Home Restaurants & Food The Flavors of Mexico; Zapotec Cuisine

The Flavors of Mexico; Zapotec Cuisine

by Brent May

Abigail Mendoza, the famous cook of the zapotec.

She is going to receive you with a smile, like it or not. She and her sisters serve at Tlamanalli, a small zapotec restaurant- kitchen in Teotitlán del Valle, 35 km of Oaxaca. Her kitchen is gorgeous, a powerhouse of images that encapsulate the reading of which represents the cuisine of Mexico. Colourful, neat, simple and at the same time with a powerful meaning, but with unknown flavors for who just arrives to Oaxaca. When they do not cook, they make rugs and always preserve family. They´re humble and always happy people, laughing all the time which holds them together. 

Abigail Mendoza and her sisters, but mainly her, has traveled more than you and me; to Europe, the United States and Asia. Always representing Mexico with their large bright and colourful  dresses and her long hair braided and re braided. It has become a representation of a banner for Mexicans and traditions of autochthonous cuisine and values. Anthony Bourdain included it as part of the scenery of the episode about the Mexican cuisine. 

She began cooking at age 12. She is the third of 10 brothers and sisters, and the eldest of the women. Her father motivated her to open the restaurant to make it the only site which offers authentic zapotec cuisine “With recipes that are passed from generation to generation,” she says. Abigail presumed that in Oaxaca there are 7 types of mole, and her dishes require a point of preparation at the moment. “Yes, because the flavor is unique, this is a cuisine with a lot of preparation and if it is eaten after a certain period of time there are flavors that get bitter and the mole does not taste the same.” She quoted. 

The food of the zapotec is defined in moles and yellow tamales. The mole amarillo and the segueza soup or chepiles soup are typical of Teotitlan. Abigail opens the restaurant only from 1 to 5 and when you arrive, you will see one of her sisters on her knees grinding corn with the metate. You better have enough time, because the preparation takes longer than usual and they warn you. So there is no another more than to drink  agua de chilacayota or mezcal and enjoy a Mexico that you don’t know yet through the unique flavors of the zapotec cuisine. 

Restaurant Tamalli
Address: Avenida Juarez 39, Center, 70420 Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca.


Written by Sabores de Mexico y el Mundo 

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