Two blocks away from Paseo de Montejo, across from Parque de Santa Ana, the mill at Traspatio Maya welcomes all visitors who walk through its door. Craving a freshly made tortilla? Trust me, Kool Kaab is the place to indulge yourself.
Kool Kaab is much more than just tortillas fresh from the mill, and no, it’s not a restaurant per se. This project came to life as a result of Milpa Sustentable, a program by Fundación Haciendas del Mundo Maya that promotes the care and conservation of the Maya milpa throughout the Peninsula. After four years, the families benefited by Milpa Sustentable began to see an improvement in their harvests; now they not only have seeds for the next planting and corn for their own consumption, but also surpluses they can sell.
“That’s where Traspatio Maya comes in,” the Kool Kaab team told me. “They begin by buying the corn and making it available to markets that recognize the value of each harvest.”
You can imagine, can’t you? This is how Kool Kaab came to be, with the intention of spreading and promoting the consumption of Maíz Criollo, that is, the corn varieties native to the Yucatán Peninsula. In addition to being planted and harvested using traditional, agro-ecological practices, native corn varieties have more flavor, color, and texture than the industrialized corn available in most mills. Kool Kaab offers only native corn products, so it represents a unique opportunity to discover what corn should really taste like.
If you peek into Kool Kaab, you’ll see that it offers a wide variety of products derived from native corn. Obviously, the tortillas, tortilla chips, masa, and the variety of native corn seeds are the stars here. Their tortillas are delicious, warm, and soft … very soft. They also have a special touch depending on the type of corn they are made with, but that’s something the team at the mill can tell you all about.
Want to eat more than just tortillas? Kool Kaab offers a space for those who want to have a snack: they affectionately call it “La Antojería.” You can choose between Quesadillas made on a Comal, Tetelas, Tamalitos, or Empanadas filled with squash blossoms. Combine your choice with a delicious Agua Fresca to round out your experience.
A Kool Kaab Experience: Taller del Maíz
Since summer, Kool Kaab gives us the wonderful opportunity to learn about the nixtamalization process and the Milperos network through its dynamic Taller del Maíz, or corn workshop. You’ll also learn how to make your own tortillas and prepare a dish with Chef Mohit Bhojwani. Reservations can be made through Airbnb.
Calle 60 #417 x 45 y 47, Parque Santa Ana, Centro, Mérida
Mon. – Sun. 8 am – 4 pm
Editorial by Olivia Camarena
Yucatecan communicologist. Your favorite Assistant Editor. Writer, blogger, and bookstagrammer in her spare time. She also experiments with TikTok.
Photography by Kool Kaab for its use in Yucatán Today.
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