4.5 star rating: Recommended 9 Reviews

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  • Location: Merida, Mexico
  • Duration:  5 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
Get a true taste of Yucatecan cuisine and meet the local people of Merida as you shop at the market for fresh ingredients and prepare several tasty dishes. Your half-day culinary tour includes a cooking class at the home of a local host with the assistance of your knowledgeable guide. Learn about various culinary traditions of Mexico and enjoy the light lunch you’ve prepared! Numbers are limited to 12 people, ensuring an intimate experience with a small group of like-minded food lovers.

Highlights

  • Half-day market tour and cooking class in Merida
  • Select locally grown food at one of the bustling Merida markets
  • Prepare Yucatecan specialties at the home of a local host
  • Discover Mexican cuisine and its culinary heritage
  • Enjoy local dishes with newfound friends
  • Small-group tour limited to 12 ensures a more personalized experience

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Merida Market Tour and Cooking Class

Visit the local market in Merida

After you meet your guide and small group at a central location, drive by air-conditioned minivan to one of Merida’s markets less frequented by tourists. As you walk around the bustling outdoor market, your guide will explain about the origins and uses of some of the fruits and vegetables – many produced in the Yucatan region.

With help from your bilingual guide, converse with local vendors as you choose seasonal produce and other ingredients in preparation for your cooking class. Take in the aromas and colors of the beautiful chilies and unfamiliar tropical fruits, and learn about such delights as achiote, chile habanero and pepita de calabaza (pumpkin seed).

Next, drive to the personal home of your local host to cook and sample some Yucatecan specialties, such as salbutes (Mayan tacos), panuchos (black bean-filled tostadas), papadzules (enchiladas topped with pumpkin seed sauce) and codzitos (stuffed and fried tortillas). Under the guidance of your host, you'll have help every step of the way and learn to prepare delicious beverages like horchata (sweetened rice drink) or hibiscus flower tea.

As you prepare your meal, you’ll be introduced to a few Spanish and Mayan words, and learn more about the cuisine of the Yucatan, which includes some of the most varied dishes of Mexico. Your host and guide will describe local culinary traditions, the influence of other cultures on the cuisine, and explain some of the differences between the Yucatecos and people from other parts of Mexico.

Finally, taste the delicious plates you prepared and enjoy a light lunch as you chat more with your small group and host. Afterward, your guide will help you hire a taxi for the return to central Merida (an approximate USD $5 ride).

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

If you're curious about this class, my recommendation is to go ahead and sign up right away. This was the perfect way to experience Merida and classic Yucatan living. Our guide, Ricardo, was friendly and fun, and had excellent skills for teaching both local history and culture. The market was perfect - colorful, friendly and bustling. The host, Senora Bertha, welcomed us into her home as if we were old friends, and shared her kitchen and dining room with warmth and smiles. And while this was not a formal cooking exhibition style class, it certainly taught how to choose and use local ingredients in the local manner. I was fortunate to be staying in a private home in Merida, and 2 days after the class I made dinner for a small group of hungry people, using my new skill. And it turned out delicious and everyone was happy! So I feel very pleased with the whole experience and add my praise to others already written. Relax, enjoy and participate in the Yucatan through the world of food.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

Overall a delightful day. Our family group of 8 had a tour of all the main sections of the sprawling market, with ample opportunities to ask questions and learn about the vegetables, fruits and spices that give Yucatan cuisine its unique character. The guides from "urban adventures-Merida" - Ricardo and Alberto -- were knowledgeable and enthusiastic and helped fill in gaps in our knowledge about history, politics, culture and cuisine of Yucatan.
What stood out was the experience of all of us being sous chefs with the maestra, Doña Berta, whose calm and good humor, and lightning quick hands helped us all learn how to prepare the foods. With a promise of a later e-mail with all the recipes, we were encouraged to be fully engaged in the experience, not with note-taking.
The final delight was everyone at the host house sitting down to share the meal together in the patio outside the kitchen.

(One slight caveat - be clear when you sign up about transportation to and from the host home, which can be at some distance from the center of Merida. The guides at first proposed the public bus (which may be fine for some) but we needed to go by car and luckily had them handy. )

Again - overall a thoroughly enjoyable immersion in Yucatecan culture and cuisine! Highly recommended.

From USD $ 51.99

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Tour code: 5207MIDCOOK

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