Travel Eats: Morelia en Boca | chicago foodie girl

5.08.2019

Travel Eats: Morelia en Boca


After my very first visit to Mexico back in 2017, I caught the travel bug for that beautiful country. As you may remember, the experience I had in Riviera Maya was absolutely amazing; however, it was limited in the sense that it was just a tiny taste of Mexican culture, as seen through a luxurious all-inclusive resort... but it was definitely enough to pique my interest. That first taste of Mexico set me down the path to a return trip in 2018 in which I ended up discovering my love for the gorgeous city of Morelia, a place that quickly earned a spot on my list of favorite cities in the world!

Located in the central part of the state of Michoacán in central Mexico, the capital city of Morelia is one of the oldest and most culturally rich areas in the country (as well as a designated UNESCO World Heritage site). Founded in 1541, the city was originally a result of Spanish invasion/colonialism, but it eventually grew into one of the most important centers of knowledge as the birthplace of the Mexican independence movement. These days, Morelia is renowned as a city of significant history, art, distinctive architecture... and just as importantly, amazing food! Thanks to the intermixing of northern and southern cuisines, the city is home to some of the most diverse food in all of Mexico. One of the best places to get a taste of everything from Michoacán’s traditional cuisine to the inventive flavors and techniques being used in modern Mexican cooking is the annual Morelia en Boca festival.



For those of you familiar with Chicago Gourmet, the concept of Morelia en Boca is similar: the festival brings together food and wine lovers for three days of samples, lectures, seminars, and cooking demos held in the Centro Cultural Clavijero (The House of Culture) in the heart of Morelia's historical center. The lovely part about MEB is that it not only celebrates the popular chefs and merchants that make up the modern culinary scene in Mexico, it also pays tribute to the customs surrounding traditional home cooks, street food, and markets, especially in terms of understanding how these practices traditions are an integral part of history, as well as daily life.






Through demonstrations of cooking methods and tastings (the best part!), attendees are able to experience both traditional foods consumed by many generations, as well as avant-garde cuisine from renowned chefs. As much as Ashley and I enjoyed all aspects of the festival, we especially loved meeting the array of traditional cooks who represent the different regions of the state and hearing their stories of the dishes that had been passed down from generation to generation.









Chef Daniel Aguilar of Chango (one of the best restaurants in Morelia!) helping us learn the traditional art of blue corn tortillas.


Along with plenty of food, MEB also includes a diverse and vast selection of wines, beers, and locally produced mezcals and tequila. I had always thought that I didn't like mezcal, but between a visit to the fantastic Tata Mezcaleria and many (many, many!) tastings at MEB, I realized it was that I just wasn't drinking the right mezcal, as they greatly differ depending on age, type of plant, and flavoring.










Morelia en Boca is really a special festival, as more than any others I've been to, it really strives to acknowledge and celebrate all aspects of the culinary arts. Whether you're looking for an extended vacation or just a quick weekend getaway for some really fantastic food, Morelia absolutely should be on your radar! This year's festival takes place May 17-19, so there is definitely still time to plan a visit (especially considering you can get relatively inexpensive direct flights from Chicago via Volaris).

Disclosure: I received a complimentary trip and services to facilitate this post. Review and all opinions are my own. 
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