When I called ahead to ask what to budget for food at this small, ecologically designed inn near Mayan ruins in the Yucatan, I was told “we don’t really have a restaurant”. That’s usually a problem when in the back of beyond.
I was quickly informed that they had a Mayan woman who cooked for guests and served delicious meals. I have to confess that I became enamoured with real, hand made tortillas made by another Mayan lady I met back in Guatemala. (Getting tortillas right is hard in North America because of the different climate and quality of corn flour.) So I was looking forward to trying out the food here and I was not to be disappointed. You can watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.
In true “slow” fashion, guests are given a daily set menu based on what is available and at meal time you can sit with others to eat and enjoy a convivial experience. For people not accustomed to being experimental, you need to be prepared for an experience that is not standard restaurant fare. It is different. You could say home cooked, but that’s a loaded description. It may take a few meals to adjust your palate, but with an open attitude, it is very tasty. Just don’t expect what you’d get at a restaurant in Valladolid or Merida.
Our cook, Gloria, also proved to be our pipeline to the village as well. If you needed a taxi, she would arrange it. If you wanted to buy some local goods (hammocks are made in the village) she could help you. If you wanted to meet other villagers to learn about life here, she would set it up.
The over all experience at Genesis was about as close to being a local as you might realistically get. You wake up with the roosters, you hear the local dogs barking, you get into the slow rhythm of the sun and moon to tell time and you eat food that is not the same as you’d eat elsewhere. English is only spoken by guests and staff (usually). There is no television and no internet but there are books to read. Maybe the best part is talking with the other guests as people come from all over the world to experience a little of what life is like every day to the people of Ek Balam village.
You can read other posts on Yucatan by searching this site using the tag “yucatan”.