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Abigail Mendoza keeps ancient Zapotec flavours alive. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Great Big Story.

This Chef Keeps the Zapotec Flavors of Ancient Mexico Alive (Video)


The Zapotecs, an indigenous community nestled in the vibrant region of Oaxaca, Mexico, carry with them a rich legacy of culture and tradition that predates Spanish colonization. Once a thriving epicenter of gastronomy, art, and customs, the Zapotecan civilization flourished with a unique blend of flavors, techniques, and ingredients. Today, amidst the currents of modernity, chef Abigail Mendoza stands as a devoted guardian of her ancestral heritage. With unwavering determination, she has embarked on a culinary odyssey to preserve the time-honored Zapotec traditions through the art of cooking. Abigail Mendoza's kitchen is a portal to the past, a place where the essence of pre-Hispanic culinary ingenuity is resurrected.

Each dish she meticulously crafts, from the complex pre-hispanic mole to the exquisite stuffed chiles laden with Oaxaca cheese and the soul-warming atole, is a testament to her dedication to these ancient techniques. Her culinary prowess has not gone unnoticed, as even the world's most esteemed chefs have acknowledged her remarkable talent. In her pursuit, Abigail Mendoza envisions a future where the vibrant tapestry of Zapotec cuisine continues to flourish. Through the crackling flames and tantalizing aromas of her kitchen, she breathes life into the legacy of her forebears, ensuring that their flavors, stories, and traditions remain an enduring part of Mexico's cultural mosaic.

Top image: Abigail Mendoza keeps ancient Zapotec flavours alive. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Great Big Story.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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