In Mérida, discover the plant food culture of the Maya

What's most striking about Yucatan is how connected the everyday person is to where their food comes from. The pride they have in their cooking traditions, the casual ease with which they detail family recipes, the widespread knowledge of growing seasons and indigenous plants.

Erin Gomez Danielson, Merida Lead
pink dragonfruit with golden tips
Pitahaya, native to Yucatán

Fall/Winter Class Series - reserve your space now!

Cook Plant Foods of the Yucatán Every Day!

3-class series on consecutive Tuesdays.
Sessions begin: Oct 8 / Nov 5 / Dec 3 / Jan 7

Celebrate regional fruits, vegetable and herbs of Yucatán, by learning how to integrate them into your daily diet.

Under Erin’s guidance, explore new ingredients and prepare them in different ways. Rather than relying on recipes, this class will focus on techniques, gaining confidence in experimentation and –of course– enjoying the delicious ‘fruits’ of your labor! 

Women learn how to use tortilla press at a cooking class in Merida, Yucatan

Single classes as space permits

EACH CLASS 3.5-4 Hrs

More workshops and tours

Mérida Community

Erin Gómez Danielson

Mérida Lead

Erin Gómez Danielson

I was born and raised in the foodie Mecca of the San Francisco Bay Area, California, and am a certified Natural Chef with ten years experience in professional kitchens. What I most love about living here in Merida is how integral food is to the culture and how willing locals are to share it with everyone who visits.

My Merida-born and bred husband and I moved back to his home city in 2014 and we now have two young children. I’ve spent the last four years learning about Merida, Yucatán and Mexico from everyone I meet here; be it what food to bring to a party, how to properly fry masa for panuchos, or how to drink your cerveza like a local.

I’m honored to collaborate with Frutas y Verduras Mexico in creating a tour that brings the proud plant food heritage of this region to a wider audience.

Susi Noh Un

Teacher: Corn to Comal

Susi Noh Un

Susi is from the community of Sacalaca, Quintana Roo. She grew up harvesting food from their traditional milpa farm: corn, chiles, squash, greens and fruits.

In Susi’s own words, translated by Erin:

My life has always been with the Mayan culture of the pueblo. Making homemade, natural food, because we don’t use things with a lot of preservatives. We prepare everything “al instante,” above all, the tortillas, the daily meal. I learned from my grandparents, from my father. This culture is so worthy of being remembered, and I love the traditions so much. So I will continue to work and share with people who don’t know what it is, la cultura maya. Making food from scratch is beautiful and I remember what my mother said to me, “if you make tamales, make them well.” And I will teach my children the same.

We are honored to have Susi as a collaborator. Her warmth and wit require no translation.

Travelling solo, as a larger group, or on a research mission?
We welcome your requests

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Our Instagram Updates

#fyvmerida

Íbes Bean Blondie with Cacao Chips and Chicozapote Compote from today's class in Cooking with Yucatan Plant Foods
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Vegan, full of protein from local beans and ground squash seeds, and vitamins and betacarotene from pureed calabasita, this blondie is moist, flavorful and delicious. With flecks of unsweetened chocolate casera and a lime and cinnamon spiked chicozapote mock compote (no cooking involved), this hyper-local, healthy dessert will knock your socks off .
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Stay tuned for the recipe and you can make these yourself! My recipe was inspired by phoebelapine White Bean and Pumpkin Blondies, with tweaks to make the most of our local produce
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Check out what else we made today in my story for the next 24 hours. Join a class to have your socks knocked off by Yucatecan plant foods! Visit www.fyvmexico.com/merida for the deets!
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#cookingclass #cookinglocal #cookingwithplants #cookingforhealth #vegandessert #veganfoodie #learnbydoing #learnbyeating #plantbasedfoods #plantbasedcooking #creativecooking #eatmostlyplants #eatmoreplants #ibes #beandessert #calabasita #chicozapote #zapote #feedmephoebe #merida #yucatan #yucatanmexico #meridamexico #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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Plant based Sopa de Lima with Albóndigas
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Sopa de Lima is traditionally made with turkey or chicken, served shredded in its own broth, seasoned with fragrant lima. The broth is rich, the fat from the poultry giving it a pleasant depth .
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My first attempt at making a meatless lima broth fell flat. The strong flavor of the lima had no richness balancing it out and the broth was watery and thin. I missed that element of depth and subtle fattiness of the chicken broth
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Enter the humble squash seed, major healthy fat source for the ancient Maya. Adding pepita gruesa to my broth, along with mirepoix, 🍅, 🌽, and 🌶️, gave the broth the richness that was lacking
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The albóndigas are a mixture of white beans, grated chayote, amaranth, plantain and habanero molido. Finely diced calabasa local, onion and carrot, and white rice round out this filling and healthy plant based version of Sopa de Lima
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#yum #lima #plantbased #eatmoreplants #eatmostlyplants #eatinglocal #eatingsimply #cookinglocal #chefsathome #cookingforhealth #veganfoodie #travelfoodie #notjustforvegans #cookingclasses #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #yucalife #yucatecanfood #yucatan #yucatanmexico #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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Pesto de chaya y pepita en proceso
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Chaya leaves grow on a hardy, drought resistant shrub-like tree. It is native to the Americas and grows easily and abundantly here in Yucatan. It is high in protein, calcium, iron and vitamin A; in fact it is two to three times more nutrient dense than any other land based green. .
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Chaya also contains a toxin which necessitates cooking the leaves or mixing them with an acid to inactivate it. Traditionally, chaya is added to scrambled eggs or corn masa used for tamales or tortillas, or consumed as a beverage with lime, orange or pineapple juice. .
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One can however safely eat up to 6 raw leaves a day. That's why I love to make this chaya pesto with toasted squash seeds and garlic. When added to pasta, sauteed vegetables or avocado toast, for example, the raw chaya is dispersed, it's unique earthy flavor makes a little go a long way. .
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#chaya #treespinach #nutrients #vitamins #pesto #prehispanicfoods #cookinglocal #healthyfood #conciouseating #veganfoodie #notjustforvegans #eatmostlyplants #eatmoreplants #plantbasedfoods #plantbasedtravel #cookingclass #mealprep #miseenplace #chefsathome #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #yucalife #yucatan #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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Eggs Benedict on a homemade English muffin, with mushrooms, local avocado, poached egg and chayote "hollandaise" sauce; side of home-fried calabasita
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Last week we made puree of chayote soup in our Cooking Plant Foods of Yucatan class, then turned some of it into a garlicky Serrano-spiked dipping sauce for chaya wraps. This morning I warmed that sauce in a double boiler and poured it over poached eggs. Is there nothing that chayote can't do?! .
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I can't wait for this Tuesday's class starring calabasita, zapote negro and more!
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#eggsbenedict #chayote #calabasas #calabaza #calabasitas #eatinglocal #creativecooking #cookingclass #cookinglocal #plantbasedfoods #eatmostlyplants #eatmoreplants #plantbasedhollandaise #learnbydoing #learnbyeating #conciouseating #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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Assembling chaya rolls in class today
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Blanched chaya filled with "pepino kat picadillo," carrot and jicama julienne and sliced radish, served with a chayote-serrano green sauce for dipping
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Come join the fun at Casa Misterio next week at class 2 of 3 in the series Cooking with Yucatan Plant Foods Everyday. 10-2ish Tuesday November 12. Link in bio!
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#chaya #pepinokat #jicama #jicamalocal #cookingclass #plantbased #plantbasedcooking #eatmostlyplants #eatmoreplants #eatinglocal #learnbydoing #veganfoodie #notjustforvegans #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #yucalife #yucatan #fyvmerida #fyvmex
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Chicozapote "apple pie" smoothie sweetened with dates, seasoned with cinnamon and lime zest, with oats and pepita molida for the "crust." Serve over ice!
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Spots open for this Tuesday's class, November 12, having fun with chicozapote, yuca, calabaza local, íbes and ciruela criolla. Join us for good food and learning!
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Link in bio or visit www.fyvmexico.com/merida for details
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#chicozapote #zapote #frutastropicales #tropicalfruit #smoothie #cookingclass #cookinglocal #cookingwithplants #plantbasedfoods #plantbased #eatmostlyplants #eatmoreplants #learnbydoing #learnbyeating #veganfoodie #naturallyvegan #notjustforvegans #conciouseating #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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Getting ready for a fun class today working with plant foods of Yucatan! .
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Clockwise from the top: yuca, ciruela criolla, chicozapote, calabaza local and íbes beans fresh and dried. .
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Another fun class next week with 5 different local ingredients and then the whole 3 class series again starting December 3 and January 7. You will be thinking of yuca, calabaza and more as your new dinner go-to's in no time! .
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#cookingclass #cookinglocal #eatinglocal #learnbydoing #learnbyeating #conciouseating #yucatecanfood #plantbasedfoods #plantbasedtravel #eatmostlyplants #eatmoreplants #veganfoodie #culturalexchange #culturalenrichment #yuca #calabaza #ciruela #zapote #ibes #frijolnuevo #merida #yucatan #fyvmerida #fyvmex
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Buenos días licuado de zapote negro! .
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Good morning zapote negro smoothie! .
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Perfect for breakfast, this chocolatey mezcla de zapote, plátano, mandarina, avena y cacao provides healthy doses of vitamins A and C, dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, antioxidants and protein, plus carbohydrates and healthy fats for lasting energy. Salud! .
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#zapotenegro #licuado #smoothie #sapodilla #breakfast #poolside #desayuno #desayunosaludable #healthybreakfast #healthyfood #plantbased #plantsofyucatan #chefsathome #eatingsimply #eatinglocal #eatlocal #eatmoreplants #eatmostlyplants #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #yucatan #yucalife #yucatanmexico #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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Two of our Corn to Comal students making an agua de lima muy sabrosa. They did a great job! .
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Lima is a citrus hybrid only found in Southern Mexico. It is a bit sweeter than a green lime, with unique floral and herbaceous notes, reminiscent of bergamot orange. It is the signature ingredient in the region's famous Sopa de Lima where it is added to the broth whole with chicken or turkey, onion and cilantro
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If you are in Yucatan or can get your hands on some lima, make this agua by squeezing them by hand to extract the flavorful oils from the skin. Add sugar or other sweetener and fresh water to taste and chill before serving. Es bien refrescante y muy yucateco!
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Check out more scenes from today's class in my stories! Corn to Comal Class available Thursdays and by special request. Link in bio for details!
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#comidadelpueblo #comidatradicional #traditionalfood #comidaprehispanica #comidayucateca #maya #heritagefood #cookingclass #cookinglocal #lima #citricos #citrus #aguarefrescante #teamwork #learnbydoing #naturallyvegan #notjustforvegans #veganfoodie #travelfoodie #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #yucatan #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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Booking is open for the November series of Cooking with Plant Foods of Yucatan! Starts Tuesday November 5.
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Each class in the series of 3 includes 4+ hours of instruction and exploration of 4-5 local, often native, plant foods of Yucatan, like mamey, yuca, chaya and more! That's 12+ hours of instruction and at least 12 new-to-you plant foods over the series! .
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I focus on using unfamiliar foods in familiar ways to get you comfortable cooking with what's fresh and local on the regular. If you're just passing through, this is a great way to learn about the bounty of produce that grows in Yucatan in a casual, accessible way. .
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If you book the whole series, you also get a free download of ebook Frutas y Verduras: A Fresh Food Lovers Guide to Mexico and a trip to the local market designed to make shopping for plant foods fruitful and fun. .
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Follow the link in my bio for more details and to book. Single classes open for booking the Friday before the first class. .
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#eatlocal #eatinglocal #eatingsimply #cookinglocal #cookingclass #cookingwithplants #cookingforhealth #eatmostlyplants #eatlocalgrown #eatmoreplants #naturallyvegan #notjustforvegans #plantbased #plantbasedtravel #plantsofyucatan #travelfoodie #veganfoodie #expatlife #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #yucatan #yucatecanfood #yucatanmexico #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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