An activity that has its roots all the way back to the Stone Age, the milling of grains has always been a part of human life. Today this process is still very important in the daily life of Meridanos.

But, why and where you’ll wonder? In the city’s downtown there’s an old establishment that has dedicated itself to this humble and traditional labor for more than 90 years. Just across from the San Benito market, on Calle 54 between 67 and 69, you’ll find the grain mill “El Fifi,” where for decades a huge quantity of grains and fruits have been ground.

Back in the day, Mérida’s families used to buy in the market the products that they later took to be milled. Cacao and cinnamon were common; and they only had to walk a few blocks to take what they just bought to the mill. The cacao was given back to them in the form of a solid paste tablets. The families took their tablets home, and with the aid of a traditional wooden blender, they mixed the cacao with water or milk, to prepare delicious hot chocolate.

Nowadays getting hot chocolate to enjoy on the coolest days of the year has become much easier. Nevertheless, the “El Fifi” mill continues as busy as it has been since it opened. You’ll feel a pleasant, traditional, and cozy atmosphere when you enter the establishment. The smell of the variety of spices welcomes you to this iconic place, filled with special machines, adapted to grind seeds such as pepper, annatto, rice, pumpkin, cacao, and burnt chile, to mention a few.

Clients can be seen asking for the milling services every day. You can have access to this service with a kilogram of the product you want to grind. As well, “El Fifi” offers their own merchandise at very reasonable price. Horchata, hibiscus, and tamarind concentrated syrups are some of the original products; others are the “recado rojo” and “recado negro,” that will inspire you to make the most delicious Yucatecan dishes when you smell them.

The mill employs a lot of workers and has grown under the administration of the same family for more than 90 years. During all this time, it has given us the opportunity to be part of this fascinating tradition, and has always offered products of the highest quality. The time, the discipline, the dedication, and the love of the art they practice, have made them experts in always providing the best service.

Now that you know, don’t hesitate to visit one of the oldest mills in the city. Take a walk around Centro and witness what has become a part of our town’s story for more than 90 years.

Editorial by Claudia Améndola
Photography by Claudia Améndola for use in Yucatán Today

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