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

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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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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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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MAMEY - one fruit, endless possibilities. Ever wonder what the heck to do with this leathery-skinned, orange-fleshed tropical fruit? Well, I'll give you 3 ideas, but there are so many more!
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Today we transformed this perfectly sweet mamey zapote into:
1. a creamy licuado with orange juice, oat milk and pepita molida
2. an homage to 1000 island dressing with a crispy slaw
3. a no-bake mamey mousse tart with date and pepita crust .
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Intrigued? The last class in this series (and last until October 2020) has just 2 spots left. We will explore the many culinary possibilities of chayote, chaya, espelón, caimito and pepino kat. 100% plant based, creative home cooking with local ingredients. Follow the link in my bio or contact me to join us next week! .
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#cookinglocal #cookingclass #creativecooking #cookingforhealth #plantbasedfoods #plantbasedchef #plantbasedfoodie #cheflife #plantfoods #eatlocal #supportlocal #plantbased #eatmostlyplants #eatmoreplants #veganfoodie #veganfood #travelfoodie #locavore #yucatecanflavors #yucatecanfood #cookingwithplants #mamey #tropicalfruits #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #yucatan #yucatanmexico #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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Last night I catered a vegan, gluten-free 70th birthday dinner at a gorgeous beach house near Progreso. This is the cake I made: with Zapote Negro, banana, handmade unsweetened cacao, sunflower seed flour, coconut milk, dates. Papaya filling
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Wholesome and mega-delicious. Does it get better than that?
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#plantbasedfoods #plantbased #plantbasedfoodie #veganfoodie #vegancake #glutenfree #glutenfreecake #glutenfreecatering #vegancatering #birthdaycake #cake #cakesofinstagram #catering #cheflife #plantbasedchef #zapotenegro #papaya #cacao #sunflowerseeds #yucatecanflavors #yucatan #progreso #progresoyucatan #yucatanmexico #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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55 4

Another visit to Don Fernando and his best-in-show Pozol con Coco
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Spending time in this tucked away corner of the market is like joining a secret club where people welcome you and teach you Mayan while you sit on a wooden stool stirring and sipping and enjoying this age-old beverage along with everyone else
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#culturalenrichment #culturalexchange #twoworlds #secretclub #clubpozol #market #markettour #mercado #maiz #nixtamalizado #naturallyvegan #veganfoodie #vegantravel #plantbasedtraditions #plantbasedfoods #eatinglocal #estiloyucateco #eatmoreplants #plantfoodlovers #openairmarket #merida #meridayucatan #yucatecanfood #yucalife #yucatan #meridamexico #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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46 7

Nothing to see here, just a chocolatey Zapote Negro semifreddo (a semi-frozen dessert of Italian origin usually made with eggs and cream and which resembles frozen custard)
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After the somewhat tedious task of removing the thin skin of the Zapote Negro and pressing the flesh through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds, the rest of this recipe is easy peasy. It tastes like a rich dark chocolate sorbet with a hint of Grand Marnier. .
For 1 sumptuous serving:
*1/4 cup strained Zapote Negro pulp
*2-4 TB coconut milk
*1 tsp zest of sour orange (or a sweet one)
*2-4 TB sour or sweet orange juice
*2 TB sweetened to taste ground cacao (chocolate casera) or your favorite cocoa powder .
**Whisk ingredients together and transfer mixture to a short, flat bottomed container to freeze. The more spread out the mixture the better as it will speed up the freezing time and minimize ice crystals
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**Freeze completely. To serve, remove from freezer and wait 5-10 minutes, until you can easily scrape against the surface with a fork. Scrape until you have broken it up entirely into flakes, with some bigger pieces. Transfer to serving dish, dress with juice from a wedge of sour or sweet orange and enjoy ice cold
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#cookingwithplants #funwithfruits #tropicalfruit #plantbasedfoods #plantbased #veganfoodie #vegandessert #notjustforvegans #cookingclass #getinspired #learnbydoing #learnbyeating #zapotenegro #chocolate #cacao #naranjaagria #coco #coconut #frozentreats #eatmostlyplants #eatwiththeseasons #eatlocalgrown #cookingforhealth #merida #yucatan #yucatanmexico #meridamexico #meridayucatan #fyvmerida #fyvmex
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