Mexico’s Zapotecs are an indigenous community living in Oaxaca, Mexico. Before Spanish colonization, Zapotecan civilization was a thriving epicenter of food, culture and tradition. Today, chef Abigail Mendoza is on a mission to keep those traditions alive by cooking the food of her ancestors. All the dishes she cooks—including pre-hispanic mole, stuffed chiles with Oaxaca cheese and atole—are made using ancient techniques. Recognized by the world’s best chefs for her dishes, she hopes to keep the food of her ancestors alive and thriving.




Follow Mendoza’s Great Big Story with more videos about artisanal family traditions in Mexico: Pedro Hernández Carlos’ intricate Mexican pottery, Alebrijes, Mexico’s Beautiful Monsters, and Abdón Punzo Ángel’s artisanal coppersmithing from scraps.

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