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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John Doe
Designer

Our Instagram Updates

#fyvmerida

Final class in the January series of Cooking with Yucatan Plant Foods Everyday tomorrow and the produce is looking vibrant and fresher than fresh. We will be whipping up sweet and savory dishes with Plátano Macho, Zapote Negro, Camote, Tomate Verde and Espelón
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Do you want in? February brings Mamey, Mango, and more seasonal goodness. If you are interested in joining a series in February, please let me know. If there is interest, I'll make a February series happen. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until fall/winter 2020 or join one of my Market to Mesa one-day classes
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#cookingwithplants #cookinglocal #cookingclass #tomateverde #platanomacho #zapotenegro #camote #espelon #frijolnuevo #plantbased #plantbasedfoods #eatmostlyplants #eatmoreplants #eatlocalplants #eatlocal #conciouseating #creativecooking #veganfoodie #notjustforvegans #travelfoodie #plantbasedfoodie #merida #meridayucatan #yucatan #yucatanmexico #meridamexico #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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Today was the action-packed 3rd class of our November session of Cooking with Yucatan Plant Foods Everyday. We chopped, sliced, boiled, sauteed, sieved, stuffed, mashed, seasoned, blended and of course, tasted our 5 spotlighted ingredients: Tomate Verde, Plátano Macho, Makal, Zapote Negro and Camote
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The dish pictured above used 3 of our ingredients to make Canoas de Plátano Macho stuffed with Makal Estilo Picadillo, topped with a Raw Tomato Verde Sauce. Baked plátano macho "canoes" can be stuffed and topped with pretty much anything, making this filling dish a quick and easy way to get more fresh and local produce into your diet
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Learn how to make the most of what's fresh and locally available in Yucatan! Next sessions beginning December 3 and January 7. Book online or get more details at www.fyvmexico.com/merida
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#cookingclass #cookinglocal #cookingwithplants #eatmoreplants #eatmostlyplants #plantbasedfoods #plantbasedfoodie #veganfoodie #notjustforvegans #eatinglocal #eatingsimply #platanomacho #plantain #makal #tomateverde #tomatillo #learnbyeating #learnbydoing #getinspired #conciouseating #yucatecanfood #plantsofyucatan #merida #meridayucatan #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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Spotted at Mercado Lucas de Gálvez today, Fresh Hibiscus flowers (Flor de Jamaica) have a short season in Yucatan - about a month starting in late November. .
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Local culinarians turn the tender, tart flowers into marmalade or sometimes fry them and mix with tomatoes and onions for a botana. Unlike their dried cousins, the fresh flowers are sold whole, with all the parts intact, from calyx to ovule to stamen. The syrup made from the petals boiled with sugar is otherworldly. .
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If you are in Merida, get yourself to Centro and keep your eyes peeled for these for the next month. Even if you just steep them to use for a simple agua de jamaica, you are in for a treat! .
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#flordejamaica #hibiscus #roselle #hibiscussabdariffa #edibleflowers #seasonal #eatwiththeseasons #eatlocalgrown #eatlocal #buylocal #getinspired #mercado #freshingredients #plantfoods #plantbasedfoods #plantbasedfoodie #learnbyeating #merida #meridayucatan #yucatan #mexico #meridamexico #fyvmerida #fyvmex
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Green Gazpacho
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Tomate verde, chile dulce y chile Serrano, pepino blanco, cilantro, pepita, plátano macho, lime
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Garnished with avocado, radish, cilantro and...can anyone guess what is in the center?
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Ok ok, I'll tell you! It's the fried peel of the plantain I blended into the soup. Feels so good to waste less (and it tastes good too)! .
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Our Cooking with Yucatan Plant Foods class this coming Tuesday highlights Tomate Verde (also known as tomatillo), Makal, Plátano Macho, Camote, and Zapote Negro. Exciting stuff! .
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#cookingclass #cookinglocal #cookingwithplants #creativecooking #learnbydoing #learnbyeating #plantbasedfoods #plantbased #veganfoodie #plantbasedfoodie #yucatecanfood #tomateverde #tomatillo #gazpacho #platanomacho #nowaste #eatmostlyplants #eatmoreplants #notjustforvegans #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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If you have been wondering what I might look like after biting into my first-ever raw habanero, well wonder no more!
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Yesterday, persuaded by the intrepid Cecil Hemingway (pictured), we both sampled a local favorite: Pozol Simple con Habanero y Sal. Pozol is a porridge-like beverage made of nixtamalized corn (hominy) and water, sometimes mixed with sugar and fresh coconut or cacao. Pozol Simple is unsweetened and best enjoyed with a bite of crispy fresh habanero dipped in salt. The Pozol tastes deeply of corn and its creamy texture pairs perfectly with the spice and salt of the chile
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It's not clear from my face in this picture, but after recovering from the first bite, I went back for more and actually loved it! I finally experienced the capsaicin-feuled adrenaline rush and oxytocin burst that chile lovers crave. It was so energizing! Huge shout out to Cecil for helping me overcome my fear of the habanero, because I was seriously missing out! .
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Tasting Pozol is one of my favorite stops on my fyvmexico Plant Food Lovers Market Tour. Spicy or sweet, it's not to be missed. Come join the fun! .
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#habanero #spicy #chile #chilepicante #conqueringfears #adrenaline #oxytocin #culturalenrichment #markets #markettour #comidatradicional #comidadelamilpa #plantbasedfoods #plantbasedtravel #plantbasedtraditions #maiz #nixtamal #pozol #eatinglocal #eatlikealocal #estiloyucateco #eatmoreplants #merida #meridayucatan #yucatan #meridamexico #fyvmerida #fyvmex #visitmerida
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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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Mamey-Tamarindo breakfast bar with oat and amaranth flour, banana and pepita. That's it! .
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The mamey and banana are so sweet, it doesn't need any added sweetener, making it great for breakfast. The tamarind adds a welcome tartness, which gives the mamey a rhubarb-like quality. .
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I'm gearing up for sessions of Cooking with Yucatan Plant Foods Everyday, creating simple recipes like this one to pass on to lovers of eating plant based and local. Stay tuned for the fall/winter schedule, tba soon. See you in Merida! .
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#cookinglocal #cookingclass #cookingwithplants #creativecooking #plantbased #mostlyplants #eatmoreplants #travelfoodie #foodietravel #mamey #mameysapote #tamarindo #oats #amaranth #amaranto #banana #platano #platanomaduro #pepita #merida #meridacentro #meridayucatan #meridamexico #yucatan #fyvmerida #fyvmex
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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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Another fantastic class with Susi of Manos en la Masa, making albóndigas de pepita, which one student declared were "just as satisfying as meatballs!" It's really amazing watching the untoasted pepita chica transform through light heating, grinding and kneading, into a filling and savory plant-based albóndiga that tastes perfect with the achiote broth, chaya and milpa vegetables. Add the tortillas we all worked hard to make and it was a meal to remember, for sure! Join us Thursdays at Casa Misterio for this feel-good fyvmexico experience for Plant Food Lovers! .
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#cookingclass #masterclass #learnbydoing #plantbased #plantbasedfood #eatmoreplants #naturallyvegan #heritagefoods #maya #eatlocal #eatlocalgrown #supportlocal #supportlocals #travelfoodie #vegantravel #conciousconsumer #conciousconsumption #funwithplants #funwithhistory #merida #meridamexico #meridayucatan #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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