I spent a wonderful afternoon with Ricardo wandering through Merida's market after a brief overview of the Plaza Grande. He was indulgent with my Spanish and eager to point out unfamiliar fruits, vegetables, and spices. We took a collectivo to Doña Berta's home north of Merida (sharing a seat with someone's large spider man piñata) and made sopa de lima and an assortment of yucatecan antojitos like panuchos, salbutes, and papazdules. Ricardo also whipped up an assortment of flavored aguas frescas. It was delicious, and gave me the confidence to order from food stalls around town during the rest of my stay. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon and see a different side of Merida.
Ms. Alison S., Merida, 16 Apr 2015
Thank you so much for such a great authentic Mexican experience. Ricardo gave us an excellent overview of the Grand Plaza in Merida and then took us to the Mercado...a huge open-air marketplace. Seeing all of the booths over several blocks of food, clothing, hardware - you name it...well, it was a terrific adventure. Then we took a city bus (an experience in itself) to have our cooking lesson using the food we had just purchased. Meeting Berta and her lovely family was exceptional. She is a fantastic cook and hostess - we enjoyed being involved with the preparations AND tasting the delicious results! We will look forward to getting the recipes and trying them at home.
Please thank Berta and her family for allowing us into her home - we felt very welcomed. We can definitely recommend this trip - truly outstanding.
All the best...the Haydens
Mrs. Peggy H., Merida, 31 Oct 2014
The Cooking tour we recently took with Merida Urban Adventures was excellent,due to the service and communication skills of our guide, Ricardo Montelongo, and the warm welcome from our host family, Carlos and Marie and their 3 sons. If you wish to have a real Merida experience, then I highly recommend this tour, and use Ricardo if possible.
Mr. Don B., Merida, 17 Feb 2014
My friend and I saw all the good reviews and decided to spend our last day in Merida learning to cook our favorite Yucatan dish—Pollo Pibil. We met Jorge at the Hotel Caribe (which is in a beautiful little plaza). We were lucky that his wife Alejandra could join us that day too. He gave us an informative tour of the Centro as we weaved our way to the Mercado to buy the ingredients we'd need for the day. I cannot begin to describe all the smells and colors and sounds of market. We learned about the different chiles and unfamiliar fruits. He was so patient as we asked about every little thing we saw. We were adventurous and had a tasting test at the fried meat section...I won't spoil it for you...just try everything! We took a local bus to the chef Laura's home. It was lovely and inviting. We dove right into chopping vegetables and cutting banana leaves from the back yard for the chicken pibil and sopa de lima and crema de coco for dessert. Oh my, I can still taste it! SOOO delicious. Laura was really sweet and a wonderful cook. AND the funny thing? We saw her later that night at the Simfonica de Yucatan—all of us waving across the balcony like old friends. I really recommend doing this if you want a real taste of yucatan cuisine that's quite easy to fix when you get back home.