I landed on Saturday and have been breathless ever since. After two nights and days in Oaxaca City, visiting friends, shopping, sightseeing, and walking up and down hills, we have now settled into the pueblo of Teotitlan del Valle. Here it is fresh, calm, peaceful, a rural village a mere 30 minutes outside the city and a different world, a quieter pace. Stephen and I decided to have breakfast at La Tierra Antigua, the restaurant operated by Cari Santiago Bautista and her husband Pedro Montano Lorenzo. We hopped on a tuk-tuk (moto taxi) and landed in paradise where their stainless steel, commercially equipped kitchen is the foundation for preparing delicious local foods. We ordered more than we could possibly consume for the full-taste experience and Stephen asked for “para llevar” — to go.
Cari’s vegetarian omelet uses two eggs (fresh from her own hens), stuffed with quesillo (Oaxaca string cheese), salsa fresca (tomatoes, peppers, onions) plus sauteed onions, served with a side of nopales (cooked cactus) — very high in vitamin C, and refried beans. Stephen had his with chilequiles (dried tortillas soaked in black bean sauce).
Behind Cari and Pedro’s home is a large tract of land that they will plant with corn, squash and beans — the traditional Zapotec milpas. The nutrients from the roots of each plant give just the right mix of fertilization needed for an outstanding crop.
This is planting season. The earth is rich and fertile. The farmers are in their fields, oxen yoked with ancient wood to plow the fields into deep furrows. Along wooden rod extends from the yoke to make the furrows. One can smell the history, the steamy loamy earth. In the distance, a curl of cloud embraces a mountain peak.
Everything that Cari serves is organic, include the incredible whole bean coffee she grinds that comes from Hidalgo. We had three cups and were definitely ready for the day. Breakfast lingered and the multi-course meal plus conversation took about three hours — a luxury where we live, part of life here. One reason that we love it so much in Oaxaca!
Restaurant Tierra Antigua, Av. Juarez #175, Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca. Tel (951) 166-6160, email: firstname.lastname@example.org