A cook who gives the whole world something to talk about is Abigail Mendoza. Thanks to her natural talent in the kitchen, it is possible to preserve recipes that are usually passed down from generation to generation.
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Zapotec gastronomy representative
Proudly Oaxacan and originally from Teotitlán del Valle, Abigail became a worthy representative of Zapotec gastronomy. Although she never had training and experience in restaurants, she possesses a talent that she inherited from her ancestors.
At the age of five she had her first metate and started making tortillas. Later, she learned other recipes from her mother and helped prepare food during the festivities in her town.
Thus, not only are her recipes delicious, but she opened a restaurant: Tlamanalli, which means God of food in Nahuatl. This was among the best restaurants in 1993, according to The New York Times.
For these and more, her name sounds abroad, and even Vogue Mexico honored her last year.
For Abigail it is important to disseminate Oaxacan cuisine and culture as tourism is one of the main sources of jobs and food always attracts attention.
Chocolate atole, preparation for months
During the third Meeting of Traditional Cooks, held last year, she shared recipes from her land. There she gave a chocolate-atole workshop, a treasure of Zapotec gastronomy that she learned to do at the age of 16.
It is a pre-Hispanic drink that is prepared with white and red cocoa, wheat, rice and cinnamon. And the preparation is not so simple. The soft cocoa must ferment for six months in a dirt oven. It is then roasted together with the rest of the ingredients and ground in a metate.
Therefore, this drink is not found in stores or restaurants so easily. It is only prepared at parties and special occasions. Abigail Mendoza and the Traditional Cuisine of Oaxaca, ancestral legacy
Without a doubt, watching Abigail cook is knowing more about our roots. They are practically rituals, since the ingredients are treated with the utmost respect from their cultivation.
And it is that cooking, as well as sharing food, has a deeper meaning. Well, sharing it with the family is something that leads to happiness.
Thanks to traditional cooks like Abigail, Oaxaca’s rich gastronomic heritage can be preserved.
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