Oaxaca…We’re now installed in the south

And is is warm here in Oaxaca as May is their hottest month, but very quaint. Firstly a pronunciation lesson – (so you can tell people were we are) Oaxaca = Wa-hah-ka with a slight emphasis on the hah!

We have rented an artists house on Airbnb, which is stylish and interesting. We have fans but no air-conditioning and even the locals are complaining about the heat. We arrived an uneventful 5 hour bus ride from Puebla on Saturday evening and went for a wander into town.

There is always lots happening on a Saturday – music, the puppet parades for weddings ,  dance competition and people out and about enjoying an balmy 25degrees night air.

Open air Dancing exhibition in Oaxaca – now that’s a full skirt!
Boots – in this temperature!

So how hot is it? well it gets to 31 or 32 degrees every day – sometime up to 34. It peaks at about 4-5pm and then falls through the night but the coolest time of the day is about 7am when its 17Degrees. It is worth getting up early to open up and cool down the house then. We are come home mid afternoon for our reading and computer siesta. Sometimes in the late afternoon there is torrential rain and lightening and thunder but it clears up within a hour.

Yesterday we went to a Cooking class in the countryside called El Sabor Zacoteca (the taste/flavours of Zacoteca) in the village of Teotitlán del Valle which is a village of Zacotecan indian people about 30minutes drive from the centre of Oaxaca. Unbelievably after not meeting a single other Kiwi over the last 6 weeks we were a group of 5 kiwis and one New Yorker!

We arrived at the family home of delightful chef Reyna Mendoza who runs the classes. Her english is great and she has been doing this for 8 years from home and so has it all organised.  They picked us up in the centre of town and then we went the local market in Teotitlán where the Zapotec ladies are doing their daily shop. It was Tuesday which is Chicken day… the market has a couple of days where they sell chicken, one where they sell shrimp and one beef and one vegetarian – so they don’t get mixed, and every day they have bread, local cheese and vegetables and aprons. Lola bought two bright aprons – and so if you are on her Christmas gift list you may get lucky! The Zapotec ladies all favour the same apron –  a plainer version similar to then shown here with Rayna working on the metate (grinding stone.) Also they are little and have one long plait  until they are very grey and then some of them tie their plait up with a satin plaited scarf/head-dress which is very Frida!

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Harder than it looks, you chug away on this for about 20minutes to get the paste suitable for mole or pipian in our case.

Apparently every Zapotec bride gets given two of these metate as a minimum – one for chilli an one for corn and beans.

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This is what we bought. Local fresh cheese, avos including some with edible skin, tomatillos and of course various types of chillies.
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Also an extra dish as there were flowers of calabaza (pumpkin) which we filled with cheese, covered in egg and breadcrumbs and fried. Pretty good.
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The kiwis standing around looking at the food – except Lola – who scuttled off like a cucuracha.

Hope there is an apron coming your way……


5 responses to “Oaxaca…We’re now installed in the south”

  1. Hi Christine
    One of my favourite places
    And I remember the market well
    Have you found that chocolate grinders somewhere behind the market?
    Yummy though sugary to our taste
    There are some great exp walk tours out from Oaxaca where they guide you and put you up in their houses as a source of income
    I remember a single telephone per village with a loudspeaker to announce whoever the call was for the scuery on down to the phone booth. I imagine that mobiles will have replaced this
    Great walks

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