Tag Archives: menu

Corn and Comida at the Casa del Campo, San Jeronimo Tlacochahuaya, Oaxaca

Angelica Guzman is a farmer entrepreneur.  Not only is she a great cook.  She works the fields to raise crops — garlic, squash, corn, beans — that feed minions. Plus, she houses Mexican students who come to a Tlacochahuaya bilingual university for teacher preparation.

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Tia Sofia with Angelica (r)

Tia Sofia with Angelica (r)

After our morning with her son Moises Garcia Guzman at the Tlacochahuaya church, we walk to the house in the fields where Angelica prepares comida (lunch) for us.  Moises reminds me that water is scarce.  It is summer, the rainy season. The milpas is planted, but there has been little rain.  In some fields, yellowing corn stalks, like flags, wave in the breeze.  Federal permits to dig a well are expensive. The government believes crops are thirstier than people.

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At Angelica’s Casa del Campo there is a well and the corn stalks are young summer green.  The cobs will mature for November harvest to feed people and animals.

Moises explains that the organic corn planted in this valley adapts to weather conditions. The grain may not be as big if there is not much rain, but there will still be a crop.  Not like genetically modified grain which depends on commercial fertilizer and large-scale sophisticated irrigation systems a la Monsanto which the valley farmers resist.

Comida is the biggest meal of the day, usually taken between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the afternoon.  Today, our menu is a traditional Oaxaca repast.

First, the horchata, adorned with walnuts, cubes of cantalope melon, and tuna (the red fruit of the nopal cactus).


Then, a botano (snack) of fresh off-the-comal corn tortillas that we fill with chapulines.  Click on chapulines to see what we are eating!

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Next comes the quesadillas al comal stuffed with squash blossoms and quesillo.

Quesdilla hands

If that wasn’t enough, Angelica brings us platters of grilled tasajo — thin-sliced, seasoned and grilled beef, and beef chorizo.

Beef Chorizo

And, then, the dish from the campo that all Oaxacans love — Sopa de Guias (gee-ahs).   Sopa de Guias, sometimes called squash vine soup, is a vegetable stew of squash, squash blossoms, the tender new green shoots of squash before it fruits, and the squash plant greens, with an ear of corn cooked in the broth.  It is delicious.


It was all I could do to waddle after giving thanks and saying goodbye late in the afternoon.  Eating and visiting in Oaxaca is an all-day affair. 

Dinner at Restaurant Tierra Antigua, Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca

Gorgeous! Plato Principal -- The Main Dish

Like a painting, I call it arte de comer.  Carina Santiago Bautista cooks from her heart.  For years, Cari prepared food and sold it daily at the village market for carry out.  Now, she has a brand-spanking-new kitchen in her new casita on Av. Juarez and operates the restaurant La Tierra Antigua.  I organize special dinners there for workshop participants so we can savor the flavors that come from Cari’s kitchen.  Usually, I pre-order a menu but the last time I asked Cari to use her judgment and create a menu that would express the ingredients available locally in season.  Frequently, I prefer to eat my meals there with a big soup spoon.  The bowl of the spoon is wide and deep enough to scoop up the thick, fragrant sauces that spill over the food and puddle on the plate.

Farm fresh steamed vegetables at Restaurante Tierra Antigua

Carina Santiago’s Early Spring Menu

  1. Salad/Ensalada:  a chopped mix of avocado, onion, tomato, cilantro, lime juice and salt.
  2. Soup/Sopa: spinach (espinace) flavored with oregano and cilantro
  3. Bread/Pan: slices of Oaxaca sourdough bread slathered with olive oil, butter, mustard and topped with ground pepper, then put under the broiler to brown and crisp
  4. Main Course/Plato Principal: pollo la plancha (chicken breast) sautéed with onions and green peppers, and accompanied by enchiladas with mole coloradito, steamed choyote squash and brown or white rice
  5. Postres/Dessert:  pan de queso–cheesecake with dark chocolate sauce

For the chicken breast, Cari pounds the breast to tenderize it, then marinates it in milk, pepper, oregano, garlic and salt for 6 hours before cooking it. Delicioso.

For the cheesecake, Cari uses Philadelphia cream cheese, light evaporated milk, eggs and no sugar.  I might mix the cream cheese with ricotta, local goat cheese or queso fresco for an earthier flavor.  Below, the cheesecake is adorned with fresh pear slices and banana, with a dollop of chocolate — on a hand-painted plate from Dolores Hidalgo.


The Cheese Cake -- Pan de Queso


Restaurante Tierra Antigua, Av. Juarez #175, Teotitlan del Valle, (951) 166 6160 or cell phone 044 (951) 199 7884.  Carina Santiago Bautista and her husband Pedro Montano Lorenzo.  To reserve, contact Cari at zapotecweavers@hotmail.com


Carina Santiago Bautista, talented cook