By Alfonso C. Rocha Robles
Director, Slow Food México
This first dinner of the Slow Food Huatulco Ecogastronomy community was held on September 15, 2021, at Café Juanita in the Tangolunda section of Bahías de Huatulco. Special guests invited to this dinner were Sra. Minerva Ortiz and her daughters Nancy and María. Local food producers in Bajos de Coyula, they produce and market a variety of products from their community. For this event, they brought a Mexican green called chepil (often used in tamales), camarones (shrimp), tincuiche (tiny fresh-water fish), mirasol chilis, pumpkin flowers, and nanche (or nance, cherry-sized yellow fruit).
The fishermen and food producers supported by the dinner came from the coast, the isthmus, and the Sierra Sur. Jane Bauer, community spokesperson for the Slow Food Huatulco community, opened the doors to chef Alfonso Rocha, international counselor for Slow Food México and Central America, who is here to promote the Slow Food movement in Bahías de Huatulco. During the dinner Jane commented to Rocha, “We are very proud to be part of the Slow Food movement to promote local products and producers, which is crucial to maintaining diversity in our food systems.”
Also served at the dinner were “slow” beverages that are integrated into the Slow Food network in Mexico, such as the slow beer made with blue corn from Michoacán by the brewery La Brü in Morelia, or pulque (a fermented agave drink) from Zacatlán de las Manzanas, integrated into the Oaxaca Mixteca Agave Slow Food Presidium in the Mexican Highlands.
Besides Sra. Ortiz and her family, local fishermen and food producers from La Crucecita provided ingredients for the dinner. In the days leading up to the event, Chef Alfonso dedicated himself to establishing links in the town that will strengthen the Slow Food network in the Bahías de Huatulco region. Alfonso commented during the dinner, “There is great potential to promote traditional foods of the region among local residents and businesses of Bahías de Huatulco because of the great milpa and sea biodiversity linked to local communities.”
The menu for this dinner consisted of four courses, made with more than 20 local foods, including quelites (Mexican greens), vegetables, cheeses, fish and fruits from the region. The menu included the following special slow food dishes:
- Tacos of tincuiches with milpa salad and fresh cheese from the Isthmus region.
- “Drunk” Ceviche made with Zacatlán pulque and pipicha (a Oaxacan herb with a spicy citrus/cilantro flavor) served on a red corn toast from the Mandimbo community (located on the Copalita River a couple of hours north of the town of Copalita).
- Handmade chepil fettucine with ranch egg, creamy pumpkin flower sauce and morita chili with sautéed squid.
- Chiapas double cream cheese cheescake with blue corn pinole (ground toasted heirloom blue corn mixed with spices) and a cocoa toast crust from the Mandimbo community.