Few things take vacations to the next level like exquisite cuisine. And while Mexico serves up some of the best – and best-known – in the world, it’s in Oaxaca that you’ll arguably find the best in Mexico.
The diverse terrain, which includes mountains and river valleys, along with the proximity to the ocean, a varied climate and a wide mix of cultures results is a rich variety of travel experiences, including celebrated gastronomy. Your mouth will water from the catch of the day, marinated pork and mole-covered meat, dressed up with fruits and vegetables that are organic, fresh and local.
Part of any visit to Oaxaca should include visits to family-run restaurants and the traditional markets to explore new food and push some boundaries. You’ll still find your favourite foods based on Mexican staples such as corn, rice, beans and chili peppers, but be prepared for exciting additions such as chocolate as a cooking ingredient with meats, as well as Tlayudas (Mexican pizzas) and Tamales Oaxaqueños (Oaxacan tamales).
Oaxaca is often called the “Land of the Mole” because of its famous coloured sauces. Comprised of combinations of fruits, beans, seeds, nuts and spices, mole is traditionally served over meat or rice.
Somewhat surprisingly, cheese makes its way into traditional Oaxacan cuisine. Ask for Queso frito and you’ll get griddle-seared slices of Oaxacan queso fresco (fresh cheese) often topped with a sauce of roasted tomatoes, chilis, onion and garlic.
For the daring diner, no visit to Oaxaca is complete without trying its well-known chapulines – grasshoppers. Toasted with garlic, lime juice or chili, these crisp snacks are served at sporting events and as tasty appetizers.
A visit to Vivo Resorts will offer you the opportunity to try all of these fabulous delicacies prepared in traditional Oaxacan style by Vivo’s local chefs.
Sous Chef Jesus Armando Cortes Huerta grew up and perfected his Mexican cuisine in the neighbouring provinces of Veracruz and Puebla, but came to Oaxaca for the special nature of the culinary arts.
“I love preparing Oaxacan cuisine because of the traditions that are part of the history,” says Jesus. “But there is also a lot of innovation and the chance to be creative with such rich, fresh local ingredients. It’s a focal point for chefs to come and cook here.”
If you’re lucky, Jesus will share some of his recipes, “But not my secret ingredients,” he laughs.
For that complete experience, nothing says, “Don’t you wish you were here,” like sitting on the Palapa Terrace of the Penthouse Suite at Vivo Resorts, gazing out at the sunset while savouring the unique dishes of this extraordinary location. And when you’re ready to go, make sure you have room in your bags for the mole.