Tourism in Mexico: Small Business Perspectives (San Diego State Press) and paper "Regional Insights of Culinary Tourism in Mexico: Cooking Schools in Oaxaca", International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism.
- The best times of year are October-December with Day of the Dead and other major holidays. July is also a festive time to visit Mexico.
- The largest cooking school in the area is Seasons of My Heart Cooking School
- Learn why Oaxaca is known as the “Land of Seven Moles” (pronouced "moh-leh")
- Oaxacan chocolate is typically served as a frothy drink. Chile de agua, huitlacoche, and epazote are common ingredients in Oaxacan-style cooking.
- Discover local cheeses at Etla Market, enjoy barbacoa at the Zaachila Market, or try empanadas or traditional breads at the Tlacolula Sunday Market
- The cheapest way to get around is in a colectivo taxi, which is commonly shared with several people.
- English is commonly spoken in the tourist areas, but it is advisable to know some Spanish when exploring beyond the major cities.
- Many small restaurants in Mexico offer an inexpensive ‘menu de dia’.
- When eating at a restaurant in Mexico, you are welcome to stay as long as you wish. You will need to request the check when you are ready to leave.
- Artisan producers in Mexico are welcoming to tourists and are open to sharing the experience of making traditional foods.
- Food trucks are not very prevalent in Oaxaca, but one stand-out is La Hormiga
- Cinco de Mayo is primarily celebrated in the Puebla region to commemorate a victory over the French. Mexican Independence Day is Sept 16th.
Food for Thought
- Q: Which Mexican herb is known for reducing the gassiness commonly associated with eating beans?
- A: Epazote
Out of the Frying Pan Picks:
- Restaurant with great View: Casa Crespo
- Best Place to get Cocktails: Do a Mezcal tasting at Los Hermantes on Crespo Street
- Favorite Marketplace to eat: Mercado de la Merced for breakfast or Tlacolula Sunday Market for anytime
- Traditional Oaxacan Breakfast: salsa en huevos with black beans and corn tortillas
- Big Food Festivals: El Saber Del Sabor
- Chefs to Watch: Chef Pilar Cabrera at La Olla; Reyna Mendoza is home cook who has trained renowned American chefs like Rick Bayless
- Recommended travel guides: Trip Advisor, word-of-mouth, food magazines
- Prediction for food tourism in Mexico: continued growth particularly in traditional regions like Oaxaca and Puebla. Another up and coming region is Baja California (Ensenada).