Open Air Cooking in the Campo: Tamales

Juana and her family dedicate themselves to cultivating a mixture of corns, beans, and squash, known locally as “la milpa”.  Their property is close enough to Oaxaca´s city center to make it an easy venture, although you´ll enjoy a whole different scene than you´ll experience in the city´s colonial streets.  On their property, there´s an abundance of air, fruit-bearing trees, a few dogs, a whole lot of chickens, and a rowdy turkey who likes to make his presence known.

We will make FOUR types of delicious tamales: the quintessential black bean tamal, the “chepil” tamal (a locally-grown herb with a distinct flavor quite typical in certain Oaxacan cuisine), the tamal de rajas, cooked with strips of just-the-right-amount-of-spice pepper, and the pumpkin flower and “quesillo” (Oaxacan string cheese) tamal.  

What to Expect

Step One: Write to us and request this experience, telling us how many people are in your small group and what your dates of availability are.

Step Two: Once we’ve found a date that works for our hosts and for your group, we will send you a Paypal request for a deposit for your experience or an invitation to sign up using our website calendar. (Feel free to check our calendar for the experiences we currently have confirmed!) *

*Your experience will be open to additional folks to join unless your group is composed of 6+ people or you reserve a private experience at an additional cost.

You can see our refund policy here.

Step Three: We will meet you at Tlayudona, located inside the Plaza San Cristóbal in street M. Bravo 210 local C, Centro. 

Experience Includes

  • A tour of Doña Juana´s property, during which she will explain the importance of the “milpa” (corn/beans/squash planting) and show the stages of the milpa´s growth, depending on the season.
  • Personalized instruction regarding how to make four locally-renowned types of tamales.
  • A break for fresh “agua de sabor”.
  • The opportunity to cook your tamales over an open stove in great company.
  • A delicious lunch that will leave you licking your fingers.
  • A chance to escape the urbanity of Oaxaca and experience village life.
  • Four (one of each flavor) of your handmade tamales to take home.
  • The opportunity to buy extra tamales (if you´re a local, you know they freeze well).

Logistics and Cost

Time Involvement – 4-5 Hours, Typically 10am – 4pm

Transportation – Transportation is provided from your home, hotel or a central location to Juana´s home (and back).

Costs and Minimums – $1770 MXN pp.  Children are welcome to attend. 

Children are welcome to participate in this experience, although they are the responsibility of their accompanying adults. This experience involves cooking over and open flame, although the cooking area is secluded from the tamal-preparation and dining area. This host family has four children for your children to play with (so guests who do not appreciate children are encouraged to reserve an alternate experience).

Additional: Bathroom facilities are available, though rustic (outhouse style). If you´re picky in that respect, we suggest you go beforehand or check out one of our more centrally-located experiences in Oaxaca City.

Discount: 5 or more people 1,650 MXN 

There is a minimum of 3 people for this experience.

(*2 people can attend this experience by paying an additional fee of 700 MXN to cover costs)

If you are a single person and would like to schedule this experience, you are welcome to fill the two-person minimum or to contact us to put the experience on our calendar so that we can get a small group together.