I spent a lot of time looking for cooking classes from Todos Santos through the Cabo area and up to Buena Vista, and Casa de Colores seemed to fit the criteria of what I was looking for (an introduction to authentic cooking of different cuisines from different areas of Mexico) better than anything else I found. Through a series of emails, we set up three events, the first a marketing tour of foods available off the narrow tourist area, to be followed the next day with Mexican cooking basics, and then a week later Mexican comfort foods. Donna, our Chef and Mexican food savant, met us the morning after we arrived in Cabo at Peurto Paraiso Mall, a focal point for tourists visiting the Cabo area.
Our first stop was a wonderful Mexican Pottery store. We purchased an authentic Molcajete, a kind of morter and pestle made from lava rock. Donna educated us on the different uses for all the cooking perphernalia in the store. She further explained the items were from all over mexico and the store was a melting pot for all the different cooking styles from northern Mexico to Guatemala. The melting pot theme came up again and again as we continued the tour and later in our cooking classes. We visited a tortileria where they take field corn and mill it into corn flour . Then in front of your eyes, the entie process of taking the raw corn and serving a finished meal (think tacos, toritillas, gorditas, quesedillas etc) unfolds. Next and just around the corner we visited an authentic Tlaxtala bakery. A visit to a supermercado introduced us to the wonderful variety of Mexican cheeses from Chihuahua in the north to Oaxaca in the south. She introduced us to the many and varied peppers used in the various Mexican cuisines as well as vegetables and spices we were unfamiliar with.
Lastly we went to a Michoacan Grill, where they prepare a roasted pig every day in a gleaming copper pot . It was the best grilled pork I can ever remember eating.
Mexican cooking basics reinforced just how ingrained the pepper is in Mexican cooking and how the Cabo area is a melting pot of the different cuisines of Mexico. We began with a simple roasted salsa and progressed the recipe until the salsa became a soup complete with dumplings.
Mexican comfort foods brought many different cooking styles together. We were taught how to make chili verde, a southwestern favorite, flan and tortillas in the style of southern mexico. Donna sent a generous portion of food with us to our condo which we turned into several meals.
Donna provided us with many recipes, ideas and techniques I am convinced we would not have learned anywhere else. The foods, recipes, techniques and memories turly became Mexico in Our Suitcase, knowledge we can put to use to wow family and friends with the truly unique and varied dishes we learned to cook.
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