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School doesn’t have to be out for Los Cabos visitors wanting to pick up a few pointers on creating such popular and distinctively Mexican foods as tamales, guacamole and Caesar salad — reportedly first created at a northern Mexico hotel — before those tourists head home.
Flora Farms — found near the town of San Jose del Cabo — has cooking classes of three to four hours that teach visitors how to make items commonly associated with Mexican cuisine under the watchful eye and cheerful demeanour of Mexican women skilled in preparing their homeland’s cuisine.
Classes of up to 17 students sporting navy blue Flora Farms aprons learn how to prepare the likes of chicken or vegetarian tamales — a popular food throughout Mexico — with the classes even instructing students on how to properly tie the corn husks around their tamales before they’re cooked.
Water used in the classes is purified.
Flora Farms — found in a greenish area that’s located in a part of the world known for desert landscapes — cautions students that they’ll be on their feet for long periods of time during the outdoor classes, with overhead umbrellas shielding them from the sun. It works to accommodate those with mobility issues.
Students will end up eating their own creations.
Nichole Johnson — one of a number of bilingual instructors who give the classes — says staff hope that those who take the classes won’t simply head to a Mexican restaurant when wanting Mexican food after they return home.
“We try to make it as thorough as possible and then you can go home and practice these dishes,” she says.
Class participants will be given recipes of different Mexican dishes after their classes end.
Flora Farms — which started with nine acres and now has 35 and has a second nearby 150-acre farm — began operation over a decade ago, founded by owners wanting an “organic and sustainable” farm. That philosophy is reflected in its refusal to use pesticides in its gardens, instead growing rosemary — which reportedly helps keep bugs at bay — and flowers that attract birds which also feed on unwelcome insects.
Cooking classes for locals began in 2008, and were later made available for tourists.
A restaurant is found on site, as is a bakery offering the likes of vegan cookies, a pizzeria, a brewery, vegetable gardens, a locale for buying ice cream, a mango grove, and plum trees and Flora Farms is also used as a wedding venue.
Meanwhile, Mexico City native Monica Garcia, who once worked in the Mexico Tourism Board’s Toronto office and now promotes Los Cabos in this country, says there’s a growing number of visitors eager to take the types of cooking classes Flora Farms offers.
“People are actually very interested in knowing how to cook different dishes from different countries,” says Garcia, who has visited Flora Farms.
Garcia praises the “very authentic” food Flora Farms students will create, and adds there’s another reason to visit the attraction.
“Coming here was delicious,” she states.
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