by Nyima Bieber and Vanessa Martínez del Río
Mexico is art, color and style. It is the lushest green jungle and the driest of deserts. Its miles of coastlines edge crystalline waters, stretching out to the horizon in shades of azure and turquoise.
And, it is flavor. From the rich bounty of the earth, Mexicans around the country prepare elaborate dishes using ancestral ingredients. The country’s cuisine is a reflection of the cultural riches and traditions that combine to form the essence of its people.
We believe that perhaps the best way to explore a culture is through the aromas and spices of its dishes, and it was here at the resort that our passion for sharing the cuisine of our beautiful surroundings was born. From the beginning, we have honored the complexity of flavors and techniques that led Mexican cuisine to become part of the intangible heritage of humanity; recognized by UNESCO since November 2010.
Dining is an art and a pleasure here at the resort, where we take our guests on a culinary tour of the gourmet traditions of the world. With every dish on every menu, we present you with the finest ingredients prepared by top chefs.
Velas Resorts also takes great care to preserve our natural surroundings, to engage in environmentally sustainable practices, extol the value of the people who form our family, cultivate pride in our national identity, create initiatives that promote Mexico, and to ensure that our cuisine plays a starring role in the lodging experience at our resorts.
We are particularly pleased to invite you to savor the ambiance of our beautiful corner of the country through the unique cuisine of Nayarit; a state whose culinary traditions are as extensive as they are extraordinary.
Throughout every region of the state’s 289 kilometers of coastline bordered by the western Sierra Madre, ancestral recipes are carefully preserved by the people of Nayarit to keep the flavors passed down from their parents and grandparents alive. The Nayarit cuisine highlights fresh seafood dishes such as pescado zarandeado and ceviches, but also hides secrets such as mole and pipián; complex sauces more commonly associated with the cuisine of Puebla and Oaxaca; and the varieties of corn cultivated in the Sierra del Nayar; blue, pink, red and the corn of Jala – in danger of extinction – which grows up to 65 cm in length.
By describing the spirit of the cuisine through the perspectives of the people who embody Flavors of Nayarit, the true protagonists of the book are the makers of traditions; the hands that work the land and preserve their legacy generation after generation, the fishermen who share anecdotes in the words of their ancestors, and the women who nourish the soul of a village in their metates, their comales and their clay pots.
Flavors of Nayarit leads us to places like the town of Jesus Maria in the Sierra del Nayar, home to an indigenous Cora community that jealously preserves the tradition of corn as a sacred gift; we learn that just as our mother feeds us when we are small and we care for her in her old age, we must care for the corn that nourishes and gives us life. We visit Amatlán de Cañas, where artisanal chocolate tablets are made, and learn about dishes that have all but been forgotten, like the tamal de lima, prepared today by just two Nayarit grandmothers in Santa Maria del Oro.
Many memorable moments in our lives take place around the table, and this fine piece of literature illustrates this sentiment in an extraordinary way, evoking flavors and aromas as vivid as its photographs. It is the finest representation of the fascinating epicurean experience that surrounds us, which is why we are delighted to share it with you today.