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“Delicious food and a good time in a beautiful home” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Alma de mi Tierra Cooking School

Alma de mi Tierra Cooking School
Ranked #3 of 18 Food & Drink in Oaxaca
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Alma de Mi Tierra offers day cookery classes. Nora Valencia is a native of Oaxaca and passes on time honored recipes and techniques and some new ones of her own to her enthusiastic students.
San Salvador, El Salvador
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Delicious food and a good time in a beautiful home”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2014

I cook for a living, so naturally a trip to Mexico wouldn't be complete without at least a few days in Oaxaca. My husband and I took Nora's class hoping to gain greater insight into the preparation of such a storied cuisine and we weren't disappointed. The menu for the day was green mango ceviche, corn-poblano soup, mole rojo with shrimp, and mango mousse. I don't know that I'll make all the recipes again -- the mole had a long ingredient list and each ingredient had to be prepped in some way -- but I learned a number of techniques that will be very helpful to me, in particular how to make a chile-based sauce. Nora deftly handled a range of experience levels in the kitchen, fixed mistakes, and made good use of all of us. Absolutely recommended for anyone looking to learn a lot, both in a culinary and cultural sense, and eat the spoils!

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank JulianaQM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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135 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Santa Barbara, California
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Real Oaxacan cooking in a home kitchen !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2014

Nora Valencia is a talented and highly-knowledgeable cook who has been making traditional Oaxacan meals since childhood in her mother's kitchen. She is the real thing, and you get to cook in her home kitchen, which only adds to the charm.

Each lesson starts at the local mercado where it is evident that everyone knows her from way back. She gives fascinating lessons on the local produce, including kinds of chilis and what is indigenous and what was introduced by Spain or other countries. Generally, Nora chooses to buy from the ladies sitting outside because they own small farms and their produce is freshest, since they only bring in what was available that morning. Then the three of us cooking students took the short walk to Nora's home in the nearby neighborhood.

Once cooking, Nora was clear and organized, and her enthusiasm was infectious. By the time we had finished about three hours later, I think we were surprised at our accomplishments because Nora made it so fun and easy. Before sitting down to eat, she provided us a delicious cup of aged mezcal with orange slice and traditional chili spice, a great aperitif. We then sat down in her colorful dining room to line agua fresca, stuffed squash blossoms, hierba santa consome, rice, mole amarillo, and mango pudding for dessert. We left with written instructions to try it at home !

Don't miss this cooking class when you are in Oaxaca !

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank CarolinaCAC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“The Best Experience in Oaxaca!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 3, 2014 via mobile

Nora's home was the perfect setting for a most exquisite educational & eating experience, the absolute best. We were positively enchanted!

From the visit to Mercado Merced to the learning of techniques & ingredients, to a wealth of historical and cultural information, Nora is a fabulous teacher. Her education, experience, and humor were all just wonderful!

Unconditional kudos to Alma de mi Tierra.

Helpful?
Thank XeriKow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hollywood, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fun and Delicious”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2014

Six of us siblings and in-laws took Nora's cooking class during our week in Oaxaca. We all loved it. The day started with a trip to a local market, an experience in itself. Then off to Nora's clean, beautiful home, colorfully and tastefully decorated. Nora had us all working on the food preparation, impressing us with her knowledge, skill and variety of ingredients. I can't believe I ate a flower (stuffed squash blossom...I actually had two because they were so delicious). The experience was loads of fun, the traditional Oaxacan menu delicious and the experience a highlight of our trip.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mimi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Acton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
77 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“A great experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2014

Taking this class with Nora was just too much fun. Our class had almost ten people in it, each with a different cooking experience level, but Nora was able to keep everyone moving and learning together. Everyone got to participate, even though some of the more basic prep work had been done that morning or by one of her assistants. The market tour was actually educational, not just an oohing and aahing waste of a morning. Nora actually taught us a bit of Oaxacan history via her discussion of its agriculture and cuisine. I got the impression too that she really enjoyed leading the class and wasn't just speaking from a memorized script. She really listened to our questions and gave thoughtful answers.
Once in her beautiful kitchen, she kept everyone entertained and active as we prepared our delicious meal (hierbasanta consomme, salsa borracha, guacamole, marinated fish empanadas, chicken mole [not black mole, but a much more flavorful red mole], and mango mousse.) The meal was delicious and everyone got a printed copy of each recipe to take home, complete with equivalent ingredients of recipe components that might be hard to find in the US.
I would definitely take a class again!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank CarnivoreOnTheRun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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