- Anna Welscott
Huatulco: Cooking Class, Mezcal Tasting, and Eating Grasshoppers
Updated: May 26, 2022
Our time in Huatulco was absolutely amazing! We will truly miss this place. Having been in Mexico for a year and half now, and visiting countless villages, towns, and cities; we can say Huatulco ranks at the top of our list.
When we arrived to Marina Chahue, we were looking forward to being at the dock, as we hadn't been in a marina in months. We had been in some rolly anchorages, so we were excited to catch up on sleep and also spend a few weeks doing some land activities.
We had to time our entrance into the marina, as it's a bit shallow in places. Between the current and wind, it took us a bit to get into our slip. Having a full keel boat, takes some finessing at times. Check-in with the port captain was a breeze and afterwards, we had the best shrimp tacos we have found in Mexico!...Which is saying a lot, as we have had our fair share of shrimp tacos.
At the marina, there were quite a few boats there that we have met along our journey, so it was fun to catch up with everyone. We were invited to a Slow Food dinner, with 7 other boats, which was a nice experience. This is where we tried roasted grasshopper for the first time. I can say grasshopper won't be on our next shopping list, but at least we gave them a try.
By far our favorite activity that we experienced in Huatulco was a cooking class. It was just me, Doug, and a chef. We learned to make two different types of Mole, along with tortillas. The chef, Alfredo, was born and raised in Huatulco. He had a ton of fascinating stories and lots of local history to share. He learned to cook at a young age and has started three different restaurants in the Huatulco area.
Mole is the national dish of Mexico, and the state of Oaxaca is famous for it. The black mole relies on 30 different ingredients including chiles, chocolate, cloves, cinnamon, and cumin. Surprisingly, bread and roasted plantains are used as a thickener. It took about 4 hours to make, and it was well worth, every second. We chopped, boiled, roasted, fried, and blended numerous ingredients, while a beef shank and chicken breast cooked slowly in a broth. The yellow mole only needed a quarter of the ingredients, but still it was just as good. The black mole was served with tender beef shank while the yellow mole was served with the chicken breast. We also now know how to make amazing tortillas and tostadas by hand, and the best part, Alfredo shared all of his recipes with us.
We have purchased some of the same cookware we used, to replicate the full cooking process on our boat. We promise anyone who comes for a visit, a full culinary experience!
Another great experience we had was a Mezcal and Agave Farm Tour. We learned about the history, different types of plants, and the complete process of making Mezcal. Jesus and Sophia, the owners of the farm, even put us to work. We were tasked to dig up baby agave plants, which had sprouted from the bigger plants, and transfer them to their own space.
After the educational tour, they provided us with some homemade cooking from their outdoor kitchen, and for the finale, we got to sample multiple Mezcals. There is an art to tasting mezcal. In doing so, you dab some into the palm of your hand, rub your hands together and breath in. Next you take a small sip (or a kiss) making sure not to breath in or out, in order to really enjoy the true flavors.
Other land based activities we enjoyed while in Huatulco were a dance class where we learned multiple Latin dances, we visited a dentist for a teeth cleaning, found a bike shop to service our bikes (replacing all the spokes and truing the wheels)…and speaking of bikes, we found some nice rides, and biked all over town taking in the sites. I can't imagine life without our bikes on Karuna.
To round out our time in Huatulco, we shared many laughs with our friends on Animal Cracker. Scott and Tami have similar schedules as us, so I'm sure we will have multiple adventures to come.
Next up, we wait for a weather window to cross the famous Bahia de Teuanapec and make plans for the hot hurricane season.