Pueblan Cuisine in Charming Tlaxcala
Cooking with Señora Estela Salas Silva
This is your opportunity to discover dishes far beyond what is normally thought of as Mexican Food. Here you’ll find a mixture of indigenous, French and Spanish kitchens with a strong “Middle Eastern” influence due to the Moorish rule of Spain for 500 years. The wonderful part is that you don’t have to be an advanced cook to learn this type of cooking. Classes are based on the ability of each person and make the techniques quite simple to learn. Your Puebla culinary vacation is located in Tlaxcala, a well hidden gem that is off the usual tourist routes and takes you back to Mexico as it was years ago; magnificent colonial buildings, cobblestone streets, wrought-iron bandstand sidewalk cafés for a cappuccino, people watching and of course shopping.
Casa Carmelita - House Room - For One (Dbl Occ)
Casa Carmelita is located on farmland about 5 miles outside of the city of Tlaxcala on a beautiful Mexican high plateau. A double room with private bath and fireplace; a two-room Suite (the Stone Suite); and a private cottage called “La Casita” are available as part of the first class, comfortable accommodations at this traditional Mexican home, with an ample kitchen perfectly configured for culinary instruction. Unlike an impersonal resort or hotel, Casa Carmelita’s hosts are always available to respond to individual needs and take every precaution to ensure your comfort.
Complimentary Airport Transfers from Mexico City
From your arrival at the airport, you are in our hands and well cared for. Once our private driver has met you, your vacation begins, and you are here to relax, unwind, and enjoy yourself while you learn Mexican Home Cooking. From Mexico City Airport your 1.5-hour drive will be via a modern 4-lane expressway over pine-covered mountains. Be sure to look out to the right as you go over the mountains for a view of the two local volcanoes. Watch for a close-up view of snow-covered Popocatepetl Volcano, and occasional visible smoke. Your package also includes a return to Mexico City airport via the Luxury Airport Shuttle, which departs every half-hour from Puebla non-stop to your airline at the airport.
Welcome Dinner with Magical Margaritas!
Upon arrival at Casa Carmelita, you will be enjoying a fun and festive welcome, with a cocktail and the chance to meet and greet with both fellow vacationers and your hosts. You will have your choice of soft drinks, beer, wine or the classic Mexican drink: Margaritas. Time to enjoy a classic “Pueblan” dinner prepared by Doña Estela which will set the tone for the type of cuisine you will learn to create in your hands-on cooking classes during your week in Mexico. You will discover secrets passed down through generations that create the unique flavors of this delightful region.
Meals, Drinks, Cooking Classes and Market Excursions!
Your tour to Tlaxcala is very comprehensive. Your meals, drinks (including wine, cocktails and soft drinks), four cooking classes , a market excursion and a history tour are included in your package. Enjoy a delicious breakfast each morning, then roll up your sleeves to work side-by-side with your host and culinary instructor as you prepare some of the most delicious meals found in all of Mexico.
Hands-On Traditional Pueblan Cooking Courses
Enjoy fully bilingual culinary courses that span from the Pre-Hispanic era to the present day using family recipes from the kitchen of Chef Doña Eulogia Silva Castillo. Doña Castillo passed her traditional Mexican recipes on to her granddaughter Señora Estela Salas Silva, who will be sharing them with you. During your stay you will discover the richness of this region’s cuisine through your participation in four, multi-course cooking classes. All classes are fully hands-on and last approximately three hours each. Each lesson recounts the region’s history, concluding with a scrumptious multi-course meal. Aside from traditional dishes such as Almond Chicken, you will also learn recipes unique to Doña Castillo’s family such as Chipotles in Conserva, Mole Poblano, Chiles en Nogada, along with many lesser-known exotic dishes.
Cultural History Tour of Old Tlaxcala
The tour of Tlaxcala’s historic center will begin at the former parade grounds at the very center of the city. While on this tour, you will walk through almost 500 years of history from the Holy Cross Fountain, a gift from Spanish King Felipe IV in 1646, to the former Royal Guest house in the Parish Church of Saint Joseph which was built in 1526. Other important landmarks that you’ll visit on this tour include the former Chapel for Indigenous People which was located in Tlaxcala back in 1528 and the Royal Guest House of the Indigenous Government which was built back in 1551 to house distinguished visitors.
Guided Produce and Spice Market Excursion
Pueblan cuisine is a mixture of four different cuisines: Indigenous, Spanish, Persian and French. One way to get acquainted with the ingredients of the traditional dishes you have been preparing in the hands-on cooking classes is by visiting the market in Tlaxcala. This market is a typical Mexican market. At the market in Tlaxcala, you will find the most common ingredients for the endless varieties of today’s Mexican cuisine. Tomatoes, onion, cinnamon, tortillas and all varieties of chiles can be found here. Chiles anchos, passillas, mulattos and chipotles as well as pumpkin seeds, raisins, cloves, sesame seeds, almonds, tomatillos, oil, and garlic will all be at your disposal.
Free Day Optional Activities (priced separately, and not included in the base price of this tour)
Below are some of our suggestions for optional excursions so you can make the most of your time in this enchanting land. Let us arrange transportation for you to visit Cacaxtla, an important archeological site where well-preserved murals dating back to the Mayans await you. You can also visit La Corona Talavera factory to learn the process of making beautiful ceramic jars, pots, vases and platters, as well as other pieces. For a more active excursion, you can hike Tlaxcala’s highest peak, the dormant volcano La Malintzin. The three hour, moderate hike to the summit results in breathtaking views, so bring your camera! If you’re looking for a guided excursion, try the Haciendas of Tlaxcala tour, where you’ll gain access to two haciendas typically closed to the public and a gorgeous church in the city of Tlaxcala. If relaxation is what you need, feel free to stay in the comfort of Casa Carmelita, and order in one of many spa services available. We’re happy to work with you to provide these and other optional activities, based on availability.
What Our Customers Say
Casa Carmelita is a lovely place built with care by Jon, the owner, who is married to Estela, our cooking instructor. The rooms are spacious, beds comfortable, plumbing excellent, and the classes fun and informative. The price is great for this inclusive vacation and Jon and Estela went out of their way to provide us with everything to make it a great experience. We had a delicious breakfast prepared for us every morning on a covered veranda dripping with flowers, then we cooked our own lunch and dinner. Afternoons were spent visiting local sites - ancient volcanos, pyramids, the charming town of Tlaxcala with its amazing market and restful zocalo - and we gathered in the evening for wine or margaritas and the delicious dinner Estela had taught us to prepare. Jon arranged taxis for our excursions and we felt safe and never worried that we'd be taken advantage of in any way.
The people in Tlaxcala were friendly; there were few gringos there and those who spoke English wanted to practice with us. Visitors should keep in mind that Puebla is 7,500 ft. in altitude and takes a bit of getting used to. Also, we brought home some wonderful cooking souvenirs. We had two rather large clay cazuelas (cooking pots) that could not be brought on the plane as carry-on luggage, so our suitcases had to be re-packed.
We highly recommend Casa Carmelita.
Doug Hopkins & Marika Handakas
My wife and I returned last week from Tlaxcala. We really enjoyed Jon and Estela's cooking school. The rooms are really beautiful, comfortable and spacious. We learned to make some wonderful dishes at the classes, and enjoyed Jon and Estela tremendously. They were very hospitable, and Jon is really good at what he does, running the classes and coordinating the excursions. He is so on top of everything - and so calm and smooth. We were without a want, and had some awesome excursions. We also felt very safe everywhere we went. We wanted to thank you once again for your help in making the trip a reality. It was great to see this side of Mexico and experience some of the markets with Jon and Estela.
Steve and Alice,