I highly recommend taking a class with Reyna - students will make and eat delicious food, while also gaining insight into Oaxacan/Zapotec cultures and traditions!
Reyna's cooking class was held in her hometown of Teotitlán del Valle, which is a Zapotec village about 30 minutes from downtown Oaxaca. She arranged for a taxi driver picked us up at 9:00 a.m., and he arrived right on time.
Once in Teotitlán, we started our day with a tour of the nearby mercado, which was unlike others I visited in Oaxaca. It was much smaller, but still had an amazing variety of produce and artesanias. Reyna guided us through the market and explained the uses of different herbs - such as those used in the sopa de guías, which uses almost every part of the squash plant - from the tender part of the vine to the the leaves and flowers and everything in between.
We bought bread, which she explained, is common to eat for breakfast with chocolate. Reyna also purchased the rest of the ingredients we needed for the afternoon meal and some chapulines, since some of the students hadn’t tasted them yet. The women at this mercado also maintained the tradition of carrying lovely baskets to purchase their daily provisions from the mercado.
It was such an interesting experience to cook in Reyna’s home - the setting was so different from any of the other classes. Her large kitchen was outdoors and included a mixture of both traditional and modern appliances. Among them were molcajetes, blenders, an ice cream maker, metates, and a modern gas stove, along with two clay comales that were heated with bamboo. We used the comales to roast ingredients for mole and for our salsa. Our menu included mole negro, rice with chepil, salsa de tomate, indias vestidas (stuffed squash blossoms), mango sorbet and everything was DELICIOUS!
Sidenote: Reyna's family also weaves beautiful rugs so take extra cash if you're interested in purchasing one because they're unique and very lovely.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.