Tag - Mexico

Customer Reviews

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The whole experience at Hacienda Petac was totally satisfying. I recommend it highly. It’s an absolutely gorgeous place. The villa itself has been restored impeccably, the rooms are elegant and luxurious, and the grounds are spectacular. Filled with lush tropical foliage. The cooking classes were fun, the food was good, the service impeccable.

I was there for a week long “culinary adventure” put together by Epitourean.com. These adventures are perfect for a woman traveling alone. Everyone is very friendly and helpful, you make lots of new friends and never feel left out or awkward because you’re not traveling with a partner.

All in all, a great experience, and I intend to do more of these. – Mickey

Abruzzo Amore 

My daugabruzzo2hter and I took the Abruzzo area tour a few weeks ago and I must say, this was one of the best vacations I have ever been on!

We met some wonderful people, the tours were fantastic, the chef was great. From the Bell factory to the wine tasting at the winery, to the wonderful cheese factory…..I cannot say how much this all was enjoyed.

Never lacked for fantastic food, wine or friendships, I am ready to take another Epitourean trip!!!! – Barb

 

Santa Fe Raves

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Just wanted to let you know that Stephanie and I has a FANTASTIC time in Santa Fe! We were given a huge condo at Ft. Marcy with our own bedrooms and baths. Such a nice surprise and bonus!

The Foodie Tour was awesome and much more than we expected! Delicious foods and a fun friendly guide!!!

Our dinner was FABULOUS!!!! Wow! We enjoyed the beautiful ambience, excellent service and of course, the gourmet food!

We can’t rave enough about our Epitourean experience. Thank you! – Diann & Stephanie

Pipian Verde con Bistec en Relleno (Stuffed Beef Rolls) Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Señora Estela Salas Silva, of Casa Carmelita in Tlaxcala, Mexico.

In the last 25 years, Estela Salas Silva and her husband, Jon, have hosted and taught cooking classes to hundreds of culinary adventurers. To celebrate this exciting milestone, we’ve put together an anniversary package that includes favorite recipes–of guests and the hosts themselves–from the last 25 years. To give you a taste, here is a traditional Pueblan dish called Pipian Verde con Bistec en Relleno.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds thinly sliced beef
  • 6 pieces each raw bacon and ham, sliced into strips
  • 4 potatoes, cut french fry style
  • 2 dozen string beans, cut in half diagonally
  • 6 carrots, cut lengthwise french fry style
  • Pipian Verde Sauce (ingredients below)

PIPIAN VERDE SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bunch lettuce leaves
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh (or 2 tablespoons dry) epazote
  • 2 small fresh serrano chilies  (stems removed)
  • 4 – 5 big tomatillos
  • 2-3 radish leaves
  • 5 sprigs of cilantro
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1/4 cup green pumpkin seeds, roasted
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds, roasted
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2  teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water

1. Lay beef flat and place strips of ham, bacon, potato and vegetables in the center.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Save any leftover stuffing ingredients and add to

sauce in step 9 below.

2. Roll tightly into cigar shapes and secure in the middle with a toothpick.

3. Fry sesame seeds in hot dry pan until lightly brown and begin to pop and remove.

4. Fry pumpkin seeds in hot dry pan until they begin to pop and remove.

5. Puree sesame and pumpkin seeds in blender with cumin, garlic and ½ cup water.

6. Heat olive oil, stirring, add blended ingredients from above, salt to taste and sauté for 5 minutes.

7. Puree the first nine ingredients with 1 cup water for 2 minutes. Stirring slowly in one direction

only, add to above seed puree (rapid stirring or back and forth will have a tendency to cause the

sauce to separate).

8. Add the chicken stock and stir again in one direction only for 5 minutes.

9. Place rolled meat into sauce with leftover stuffing from above (step 1) and simmer lively for

about ½ hour or until the vegetables inside are soft.

10. Enjoy!

**The sauce for this dish can be made ahead and frozen for up to 6 months.  To do this, prepare sauce as above adding a little more tomatillos but DO NOT add any chicken stock.  When you want to make dish, cook meat as above, defrost sauce, heat, add chicken stock, meat and cook for 20 minutes.

Ready to learn more of Chef Estela’s delicious culinary secrets? Click here to learn more about our Taste of Puebla 25th Anniversary Culinary Holiday. Availability is limited!

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Huevos de Camote Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Señora Estela Salas Silva, of Casa Carmelita in Tlaxcala, Mexico.

Huevos de Camote  (Sweet Potato Dessert) is a traditional Pueblan recipe used in the Day of the Dead ofrenda (offering table). During the Día de los Muertos holiday, an ofrenda is created in the home to welcome back family members who have died. Offerings typically include sweets and favorite meals, tequila or other liquor, images of the deceased and of various saints, candles, marigolds and more.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes or 1 large purple camote
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Ground cinnamon
  • ½  to 1 shot rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon orange rind
  • 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1. Boil the sweet potatoes until soft. Then peel and mash them.

2. In a saucepan, put 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until slightly thickened.

3. Add the sweet potatoes, rum, vanilla and orange rind to the sugar syrup and keep stirring until thick and pasty and bottom of pan comes clean. Turn off the heat and keep stirring.

4. Place the mixture in another bowl to cool.

5. When the mixture has cooled, use your hands to form small egg shapes.

6. Roll the egg shapes in a mixture of nuts and cinnamon to coat them then roll in powdered sugar.

7. Wrap each individual egg in colorful tissue paper and twist the ends.

Ready to make this and other traditional Día de los Muertos recipes? Click here to check out our Day of the Dead Pueblan Culinary Holiday, currently 50%!

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Postcard From: Yucatán, Mexico

Read all about Mary’s culinary journey through Yucatán, Mexico:

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“Today is sadly my last day at the amazing Hacienda Petac in Mexico’s breathtaking Yucatan. It has been such an extraordinary experience! We helped to prepare delicious meals. Of course all of the produce and ingredients were so fresh and amazing, and we teamed up with the hotel chefs and staff to cook up a storm. Everything is so colorful and pretty. We’ve also been visiting many of Mexico’s stunning sights. One of the highlights was Merida’s market, which was lively and bustling and we also saw some of of the area’s Mayan archeological ruins. Rope hammocks are strung everywhere at the Hacienda Petac, which we took advantage of when we went to simply chill out and nap. We are also making good use of the hotel’s open air spa, which looks out over lush green gardens and is such a beautiful experience to be a part of while you’re having a massage. Tonight we bid farewell with the music of the Trova Trio on the hotel’s terrace under the stars. We’ve gotten to know that, here in paradise, romance is everywhere and we will certainly return.” 

-Mary from Colombus, Ohio

Jealous of Mary? Check out this 2 for 1 deal on our Culinary Adventure through the Heart of the Yucatán!

Insider Tips to an Amazing Edible Adventure

Planning an edible adventure? We asked some of our most seasoned travelers for insider tips about how to best live in the moment and then bring that moment home…

1. Pack lightly! You can always buy cheap flips flops and shampoo when you get there. Leave room to bring home culinary souvenirs.

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2. Alert your travel companions of your daily activity plans. If you want to go biking on the Parenzana Trail in Croatia, or plop down in the blue caves in the Rio Secreto in the Yucatán, let them know beforehand so they can join… or at least know where you are.

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3. Pack snacks–if you’re hiking or exploring a new village, load up on local treats for the trip. That way, you can maximize your time without having to stop every two hours and pay for overpriced coffees and nibbles.

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4. Keep a diary. No doubt, your friends will forever ask you what you did and where you ate. Write it down. If not for yourself, for the sake of paying it forward to future travelers.

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5. Take pictures! So obvious, we know, but your family and friends on Facebook want to know about your big life. Side note, your diary will come in handy a year from now when you finally get to the business of making a photo book of your trip and can’t make heads or tales of your photos…stockvault-gold-hill1153106. Write. A letter or postcard from a journey is an unexpected and precious gift in today’s society. Spice up your friends’ and family’s junk mail piles with a thoughtful, handwritten post from your adventure. Bonus: it also engages you deeper with your travel experience.

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7. Eat everything! Be adventurous. As we’ve discovered in all our years providing culinary travel, food is a truly special way to experience a culture. You’ve come all this way… open your mind and your mouth to all the tastes and treasures your destination holds.puglia-market8. Forget what you learned as a kid and talk to strangers. One of the dreamiest aspects of travel is meeting people with experience and perspective completely different from yours. This kind of social adventure strengthens character and makes for a very rich and new travel experience.

2013-02-20 15.19.109. Do your homework. No one expects you to take a foreign language class in preparation for your trip but brushing up on some common phrases and customs will go a long way. Engage locals by asking thoughtful questions or testing your pronunciation… we guarantee the gesture will be appreciated.2013-12-28 13.38.3910. Just go! Are you reading this blog because you’re dreaming of a trip but don’t feel the time is right? Like most things in life, there will never be a perfect time to travel and waiting for the right time to present itself can become a futile effort. Travel, especially an Edible Destinations adventure, is educational, energizing and, above all, fun, which is something we all deserve.

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Click here to explore all the culinary adventures we offer and begin planning your Edible Destination!

Epitourean’s Friday Five: Yucatán Peninsula

Epitourean’s weekly Friday Five turns its attention on all things Yucatán, a vibrant culinary region on Mexico’s beautiful Caribbean coast. Our first pick is the Hacienda Petec, a stunning Spanish colonial compound where we are thrilled to bring our travelers. The Hacienda, which is close to the the Yucatán capital of Mérida, is engulfed in lush, tropical trees and flowers, and offers amazing cooking classes and spa treatments.

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Mérida

Mérida‘s immense historical center is a veritable melting pot of Spanish, Mexican and regional Caribbean influences. This is evident in its varied architectural styles, and of course, its fabulous cuisine. The main produce market in the city is the place to discover the large variety of Yucatecan cuisine, also influenced by Middle Eastern, European and Caribbean culinary cultures to names a few.

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Rio Secreto

Epitourean loves the Rio Secreto for its amazing natural beauty, and because its an easy and fun day adventure to do with groups or solo. One of the world’s environmental wonders, you could spend the entire day here plashing around in the warm, blue water and taking in the cave’s awesome stalactites and stalagmites.

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Costamaya Beach

Xcalak is considered one of the last sections of beachfront Yucatán that is unspoiled by aggressive development. The white sand beaches are quiet, and the seas are as clear and blue and clean as anywhere in the Caribbean. Xcalak is also a popular spot for adventure sports, like snorkelling , scuba diving and fly fishing.

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Chichén Itzá

Over 1.2 million travellers from all over the world come to Mexico to visit the magnificent Mayan pyramids and ruins of Chichén Itzá. It’s one of the Yucatán region’s treasures, and best seen in the early morning or closer to closing time at sunset when the heat and sunshine are more bearable.

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Intrigued? Experience these wonders with someone you love using our TWO for ONE Yucatán promotion.

 

Yucatán Essentials

One of the greatest pleasures of travel is discovering new and delicious things to eat. Epitourean loves Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula for this simple reason, and we’ve drummed up a list of some of the essential dishes and drinks to try while here.

Pollo Pibil is a Yucatán staple of marinated chicken wrapped in a banana leaves and baked. The tangy marinade called achiote isn’t spicy, and is typically prepared with sour orange juice, cumin, garlic, peppercorns and salt. There is a pork version of this recipe too called conchinita pibil, which is equally delicious.

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Panuchos and Salbutes

Panuchos and Salbutes are essentially cooked tortillas topped with shredded chicken, onions and lettuce. The only difference between the two are that Panuchos are made with tortillas filled with refried beans. These are the best bar snacks and appetizers.

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Lime Soup

Aside from being inherently delicious, Lime Soup is said by locals to be the ultimate cure for hangovers and colds. This simple dish is prepared with very few ingredients: shredded chicken, broth, strips of fried tortillas, and lots and lots of lime juice.

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Papadzules

Papadzules are simply tortillas stuffed with chopped hard boiled eggs and then smothered in a pumpkin seed sauce. It’s not the lightest dish you can order in the Yucatán, but it is possibly one of the most comforting.

Frijol con Puerco is a typical Monday lunch of big chunks of pork cooked slowly with black beans and served with rice. Sometimes you see this dish garnished with thin radish slices, cilantro, or avocado, but this varies depending on the restaurant.

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Michelada

A michelada is a classic Yucatán drink, and widely consumed across most of Mexico. It’s really just a dressed up beer, seasoned with lime, salt, pepper, Maggi seasoning, Tabasco sauce, and Worchestershire sauce. It’s a great drink for those who like salt, and another fail proof cure for hangovers in Mexico.

To celebrate Mexico’s rich and beautiful Yucatán, Epitourean is offering a week long promotion on some of the amazing culinary experiences the we offer throughout the region.