I make it a point to take cooking classes whenever and wherever I can. Following recipes from my library of cook books is great for a rainy day but having holiday memories and tips from a local expert, make cooking all the more rewarding.
Cancun’s number one activity according to Tripadvisor is cancookincancun.com, a cooking class run in a family home with accomplished chef Claudia. Having been collected from the hotel along with a minibus full of guests, 4 who had been to the same class the previous year, we chatted till we arrived to be welcomed by the family dog, Budda, coffee and churros.
Befire took long we were being introduced to the ingredients of a salsa and then taken through to th artistically decorated kitchen where there was space for the 12 of us to sit and see the team at work.
Claudia talked us through here impressive resume and then the food regions and traditions across Mexico. Having visited Chichen Itza the previous day, we were partially informed of their culinary knowledge and farming practices. We heard how corn tortilla are commonplace in the southern regions and flour ones more In the north.
Nopales cacti, which are the ones we have that bear prickly pears, are having a moment in food fashion, primarily because the leaves offer a high fibre content and a very low calorie count. These are commonly used in juices and a flour is being used it create tortilla and other staples.
A number of ingredients were passed around the group including chilli, a spice rub called adoba, cactus tortilla and cocoa to allow us to familiarise ourselves. During the morning, various drinks including an almond milk, hibiscus tea and beer were served with tortilla and salsas and a giant plate of vegetables like jicama, carrots and fruit including melon, cucumber, orange, which had been sprinkled with lime and chilli powder; which was good as all the talk about food was making us hungry!
The menu made during the day was a mix of regions and we got to taste the fruits of our limited labour after a shot of tequila and then sangria. We had Aztec tortilla soup, corn tamales (my favourite), a pepper and onion stew, rice, refried beans and spdelicios mashed potato with chorizo and a stew. Dessert for those that could fit it in was a 3 milk pudding with strawberries and bananas.
I’ll share some of the modified recipes soon. And in the meantime, if you are going to Cancun, I highly recommend this long lazy lunch!