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Culinary Backstreets: Comixcal, Deeply Oaxacan

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I wrote for Culinary Backstreets about Comixcal, a Oaxacan restaurant in Santa Maria la Ribera. As Oaxacan food takes hold from Mexico City to Amsterdam, the owners of Comixcal seek to stay true to tradition, and offer Oaxacan food as Oaxacans eat it.

The restaurant became a basecamp for sending donations to Oaxaca after a devastating series of earthquakes in September. Comixcal is more than a restaurant- it’s a model of how communities in Mexico City can support rural Mexico.

“‘There are two Oaxacan foods – what is served for tourists, and what people really eat,’ says Marahí López, the chef at Comixcal, an Oaxacan restaurant in Mexico City’s Santa Maria La Ribera neighborhood. ‘There is a way that Oaxacan food is sold that is totally detached from the way we eat it in Oaxaca.’

López knows of what she speaks, hailing from Juchitán, the culinary and cultural capital of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca. She met Alexis Jiménez, who is from the Central Valleys surrounding Oaxaca City, while both were attending university in Mexico City. López and Jiménez teamed up to establish Comixcal in June 2016, after receiving degrees in Gastronomy and Anthropology, respectively.”

 

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