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  • ERIN MOSS

Oaxaca, Mexico


My mother has been to Mexico six times. (I had never been.) My mom went to all of the places she wanted to visit in Mexico, except for one, Oaxaca. We decided to go last year for my Spring Break. I know I am incredibly late getting this to you, but I wanted to get this to you prior to our trip this year to Cuba.

We went to Oaxaca because it is on my mom’s bucket list, and because it is known for its art scene and food. We are into both!

We did our homework. We found flights. We found an awesome place to stay with an amazing concierge that was able to tell us where to go and arrange it for us. It was a fabulous trip! We would love go back for Day of the Dead. There were so many memorable moments.

We went to see the ruins at Monte Alban. I climbed a million high, steep steps. It was my best workout of the day, okay of the trip. There also was a spectacular view from the top.

We went to Mercado 20 de Novembre among many other markets and we brought STUFF for ourselves, to take back as gifts, etc. We also drank and ate some interesting things in that market. we met some locals..they helped us...gosh only knows what are in these drinks below...and I may never want to know...

We went to the neighborhood called San Martin where you could see the artists working on the wooden art they are so famous for creating. Oaxacan art. It is beautiful carved pieces, usually animals that are painted in bright, vibrant colors.

We took a cooking class with oddly and coincidentally a few other mother/daughter duos that were traveling together. We went to a non-touristy market to purchase food and then went back to the chef’s house to cook with him. The experience was exceptional, but the food was divine. The cooking class was with La Cocina Oaxaquena. (We highly recommend it.)

In the States, if we saw this we would throw it away...think it had gone bad, but here...it is a delicacy and it was good!!! Like a good, stinky, moldy cheese.

Saw them prepare banana leaves for wrapping tamales among many other things...

My mom making tortillas...

The end result were these magnificently scrumptious dishes...

1st tortilla soup

Killer guacamole....I could have eaten that whole thing...

Chicken mole with rice.....

We went to Hierve el Aqua, the waterfall was non-existent. No water flowing. However, the pools that were near it that looked like natural spring water pools. They were stunning, especially with the mountains as a backdrop.

We were told that we had to go see this HUMONGOUS tree that is so big that the only way to see it and comprehend it’s size is to see people and objects next to it. The town is called El Tule.

This was an old photo. Today it is behind a fence making it harder to see!

We went to see the ruins of Mitla.

I did research on the foods to eat while were Oaxaca, I found an article in Saveur, and I made a point of hunting down as much as I could find. I love to be immersed in the culture…

Isn't the cartoon picture SO much more appealing than this drink above that looks like chocolate milk with concrete. It was good, but it was not pretty. And you should see the container...a big barrel and they dig a big spoon in it to serve in your cup. SO unappetizing!

This is how you see GRASSHOPPERS (AKA CHAPULINES) on the street. My mom and I are not that brave! We ate ours in a restaurant...in cheese with pretty edible flowers on top! It actually was good.

We were told the best tamales were at a street vendor. We went to a couple at a cart and bought them. They were amazing!!!!

It might not look good, but trust me...it was!!!

This is one we had with only oil and cheese, but we had one one night with much more on it...but the picture was too dark to show you, because the restaurant was REALLY dark.

These were outstanding...we had them with a selection of 7 moles in a place an old Cincy friend recommended to us!

Here is the remainder of our Oaxaca adventure in pictures…and I will do the restaurants and foods below the random array of pictures...

Easter in the morning...

Part of the Easter evening parade...

A women walked through parades with signs that read SILENCE and it was silent!!!

Around Oaxaca....

Ceiling in a restaurant...

My mom asked for a mirror when trying on this shirt...the man said take a picture and look at it that way!

Oaxacan cheese...so addictive and stringy....and yummy!!!

I love the lavender building and the tree....

Nothing like a beautiful gallery that has a bunch of wooden carved penises in the back corner...these are tall by the way...

Gallery below where the penises reside. It is a cool space...

in El Tule where the BIG tree resides...

I just loved this cute, little, random donkey in the window.

A gate...

Our hotel below...

Courtyard in the hotel. I love these colors!!! I love them together too!!!

Dancing in a square...

Dog taking a nap in a market...

Oaxaca art...including the carved, bright-colored wooden art...this is also....Oaxaca...

This is the carved wood in San Martin that gets painted and becomes beautiful Oaxacan art...

Architecture...

Food...

Las Quince Letras

La Biznaga- very hip, trendy, great ambiance and setting. Food was mediocre...

Too dark to photograph the ordinary food...

Pan Am- good breakfast...not killer...

Famous, famous chef...off the beaten path...worth the journey...The restaurant is called Tiamanalli

Red Mole

Chicken Mole

Garbanzo and Tortilla Soup

Boulenc- best bakery in town...the entrance leaves little to be desired but the pastries...and the courtyard...pleasant surprise...

I walked by this entrance so many times because no signage and it looks like nothing..look below...

Los Pacos Oaxaca -we had a delicious breakfast here...

Hot chocolate

Eggs, Peas, Plantains in Red Mole

Eggs & Chilaquiles & Cheese

I think the same group or chefs...had this place which was also excellent...and I think this was the place that Chef Bayless was quoted for saying it was his favorite...Restaurant Casa Oaxaca.

This is the end result...seafood soup.

They added steaming rocks...to the soup to cook the seafood.

This is how it started before the broth and the rocks.

Homemade salsa made at the table. Amazing!

Beet & Strawberry salad

Pitiona

Nitro Churro...I have never seen a dessert like this....

La Teca- off the beaten path...ambiance was old-fashioned. The food was superb!!

My favorite in food, originality, setting was...Criollo.

Memalitas-chard with sesame, porked cooked in black beans, salad with tomatoes, pumpkin, carrot, spices, tamale w. quesilla, cream, tomato sauce

Guava mequata hibiscus

Passion fruit with salt sorbet

Steak with adoba bed of beans topped with onions and avocado

Soft shell crab on tortilla with chili mayo

Eating the food above...in the setting below...

There was one more wonderful place we stopped for a tasting of the moles...it was called...Los Pacos and an old Cincinnati friend told us about it...it was very yummy and one of the best ways to get a good sampling of the 7 Moles....

Desserts....

I had to eat a Churro in Mexico...I didn't get a picture because I ate it and then went whoops...I forgot to take the picture. It happens!

I could have gone to Krispy Creme, but didn't...

I was told this was the best ice cream in Oaxaca...and I thought it was cool as hell until someone told me they are doing this in a shop in Cincy...regardless...it was very good and fun to watch!

Raspberry ice cream...

My favorite dessert is plantains drizzled with or dipped in dulce de leche...not my dog...carmel...

She didn't look happy, but I sure was...

Oaxaca was a wonderful place and experience and the food was delicious!!!


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© 2012 E.M. HOLZMAN

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