When visiting Oaxaca, every meal is a chance to explore the area’s history and culture. To take advantage of it, you’ll have to visit a traditional restaurantone which may not feature the brightest dcor, but will satisfy when it comes to authenticity. At such a restaurant, meals go in steps, beginning with cocktails, appetizers, and then the soup.Be careful not to rush through this delicious course. There’s an Oaxacan soup for every palate, whether you like hot and spicy or cool and subdued. Some traditional recipes include sopa Azteca and pozole. Sopa azteca made headlines earlier this year, as it’s supposedly President Obama’s favorite Mexican starting dish. The prime ingredients are tomatoes, shredded chicken, pasilla chiles, tortillas, and queso fresco. Avocados, onions, garlic and other seasonings are added to give the soup depth and flavor. Read the rest of this entry »

Pilar Cabrera Arroya, chef and founder of La Olla, was one of the driving forces behind the Oaxaca Culinary Tour which occurred this May. The genesis of the tour was in the month Cabrera Arroya spent in Toronto as guest chef and instructor at several restaurants and a cooking school. It was only proper for her to reciprocate, and the Oaxaca Culinary Tour invited chefs, writers, and Mexican food lovers of all types to experience the rich and delicious history of the state.Cabrera Arroya’s La Olla was one of the restaurants which opened up to visitors, along with Los Danzantes, La Catrina de Alcala, and Casa Oaxaca. However, these restaurants present only one side of the state’s dining experience. Another perspective was provided by villagers who illustrated traditional methods of making hot chocolate or chicken and mole tamales.The Tlacolula marketplace, held on Sunday, allowed visitors to literally immerse themselves in the community of Oaxaca, talking with vendors and sampling Oaxacan delicacies like tejate and pulquean alcoholic drink made from fermented aguamiel. This warm and welcoming instance of international hospitality showed how food can truly bring nations and people togethera lesson that is more important than ever in today’s modern world.