Milpa Alta is Mexico City’s rural southernmost borough. It is best known for two things: acres of cactus fields and fresh homemade mole. Most families in the Milpa Alta town of San Pedro Atocpan earn their living making mole pastes and powder from scratch. This is one-of-a-kind tour that gives you an inside look at this unique and beautiful region and showcases the traditions of Mexican food!
This day tour is offered through Eat Mexico in conjunction with local tour guides, La Ruta de La Milpa. With a very early start, I was picked up at around 6.50am by Eat Mexico’s tour guide, Anais Martinez from my hotel. The tour ended at around 5.30pm. This is a new tour and not so well known yet. I was the only participant and I am so thankful that Eat Mexico and the local tour guides did not cancel this trip. I felt like a royal and was treated extremely well throughout the whole trip! This is the first tour I had been to that have more tour guides than the participant! How awesome is that! 😀
We started the day getting some light breakfast and coffee (a must!) in a very nice neighbourhood called Coyoacán (I will share more about this area in another post!). We then set off to Milpa Alta, which is around 90 mins drive from Mexico City.
San Pedro Atocpan Town Centre
This was our first stop where we met the head of the local tour guides, Jorge Córcega.
Cactus/Nopal for breakfast
Cactus is called Nopal in Mexico and at the plantation, Jorge explained more about Nopal. We then picked some Nopal at the field, cleaned, cooked and eat right at the spot – it does not get more farm-to-table than this! The Nopal was lightly fried and eaten with tortillas, freshly made salsa and some cheese. It was a really nice combination! This was my first time trying Nopal! The texture is very interesting and smell like Aloe Vera. The cheese cut through some of the heat from salsa and the texture from Nopal added a depth to the dish 🙂 YUM!
Homemade corn tortillas
After being fed with a very unique and fresh breakfast, we drove back to the area around Milpa Alta and learn how to make tortillas from a local corn expert. The tortillas tasted so good! I do not think I want to eat tortillas from the supermarket anymore. It was crispy at the edge and soft in the centre and most importantly, so fresh!
Visit to a local bees farm
This trip also included a short detour to a local bees farm where I met a local apiary and honey producers. I also got to put on a bee-keeping suit, went to the farm and spotted the queen bee (not Beyonce though :p just kidding). It is an interesting experience! I have been to a few bees farm but I have never physically stepped into the farm itself. It was rather scary standing in the midst of thousands of bees – I did not dare to move at all. Yes the bee-keeping suit will protect me but still I was so scared to even move!
Our last stop before lunch was to a mill that has been grinding mole pastes and powders from scratch for more than 50 years! Mole is like a thick curry but without coconut milk/cream and is used as a sauce in Mexican food. There are many different varieties to a mole. This particular gourmet mole goes really well with the chicken! The whole meal is delectable 🙂 Happy tummy!
The highlight of this tour was meeting and learning from the locals who live and work in Milpa Alta for a living. They are so passionate in what they do! Even though I did not understand Spanish (yes there’s English translation), I can feel the immense love for their country and traditions and how proud they are to be sharing it with the world! I am thankful for their hospitality and generosity. It is really inspiring meeting people who are so passionate in what they do…it’s almost sexy :p
I highly recommend this tour if you are visiting Mexico City! I got to learn so many things about Mexican food and its traditions and meet these wonderful people!
Have you been to Mexico? I’d love to hear your experiences! Leave your comments below. If you haven’t, I hope this post would encourage you to explore this beautiful country.
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Next will be about the hike I did in Nevado de Toluca, Mexico! Stay tuned!
Camera: Nikon D800 or iPhone7plus.
Lens for Nikon: Tamron 24-70mm F/2.8.
Post-processing: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC (photos) and Final Cut Pro (videos).
Music for the videos are licensed from Soundstripe.
All the videos above were taken using iPhone7plus. I used DJI Osmo Mobile to stabilize the iPhone especially for long hours of shooting. DJI Osmo Mobile definitely helps to reduce the shakiness of my hands, if I were to do it hand-held. This produces better video quality. I love using it! You should get one too if you like taking videos using your smart phone. Click on the image below to find out more about DJI Osmo Mobile.