From November 6 to 15, Slow Food California will travel to several regions and cities in Mexico, visiting local food communities and exploring their cultures, territories and main activities.
“There will be lots of stops between the state of Puebla and Tlaxcala and a stay in Mexico City,” explained Stephanie Schneiderman, the founder and president of Tia Stephanie Tours, the American agency that has organized the tour in collaboration with Slow Food Mexico. “In particular, we’ll be visiting the Chinantla Vanilla and Tehuacán Amaranth Slow Food Presidia. It’ll be a way to meet the producers and their communities and to see the cultivation and processing techniques up close. The itinerary also includes visits to the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City and the Museum of Water in Tehuacán and a meeting with Raúl Hernández Garciadiego, who in 2000 received a Slow Food International Award for his pioneering work reviving the cultivation of vanilla in his region.”
On November 7, Slow Food Chinantla will organize a meeting at the restaurant “Meson de la Chinantla” in Tuxtla Gutierrez in the state of Oaxaca.
On November 12, Slow Food Puebla will host the participants at a restaurant in the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance network, “El Mural de los Poblanos”, Puebla, with a dinner prepared by chef Liz Galicia. She has initiated a project to revive traditional worm farming and to have it recognized in the Mexican Ark of Taste.
The trip will be a unique opportunity to see ancient varieties of corn and try rolling tamales, a traditional Mexican dish; to walk through the fields of maguey, the plant used to make the ritual beverage pulque; to listen to the traditional rhythms of Son Jarocho, a type of traditional Mexican music; to visit ceramic workshops; and see ancient weaving techniques on the looms of the Nahua community in Los Reyes Metzontla, located in the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Food will be the focus throughout the tour,” said Dominick Fiume, Slow Food California’s treasurer. “Traditional Mexican cuisine is part of the cultural identity of many local communities and with its projects, Slow Food is helping to keep these links strong in a constantly changing world. We can’t wait to leave!”