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

Pitahaya season brings a splash of color to the market, nay everywhere you look in Yucatan. This fruit of a flowering cactus, native to Mexico, is a favorite of many a local, consumed out of hand or smashed with lime and sugar to make an agua fresca. The season lasts roughly from May to October, so as it begins to wane, I am making sure to enjoy its unique sweetness and texture for as long as I can.
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Pitahaya, known as Dragon Fruit in many parts of the world, is now grown in plenty in Asian countries like Vietnam and Thailand, but was being enjoyed in The Americas long before the Europeans arrived. The name Pitahaya is from the Taíno language, spoken at the time of first contact in what the Spanish named Hispaniola (present-day Haiti and Dominican Republic). It means "scaly fruit," presumably for the pink scale-like skin that turn yellow at the tips as the fruit ripens. The inside of this variety is pristine white with small, black, edible seeds that pop in the mouth. Pitahaya has been a bit of joy in these difficult times.
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#tropicalfruit #tropicalvibes #pitahaya #dragonfruit #eatplants #eatmostlyplants #coronavirusmexico #wearamask #socialdistancing #sanadistancia #staysafe #meridaencasa #market #marketday #funwithfruit #prehispanic #indigenousfood #eatlocal #eatlocalgrown #supportlocal #supportlocals #yucatecanfood #yucatecanflavors #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #yucatan #yucatanmexico #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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Under the Influence of Yucatan Plant Based #zoomcookingclass is back! Join me and fyvmexico this Friday 11 September at 5:30 Pacific/ 8:30 Central for our Hora Feliz (Happy Hour!) exploring Yucatecan flavors you can cook at home and celebrating my adopted city of Merida. You can cook along or bring a beer and just hang out. Keep reading to see what I will be making!
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Tomato + Cilantro + Toasted Squash Seeds. Sikil Pak couldn't be more simple or more delicious. This protein rich dip has its origins with the pre-hispanic Maya for whom Farm to Table, or desde la Milpa a la Mesa, was a way of life. Tomatoes and squash were two of the very first domesticated crops in the Americas, and squash seeds, or pepita, continue to be a staple in the Yucatecan diet to this day. The simple, earthy flavors of this dip will win you over, I'm sure of it.
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This Friday evening, I will be showing you how to make Sikil Pak, as well as Chiltomate, a charred tomato and chile salsa, plus fresh tortilla chips and fancy veg for dipping. We will also make a few beverages that lend themselves well to being made boozy. Check the link in my bio to read more and register for the Zoom call. Connect with fellow travelers and get a taste of Yucatan without leaving your kitchen!
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#cookalong #cookingclass #cookingathome #plantbasedfoods #plantbased #plantbasedchef #milpa #milpatomesa #happyhour #zoomhappyhour #zoomtravel #virtualtravel #learnbydoing #learnbyeating #sikilpak #pepita #homemade #casero #fromscratch #veganfoodie #travelfoodie #merida #meridayucatan #yucatecanflavors #yucatecanfood #yucatan #yucatanmexico #fyvmerida #fyvmex
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This picture was taken in November 2019, after plating the dessert course with my Cooking Plant Foods of Yucatan students. I think my joy is apparent. Joy in teaching. Joy in sharing my adopted home with visitors. Joy in connection with others. Joy in welcoming strangers into my home and saying farewell as friends.
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I feel grief for the loss of this joy, for the life that was finally starting to feel like mine, after 6 years on foreign soil. The day this picture was taken feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago. I am grateful for my health, my home, my friends and family, of course. But we all lost something. And we all are figuring how to navigate our new reality.
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So I found a way to chase that joy, and in doing so am making connections I never would have made had my path remained uninterrupted. Instead of teaching cooking classes in my home in my corner of the world, I'm teaching people in their homes, in France, Bulgaria, Mexico City, Toronto, Oakland. It's not the same, but it is joy, and I'll take that.
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#quarantinethoughts #quarantinelife #cookingclass #cheflife #newlife #newreality #plantbasedchef #plantbasedfoods #plantbasedfoodie
#yucatecanflavors #onlinecookingclasses #virtualclassroom #virtualtravel #zoomcookingclass #zoomtravel #womencooking #womanownedbusiness #selfemployed #selflove #selfawareness #eatplants #eatmostlyplants #cookingathome #cookingwithplants #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #yucatan #yucatanmexico #fyvmerida
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Cook along with me and fyvmexico this Sunday 16 August for our latest plant-based #zoomcookingclass 🍅🌶️🥒🥔🍊🍋
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I will be making Tortitas de Papa y Calabacita (Potato and Summer Squash Fritters) with Papaya X'nipek (Yucatecan Pico de Gallo) and a delightful salad of local greens, herbs and flowers (some foraged, like the purslane that volunteers in my garden and maybe yours too) with a Papaya Citronette. If papaya doesn't grow where you live, stone fruits like peaches, apricots and plums make a great substitute!
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Class begins at 11 Central time. Follow the link in bio to see the shopping list and register for the Zoom call to celebrate the fresh produce of late summer in a Yucatecan inspired way!
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#tortitas #fritters #potato #squash #papaya #purslane #verdolagas #foragedfood #backyardphotography #cookingwithplants #cookingathome #cookalong #cookingclass #zoomcookingclass #eatmostlyplants #vegetarianfood #healthyfood #madefromscratch #madefromplants #yucatecanflavors #yucatecanfood #plantbasedfoodie #plantbasedchef #summerveggies #virtualclassroom #learnbydoing #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #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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Join a PLANT-BASED SUNDAY BRUNCH Cook Along! Details below 🌶️🥑🥭🍍🍊🌽🥬🍅
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Sometimes in #zoomcookingclass, we make fancy snacks, always using the same ingredients we are already working with for our main dish, to eat as we cook.
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For this Sunday's dish, Tamal en Acelgas (a tamal wrapped in Chard), we will confit tomato and garlic cloves for a sauce, and also use those slow cooked tasty umami morsels to make a dressing for cucumbers, mint and pepita.
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This class was originally scheduled for last Sunday, August 2. If you were hoping to attend, you get another chance! Link is in bio to register for this class on Sunday, August 9. I hope to see you there for a taste of Yucatan in your own kitchen.
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#cookingclass #virtualclassroom #virtualtravel #virtuallearning #learnbydoing #onlinecookingclasses #womencooking #plantbasedfoods #plantbasedchef #plantbasedfoodie #veganfoodie #veganfood #healthyfood #eatmostlyplants #eatplants #eatlocal #tamales #cucumber #multipurpose #cookingtricks #yucatecanflavors #fancysnacks #fromscratch #foodfromscratch #merida #meridayucatan #yucatan #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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We made some pretty technicolored Salbutes in our Brunch Cook-Along today! Fried masa+ Espelon Hummus+ Carrot Escabeche+ Pickled Red Beets+ Tomato & Avocado equals a delicious plant-based take on a Yucatecan classic. Bright pink pickled onion and habanero optional.
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You too can join in on these culinary love letters to Yucatan and learn how to take inspiration from its unique food and culture in your own cooking with your own local plant foods. Every Sunday @ 11 Central Time. Registration for each week starts the Tuesday before. Check out what we have lined up by following the Link in my Bio. Pay what you can, 20% of donations go to communities in need in Mexico. Cocina conmigo!
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#cookingclass #cookinglocal #zoomcooking #cookalong #virtualclassroom #virtualtravel #plantbasedfoods #plantfood #plantbasedcooking #plantbasedchef #eatmostlyplants #eatlocalplants #eatmoreplants #travelfoodie #foodietravel #yucatecanfood #yucatecanflavors #learnbydoing #learnbyeating #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #yucatan #yucatanmexico #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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Just ogling my ingredients for tomorrow's Cook Along. Clockwise from top left: Saramuyo, Chile Habanero, Íbes Verdes, Aguacate, Chile Xcatic, Calabasa Local, Chile Dulce, Pepita Menuda, and long skinny Cebollina across the middle. The bounty of this region is a thing of beauty. You can experience it with me every Sunday morning. Link in bio!
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#cookingclass #cookinglocal #cookingwithplants #cookalong #virtualtravel #virtualclassroom #zoomcooking #sundaymorningvibes #sundaybrunch #eatmostlyplants #eatlocalplants #eatmoreplants #plantbasedfoods #plantbasedchef #plantsofinstagram #yucatecanfood #yucatecanflavors #chilesyucatecos #veganfoodie #veganfood #travelfoodie #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #yucatanmexico #yucatan #fyvmerida
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Missing travel and connection and learning about food in a place not your own? You CAN have a bit of those things and contribute much-needed support to communities in Yucatan who have been deeply affected by recent flooding, while social distancing protocols persist. Keep reading to find out how!
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This Sunday, June 14 (12 noon Central, 10 Pacific) join me and fyvmexico for a Zoom class making a version of Polcanes, my favorite vegan Yucatecan snack, using ingredients you can find where you live! This was the first recipe my friend Susi Noh Un generously taught me, and one which we were able to share with many others over the last going on 2 years in our Corn to Comal class. I'm honored to be able to share it in a new way, and support my local community doing it
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Comment or send me a DM if you would like to join in and cook along (or just hang out). You will learn, you will eat, you will have fun! I hope to see you! .
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#cookinglocal #cookingclass #cookingwithplants #eatlocal #eatlocalplants #eatmostlyplants #eatmoreplants #plantbasedfoods #plantbasedchef #plantbasedfoodie #yucatecanflavors #yucatecanfood #polcanes #quarantinecooking #virtualclassroom #covid19support #tropicalstormcristobal #merida #meridayucatan #meridamexico #yucatan #yucatanmexico #fyvmex #fyvmerida
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