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As the name implies, the Feria del Tejate y el Tamal also featured tamales, along with yesterday’s blog post subject, Tejate, “Drink of the Gods”.

embroidered tea towels

Tamal vendors from San Andrés Huayapam stood behind long tables lined with tin buckets, giant pots, and baskets covered with colorfully embroidered towels hiding every kind of tamal imaginable.  There were mole negro (black mole) tamales wrapped in banana leaves…

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And… flor de calabaza (squash blossom), amarillo (yellow mole), verde (green mole), chapulín (grasshopper), frijol (bean), and chepil (a wild herb) wrapped and steamed in corn husks.  The local newspaper reports there were also fish and shrimp tamales.  Darn, I didn’t even see them!  Though not a surprise because it was quite a scene as crowds amassed in front of the vendors placing their orders.  It reminded me of the lyrics from the Neil Diamond song, Sweet Caroline:  Hands, touching hands, reaching out…

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I don’t really have a favorite — they are all so uniquely special.  However, because chichilo mole originated in San Andrés Huayapam and is only served on special occasions (weddings, christenings, harvesting of crops), I always make sure to bring home a couple.  Chichilo mole is made from chilhuacle negro, mulatto, and pasilla chiles; blackened tortillas and seeds of the chiles; and avocado leaves, the latter imparting a subtle anise flavor.  They are so yummy!

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The prehispanic riches of tejate and tamales — a couple of reasons why Oaxaca is a food lovers paradise.

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This morning, the Feria del Tejate y el Tamal opened at the Plaza de la Danza — with live music, speeches, scores of tejate and tamal vendors, and hundreds of happy, hungry people.  In the event you are unfamiliar with tejate (which is probably the case if you have never been to Oaxaca), it is a very popular frothy, refreshing, nutritious, and (supposedly) aphrodisiacal non-alcoholic prehispanic beverage.  It is made from corn mixed with tree ash, cacao beans, mamey seeds, rosita de cacao (Quararibea funebris) flowers, and peanuts or pecans (depending on the season).

 

 

The preparation takes at least twelve hours, as the beans, seeds, flowers, and nuts must be toasted on a comal and corn must be nixtamalized.  Ingredients are taken to a molino to be milled, then kneaded together, left to cool, eventually being hand-ground on a metate to make a thick paste — which is what one sees in the mercados being thinned with water and (literally) mixed by hand.  For a blow-by-blow photo essay of the process, check out Making Tejate for the Market.

 

 

In days gone by, this exquisite beverage was reserved solely for Zapotec royalty.  However, today tejate is for the masses, with tejateras and their massive clay ollas set up at almost every mercado and festival you run across.  One frequently sees tejate poured into colorfully painted gourds and, of course, it tastes even better when served that way!

 

 

The sale of tejate is the main economic activitity in San Andrés Huayapam, located about 7 miles northeast of Oaxaca city.  It is prepared and served by the tejateras of the Unión de Mujeres Productoras del Tejate.  At the Feria, many of the tejateras were young — it is good to see the ancestral recipes and skills being passed down to the next generation.

 

 

The Feria del Tejate y el Tamal runs through tomorrow (July 26, 2017).  If you are in town, don’t miss it!  Oh yes, there were tamales, so stay tuned…

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Day three of Oaxaca Sabe took me to meet a gal pal for comida at El Olivo.  She has become a regular there but I hadn’t yet been to their new location on Constitución and was pleasantly surprised by the sophistication and warmth of the space.  After several sips of a nice glass of Tempranillo (included in the prix fixe menu) and conversation, our divine starters arrived…

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Rollo de quesillo relleno de huitlachoche con puré aguacate y ensalada de arúgula (Roll of quesillo cheese stuffed with corn smut, garnished with avocado puree and arugula salad)

As I’ve mentioned before, I have become a huitlacoche enthusiast and thus savored the mushroomy corn flavors.  The main course was Ballotine de lomo de cerdo acompañado de pure de manzana y piña asada con reducción de pomelo y zanahorias horneadas (Rolled pork loin accompanied by applesauce and roasted pineapple sauce with a grapefruit reduction and baked baby carrots).  Dessert, which I “forced” myself to eat, was a yummy Tarta de manzana al cardamomo (Cardamom apple tart).

Then there was yesterday’s comida with my recently returned (from el norte) blogger buddy Chris.  On the seventh day of last spring’s Oaxaca Sabe, we were tired but determined to continue our restaurant-a-day record and had somewhat randomly chosen Sabina Sabe.  It was a great decision and so was yesterday’s return.  I began with the Crema de mejillones al vino blanco con crotones de pan amarillo (Cream of mussels in white wine soup with croutons) — not very photogenic, but muy sabrosa.  It was followed by…

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Trucha en vara, asada con chimichurri de poleo (Trout on a stick grilled with a chimichurri sauce of pennyroyal)

It was my second trout meal in less than two weeks, was cooked to perfection, and the poleo offered an unexpected, but welcome, flavor to the chimichurri.  Have I mentioned, how much I love how Oaxaca Sabe affords being exposed to new restaurants and the way their chefs combine and create with familiar and new (to me) ingredients?  My dessert, was another yummy delight…

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Dulce Istmeño de yuca y piña con cada y coulis de zarzamoras (Dessert from Isthmus of Tehuantepec of yucca and pineapple with blackberry coulis)

Today, I was up early for this year’s fifth Viernes del Llano promenade and competition, where I again rendezvoused with Chris.  Once it was over, we walked up to El Asador Vasco Plaza Parque in Colonia Reforma for a Oaxaca Sabe desayuno (breakfast).  Seated on their terrace, amidst the chatter and laughter of other patrons, we were quickly provided with coffee and jugo primavera (spring fruit juice).

Our first course of copa de yogurt con fruta y granola (yogurt with fruit and granola) was layered in a wine goblet, with small bowl of honey and honey dipper to the side.  It was lovely to look at, but after an hour and a half of taking photos of the young women parading around the statue of Benito Juárez in Llano Park, neither one of us remembered to take out our cameras until we had finished it.  However, we were camera-ready for our main course…

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Huevos César (Bacon coddled egg on a potato pancake served of a bed of greens)

Coffee was refilled and the final and sweet course arrived.  Though I’d already eaten more than I ever eat for breakfast, I did manage a few bites of the panqué de naranja con mermelada de la casa (Orange cake served with a red fruit marmalade).  The entire meal was a delicious way to start the day!

Mañana?  Who knows where Oaxaca Sabe will take us…

 

 

 

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Early this morning, I bid my BFF a fond farewell after a fun, freezing (more about that another day), and food filled two weeks.  Delicious dining options are few and far between in her neck of the woods — the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska.  So, the aforementioned cooking class and restaurants were at the top of her list.  We made the most of her time here with comidas at Biznaga, Las Quince Letras, Restaurante Catedral, and Zandunga, along with some tasty street food up in the mountains in Capulalpam and Llano Grande (the chilly part of her visit).

And, as luck and good timing would have it, Oaxaca Sabe (Oaxaca’s version of restaurant week) opened two days ago.  Thus, it was Tres Bistro on Monday.  She had the “Aire” (Air) and I had the “Mar” (Sea) menu.  All of our choices were prepared and presented to perfection and left both of us stuffed and smiling.

Rollitos de salmón al eneldo (Salmon rolls with dill cream cheese)

Rollitos de salmón al eneldo (Salmon rolls with dill cream cheese)

Captura del día rellena de mariscos (Fish of the day stuffed with seafood)

Captura del día rellena de mariscos (Fish of the day stuffed with seafood)

Panna cotta de coco con coulis de jamaica (Coconut panna cotta with a coulis of hibiscus flowers)

Panna cotta de coco con coulis de jamaica (Coconut panna cotta with a coulis of hibiscus flowers)

Tuesday, we had planned to go to Casa Crespo but when we arrived at 3 PM, they explained the Oaxaca Sabe menu would not be ready until 6 PM, because they were conducting a cooking class.  There were rumblings coming from our stomachs and BFF had to finish packing, so we opted not to wait and, instead, took ourselves to La Olla.  We ran into chef/owner Pilar Cabrera as we arrived, were seated upstairs, and were greeted from across the room by expat foodie friends, who were also enjoying the Oaxaca Sabe menu.

BFF began with the Ensalada de tomates criollos, quintoniles cenizos, arúgula y aderezo de tomate riñon (salad of native tomatoes, native Mexican greens, arugula, with a tomato dressing) and I had the Sopa de garbanzo (garbanzo bean soup).  I was expecting a heavier creamy blender soup, but this was an extremely light and flavorful broth.  However, it wasn’t very photogenic, so I will leave it to your imagination.  On the other hand, my main course and dessert both looked lovely and tasted yummy.

Camarones al mojo de chile meco (Shrimp with dried smoked chiles)

Camarones al mojo de chile meco (Shrimp with dried smoked chiles)

Panacotta de tejate (Tejate flavored pana cotta)

Panacotta de tejate (Tejate flavored pana cotta)

By the way, BFF raved that her main course of Amarillo con flores de calabaza rellenas de requesón (Squash blossoms stuffed with cheese in a yellow mole sauce) had the lightest tempura-like batter she had ever tasted.

Oaxaca Sabe again so soon?  Yippee!!!  Today, I’m off to El Olivo with another friend.  I’ll keep you posted…

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Can you believe it?  It seemed that no sooner had last month’s Oaxaca Sabe culinary adventure concluded, than the seventh annual Saber del Sabor: Festival Gastronómico 2015 kicked off.  This past Friday, the Plaza de la Danza was tented and decorated for a buffet dinner prepared by cooks from the eight regions of the state of Oaxaca.

For only 300 pesos (approximate $18.50), one could feast on a mind-blowing and waist-expanding galaxy of gastronomic delights.

Menu inauguacion Saber del saborThe dinner seeks to recognize and promote Oaxaca’s traditional cuisine.  Always a highlight are the maestros of barbacoa, who brave blistering heat and eye-stinging smoke as they turn and tend the spit-roasted piglets, lambs, and chickens.   Alas, this year by 8 PM the line was too long and I elected to miss these always succulent and mouth-watering delights.  However, I was in no danger of starving!

Of course, the chefs were the stars of the show and young and old alike savored their creations.

This year El Saber del Sabor is honoring two regional chefs:  Young chef, Ixchel Ornelas from Tlaxiaco, in the Mixteca Alta region of Oaxaca and Teotitlán del Valle’s own, Abigail Mendoza, who has done so much to promote and bring respect for Oaxaca’s traditional indigenous methods and flavors.

The festival continues with lectures, workshops, and gourmet meals prepared in the kitchens of Oaxaca’s top restaurants by celebrated chefs from all over Mexico — as well as a couple from Spain and the USA.

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Yesterday, we ended our Oaxaca Sabe journey at Origen, the creation of celebrated owner/chef, Rodolfo CastellanosP1140365 Here, we had a choice between three items for each course.  Hmmm, we should have invited a third person to join us!  I began with a salad filled with tiny wild and incredibly flavorful mushrooms.  The combination of textures and flavors was brilliant.

Ensalada de hongos serranos, toronja , pepitas y manzanita criolla (Wild mushroom salad, grapefruit, local apple puree and pumpkin seeds)

Ensalada de hongos serranos, toronja, pepitas y manzanita criolla (Wild mushroom salad, grapefruit, local apple puree and pumpkin seeds)

Though the spaghetti and meatballs tempted me (who wouldn’t want to see what a renown Mexican chef does with this Italian/American classic), Chris took care of that.  Besides, I’d already decided on pozole, a Mexican comfort food that dates back to Pre-Hispanic days.  And, it was sublime!

Pozole verde de pescado (Fish of the day in green pozole)

Pozole verde de pescado (Fish of the day in green hominy soup)

My dessert wasn’t very photogenic but it tasted divine and those meringue wafers melted in the mouth.

Sopa fría de durazno, espumoso, merengue y yogurt (Chilled peach soup, fresh fruit, meringue wafers and frozen yogurt)

Sopa fría de durazno, espumoso, merengue y yogurt (Chilled peach soup, fresh fruit, meringue wafers and frozen yogurt)

We were seated upstairs in a light and airy dining room at a table affording a view of the comings and goings along Avenida Miguel Hidalgo.

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Origen provided a lovely and delectable conclusion to our journey through Oaxaca city’s finer dining scene for only 250 pesos (US $14.62) per meal, including beverage.  Now, when asked, I have more restaurant recommendations to give — and that’s what restaurant week is all about!

However, I’m looking forward to getting back to the mercados and street food.  ¡Buen provecho a tod@s!

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Dare I admit…  It took a couple of phone conversations with blogger buddy Chris on Sunday to motivate us to keep our Oaxaca Sabe restaurant-a-day streak going.  Who knew it would be so tiring to dine, photograph, and write about diverse and delicious meals???

We decided to rendezvous at Sabina Sabe — a restaurant that we knew nothing about, but was casual and offered interesting menu choices.  I chose the vegetarian and, while not on the menu, its starter was a light and flavorful salad.

Mixed greens with apples and dried cranberries

Mixed greens with apples, figs, and dried cranberries

I love huitlacoche and my main course did not disappoint.

Gratín de papa con huitlacoche y adobo de chile guajillo (Potato gratin with

Gratín de papa con huitlacoche y adobo de chile guajillo (Potato gratin with “corn smut” and dressing of guajillo chili)

The meal concluded with a yummy dessert.  We spotted the smiling chef Miguel Jiménez in the kitchen as we left and gave him a thumbs up for our delicious meals.

Gaznates rellenos de mouse de almendra con salsa de chocolate amargo (Cannoli stuffed with almond mousse with dark chocolate sauce)

Gaznates rellenos de mouse de almendra con salsa de chocolate amargo (Cannoli stuffed with almond mousse with dark chocolate sauce)

By the way, I gather that Sabina Sabe used to be on the zócalo, however now it is located on 5 de mayo, across the street from Mujeres Artesanas de las Regiones de Oaxaca (MARO) — you can’t miss the building’s aqua color!

P1140319Today, there is no question, we WILL be going to our eighth and final restaurant during Oaxaca Sabe.  Stay tuned…

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Yesterday, albeit with flagging energy, blogger buddy Chris and I climbed the narrow winding staircase that looks down into the tiny kitchen, making our way to the rooftop terrace of Casa Crespo for day six of our odyssey through Oaxaca’s Oaxaca Sabe restaurant scene.  However, we perked up when our personable and efficient waiter brought up the fixings for my starter course and a show began.

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Table side preparation of a Prehispanic soup unique-to-Oaxaca

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Hot river stone dropped into the broth

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Seafood cooks and vegetables wait to be added to bubbling broth

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Caldo de piedra (Stone soup)

Yes, it was as delicious as it looks, as was my entrée.

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Estofado de bodas con pure de papa istmeño (Wedding stew, accompanied by mashed potatoes in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec style)

And then came the divine dessert…

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Helado de chocolate de metate (Chocolate ice cream, ingredients ground using a metate)

You can check out Chris’s blog for the spectacular rooftop view and the alternate menu.  And, yes we shared!  Another day, another tasty  meal…

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Yesterday was day five of Oaxaca Sabe and restaurant number five for your intrepid foodies.  Yes, we are still on a-restaurant-a-day pace.   Our choice?  Tres Bistro, or as the sign says, Tr3s 3istro.

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We had watched as this second floor space above Del Jardín was renovated two years ago and a visiting gal pal and I had eaten there in July 2014.  While the food was delicious, the cacophony coming from the occupied zócalo (pirated CDs blasting, amplified speeches blaring, etc.) through the balcony’s giant open sliding glass doors made it a less than pleasurable experience.

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However, currently all is quiet on the zócalo front, save for the occasional marimba players, and the menu beckoned.  Thus we decided to give it a try.  We climbed the beautifully designed curving wooden staircase under the portales and were seated at the second from the left table above.  Chips, salsas, and herb butter for our choice of flavorful breads soon followed.

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Choices made from the Oaxaca Sabe menu, the fun began!  My first course…

Laminado de pulpo con mojo verde, aceite de cacahuate, rábanos y cilantro (Rolled octopus with green sauce, peanut oil, radishes and cilantro)

Laminado de pulpo con mojo verde, aceite de cacahuate, rábanos y cilantro (Rolled octopus with green sauce, peanut oil, radishes and cilantro)

My entrée…

Risotto de gorgonzola con camarones (Gorgonzola risotto with shrimp)

Risotto de gorgonzola con camarones (Gorgonzola risotto with shrimp)

And, my dessert…

Panacota de frutos rojos y coulis de fresa (Panna cotta of red fruit with strawberry coulis)

Panacota de frutos rojos y coulis de fresa (Panna cotta of red fruit with strawberry coulis)

For Chris’s menu choices, see his blog post, Oaxaca Sabe – Oaxaca knows….. food!… Day 5 – Tres Bistro.  I’ve got to say, the portion sizes were more generous than we’ve become used to and we pushed away from the table feeling quite sated.

Many thanks to chef Fermín López Damián, who was born in the Sierra Norte region of Oaxaca, for a delicious, relaxing, and thoroughly enjoyable dining experience.

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Another day another Oaxaca Sabe lunch.  Yesterday, along with a couple of friends, we celebrated the ## birthday of blogger Chris at Luvina.

The birthday boy!

The “gifted” birthday boy!

As you can see below, the menu chef Carlos García created was beautifully presented, imaginative and, I can assure you, muy sabrosa.  Our first course was out-of-this world, in my humble opinion.

Arroz cremoso con legumbres, calamares y mollejas asadas (Creamy rice with vegetables, grilled calamari and sweetbreads)

Arroz cremoso con legumbres, calamares y mollejas asadas (Creamy rice with vegetables, grilled calamari and sweetbreads)

Ahhh… Which main course to choose?  I chose the rabbit and, naturally, sampled a table mate’s sea bass.  Both were delicious.

Conejo chimeco con verduras rostizadas con manteca de pato (Rabbit with roasted vegetables and duck fat)

Conejo chimeco con verduras rostizadas con manteca de pato (Rabbit with roasted vegetables and duck fat)

Robálo al pastor con chichilo negro (Sea bass with chichilo mole)

Robálo al pastor con chichilo negro (Sea bass with chichilo mole)

The dessert got mixed reviews, but I liked the lightness of the brioche.  And, yes, the birthday boy’s came with a candle!

Espuma de requesón con bizcocho de pan brioche (Foam of ricotta with a cake of brioche)

Espuma de requesón con bizcocho de pan brioche (Foam of ricotta with a cake of brioche)

It’s somewhat out-of-the way location (off Republica on the block-long Mártires de Tacubaya and across the street from the Kiss the girl goodbye mural) shouldn’t hinder a visit to this light and airy restaurant. By the way, the service was excellent.

 

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It’s Wednesday and day three of the Oaxaca Sabe restaurant festival.  Yesterday, we dined at Pitiona, one of Oaxaca’s most sophisticated and innovative restaurants.  Chris, my partner in blogging and food-fest dining crime, beat me to the punch in posting photos of our meal, so I will let his entry speak for both of us.

Today, our Oaxaca Sabe choice was La Olla, one of Oaxaca’s best known restaurants with one of her best loved chefs, Pilar Cabrera at the helm.  Here, we were offered an either/or choice for each of the three courses, so I ordered “either” and Chris ordered “or.”  Thus, I began with a salad that tasted as delicate and flavorful as it looked.

Ensalada de durazno y queso istmeño (Salad of peaches and cheese from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec)

Ensalada de durazno y queso istmeño (Salad of peaches and cheese from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec)

I’m a sucker 😉  for octopus and this was cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection and saucing it with the “usually reserved for special occasions” chichilo mole, provided the taste buds an unexpected flavor explosion.

Chichilo servido con pulpo y arroz (Chichilo mole served with octopus and rice)

Chichilo servido con pulpo y arroz (Chichilo mole served with octopus and rice)

And then there was dessert.  I opted for the tiramisu, which is an old favorite of mine.  It did not disappoint and its layers looked lovely served in a glass, garnished with coffee beans and a single viola blossom.

Tiramisú oaxaqueño (Self explanatory, methinks)

Tiramisú oaxaqueño (Self explanatory, methinks)

Our compliments to chef Pilar Cabrera and muchisimas gracias for a delicious dining experience.  We are sorry to have missed you!

As our meal came to a close, we poured over the Oaxaca Sabe list of restaurants and their menus.  More to come.  What can I say?  This is yummy and fun!

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Yesterday, Oaxaca Sabe kicked off a week of delicious dining; three-course meals, including beer, mezcal, or wine, for only 250 pesos per person at some of the top restaurants in the city.  As readers of Oaxaca-The Year After already know, blogger buddy Chris and yours truly couldn’t resist and we were first to the table at Las Quince Letras.  No sooner had we been seated in the lovely shaded patio, than chef Celia Florian came out to welcome us.

Celia Florian, chefWith every course, she continued to check in with us, explaining the ingredients and asking our opinion.  She also turned the tables on us and took out her smart phone to take our picture!

Sopa de tortilla de tomate de milpa (Tortilla soup with tomatillos and little balls of quesillo)

Sopa de tortilla de tomate de milpa (Tortilla soup with tomatillos and little balls of quesillo)

Camarones flameados en mezcal con mole negro de chicatana (Shrimp flambéed in mezcal on a bed of chicatana black mole sauce)

Camarones flameados en mezcal con mole negro de chicatana (Shrimp flambéed in mezcal on a bed of black mole made with the rainy season insect, chicatanas)

Helado de maracuya con buñelos con miel de piloncillo (Maracuya sorbet with buñuelos drizzled with melted piloncillo, which is similar to brown sugar)

Helado de maracuya con buñelos con miel de piloncillo (Maracuya sorbet with buñuelos drizzled with a honey of piloncillo, which is similar to brown sugar)

Every dish conveyed Chef Florian’s pride in her heritage — from the fresh locally sourced ingredients to her original interpretations of traditional Oaxacan cuisine — and then there was the love and joy she radiated.

By the way, this is what it looks like to sit across the table from a blogger…

Chile en nogada

Chris photographing his Chile en Nogada

If it’s Tuesday, it must mean another Oaxaca Sabe restaurant to try…  ¡Buen provecho!

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As if Thursday’s Thanksgiving of 2 turkeys, 2 styles of stuffing, 2 kinds of cranberry sauce, 2 types of potatoes (sweet and garlic mashed), and 2 desserts (pumpkin pie and chocolate cake) weren’t enough….  Believe it or not, Friday night, eating was again on the minds of neighbors (and co-Thanksgiving Day cooks) David and Marilyn and I, as we walked over to the Plaza de la Danza for the kickoff cena (dinner) of Oaxaca’s annual El Saber del Sabor gastronomy festival.

The transformation of the Plaza de la Danza began on Wednesday.

By Friday night’s dinner, it had morphed into an elegant banquet hall, with an open air rotisserie pit.

Fifty traditional cooks from the eight regions of Oaxaca offered guests a sample of the culinary wealth of the state.

The results were dazzling and delicious.  All for only 300 pesos (a little over $20 US)!

On a clear cold night, with the Basílica de la Soledad looming above, there was also mezcal and music to warm body and spirit!

Following Thursday night’s inaugural banquet, the festival moves to Oaxaca’s upscale restaurants and other venues where, along with workshops and lectures, seventeen renowned chefs from around Mexico will be offering specially created gourmet menus.  El Saber del Sabor closes tomorrow afternoon with a tribute to chef Pedro Ortega of Grupo Estoril, accompanied by a comida prepared by Ortega and three other distinguished chefs.  Yummm…  Alas, at 1500 pesos, it’s a little too pricey for me.

In previous years, El Saber del Sabor was held in late August and early September.  I don’t know why this year it was moved to the end of November, but I do know Friday night was a little chilly for an outside venue and, for gringos, it was way too close to Thanksgiving — the gluttony was almost (but not quite) too much!

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A couple of days ago, above the Plaza de la Danza, a mound of sand and a pile of bricks.

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There were guys doing the heavy lifting — bricks on their shoulders and buckets of sand in hand — carrying load after load down the ramps and stairs to the plaza below.

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The sand was spread and leveled and the bricks were carefully laid in a herringbone pattern.

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What were they up to?  Preparing a barbecue platform for last night’s gastronomic festival, El Saber del Sabor Oaxaca 2013, opening night buffet.  The entire Plaza de la Danza was tented, tables and chairs were set up, lights were strung, and by yesterday afternoon, all was ready.

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Last year we missed out on the barbecue — spit roasted lamb and pork — it looked and smelled divine, but the line was too long and then it was gone.  This year, we were not to be denied and so our strategy was to be first in line.

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That meant standing for at least 20 minutes in front of the newly constructed barbecue at the Cuenca station, where we had plenty of time to study the menu and salivate, as smoke from the BBQ permeated our clothes and burned our eyes.

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José Domingo Cruz Cobos from Tuxtepec did not disappoint.  I can’t even begin to describe how succulent the meat and how crispy the skin.  It was well worth the wait!

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However, this was only the beginning.  Cooks from the other 7 regions of Oaxaca were also there, preparing their signature dishes.

Aurora Toledo of Zandunga restaurant with chef and evening honoree, Patricia Quintana.

Aurora Toledo of Zandunga restaurant with chef, teacher, author, and the evening’s special honoree, Patricia Quintana.

Gluttony makes for a hazy memory, but in addition to the above, I had mole negro and tamalitos from the famed Mendoza sisters of Tlamanalli in Teotitlán del Valle, garnachas from Aurora Toledo of Zandunga in the city, and ???  Oh, and then there was wine, mezcal, and a cajeta flavored paleta for dessert.

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All this, and much, much, much more for only 350 pesos (about $27 US).  It was a lovely and delicious night.

And for those with deeper pockets, multi-course lunches and dinners with wine and mezcal pairings are being prepared by the top chefs from all over Mexico, at select restaurants throughout the city, including Alejandro Ruíz of Casa Oaxaca and Jose Manuel Baños Rodriguez of Pitiona, each recently named to Latin America’s 50 Top Restaurants.

¡Buen provecho!

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