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Mexico Culinary Trip…with the Copper Canyon Train!

The premier “Blue Corn Express” is shaping up for next October, and I really look forward to it. The norteno foods- the cuisine of Copper Canyon- have become a passion of mine and this trip will be a full immersion into those kitchens and markets that make it so delicious.

The freshness of the foods and nearness of the markets is one cool aspect of this cuisine. Limes for example are often just steps away…

Fresh limes are often available just out the door of one of the Chihuahua kitchens.

Another aspect of this food scene is the Tarahumaras. Often we stop in one of their homes and about as often we are offered food. One morning we dropped in Paula’s home near Gallego above Cerocahui. The whole main room was full of fresh baked smells. Cooking on the calendon in the corner over a wood fire were fresh tortillas…which we all enjoyed immensely thanks to our gracious host.

Fresh tortillas at Paula's place near Gallego.

There are so many experiences to be had like these.

Here is the itinerary for “The Blue Corn Express” this October:

The Blue Corn Express

Culinary Trip


An Authentic Copper Canyon train trip with a huge taste of the delicious Norteño foods

October 2-9, 2010 


The incredible train experience in Copper Canyon plus much more:

·       Many food treats and experiences including an overnight at Noritari, high in the Sierra Madres, dinners in local homes, recipes etc.

·       Two nights in the enchanting El Fuerte with its market, ceviche, organic farm, and petro glyphs

·       Cerocahui- a lovely little town and visits to the Copper vistas, waterfalls, Tarahumara homes, the village of Urique at the bottom of Copper and a bowl of the local “agua chile”

·       Divisadero and the tiny ranchito Cabanas Diaz- come hungry!

·       The Mennonite areas with the vast apple orchards and world famous cheeses…and pizza

·       Chihuahua City, with the Pancho Villa home, great restaurants, the 1700s cathedral


Saturday, Oct 2 – You arrive in Chihuahua City (CUU) and we check into the historic boutique hotel, the San Felipe el Real. Stroll the historic district and the vast market. Dinner and drinks at 6p and a chance to get acquainted.

Chihuahua City This bustling hub for commerce has its roots as a mining and ranching center. Several fascinating museums (including the Pancho Villa home) gather around the towering 1700s cathedral. The food here is a bit eclectic and reflects the melting pot that Chihuahuahas become. We have options here for dining in a home or to have a local chef cater to the hotel.

Sunday, Oct 3 – We are up early for a quick breakfast and off to catch the train into the mountains. Winding our way into the Sierra Madre, we drop into several little villages and then arrive at the relaxing wooded Noritari near San Juanito- a unique cabin style hotel with a gourmet cook. A great night to enjoy dinner, chat with the chef, and take a stroll through the mountains.

              Noritari– This unique 80 hectare site is dotted with cabins with fireplaces, private baths, solar lighting- the nearby a stream flows and the pines whisper. Enjoy.

Monday, Oct 4 – Up for coffee with a relaxing breakfast in the pines and off to catch the train at 11a. Perhaps a chance to shop in Creel- then board the train and head southwest up into the mountains. Winding our way into the Sierra Madre, we get our first whistle-stop, eye-popping view of Copper Canyon at Divisadero…and a great taste of the local food vendors. We are met at the Bahuichivo station by the jovial Alberto Lopez and take the short ride to the enchanting village of Cerocahui. We have the afternoon open to stroll the plaza and streets of “Cero” or take in the local waterfall or whatever- just relax. Our hosts love to can local fruits and vegetables and always have a local dish cooking in the kitch- there is even a wood strove!

              Cerocahui– This quiet little town sits in a beautiful valley and is a great place to overnight. We stay right on the square- a great place to relax in the evening in the shadow of the ancient church.

Tuesday, Oct 5- We have a big day today as we will head for the bottom of the canyon down an exciting road to the tiny town of Urique. A highlight for lunchis “agua chile”- perhaps the most tasty shrimp dish you have ever experienced. We can watch Tita and her crew prepare this dish- including ingredients you have never heard of! We head back to the train and board for an amazing afternoon journey through the heart of Copper Canyon. Have your camera ready. We arrive for a late dinner at a delicious local taco stand in El Fuerte and a two night stay- one of the favorite spots on the trip

Wednesday, Oct 6– We have the whole day to enjoy El Fuerte with its colonial buildings and delicious foods. Breakfast in the market (birria anyone?) then a float trip to see the birdlife and petro glyphs along the Rio Fuerte. A visit to the market here is a must, a long sit on the palm lined fountained plaza will do, perhaps a visit to the organic farm, then dinner in a local home with our host Evangelina. Food highlights here are the local ceviche stands, the meat tacos and soups in the market, and the local restaurants- some of the best on the trip.

Evangelina– This lovely lady with her brother and extended family live in one of the historic mansions off the square in El Fuerte. We often dine with them and get a full taste of some genuine Copper Canyon hospitality.

Thursday, Oct 7 – We are up for a last visit to the market for breakfast thenreboard the train for the tunnel- filled journey toward our evening destination, Areponápuchi (Posada Barranca station). Dinner with our hosts, Armando and Herlinda Diaz as well as perhaps a walk up to watch the sunset over the vast reaches of Copper Canyon. “Arepo”as we call it, is officially “nowhere Mexico”. The area around Arepo gives us a good long look at Copper Canyon, and we have plenty of time to look around….and work off the delicious ranch food we will enjoy right in the Diaz kitchen.

              Areponápuchi– … don’t expect the big city. This tiny place sits near the rim of some of the best views of Copper Canyon. From here you can walk or ride horses in and around the great canyon. Also a good place to pick up local souvenirs. Local vegetables and meats are a treat here- this is ranch country.

Friday, Oct 8 Sunrise at the edge of Copper anyone? Breakfastand a walk down through a Tarahumara cave dwelling. Some last views of the canyon, then we catch our van for the trip through the Mennonite agricultural area (vast apple areas and some of their delicious pizza for lunch) toward the big apple- Chihuahua City. Dinner together and perhaps an evening view of the gigantic cathedral in the central plaza.

Mennonites- They migrated here from Canadaaround 1922 and have transformed the high plateaus into some of the most productive land in Chihauhua. Still German speakers, they produce apples, oats, and dairy products- the famous white Chihuahua cheese.

Saturday, Oct 9 – A hearty breakfast and some time to look around Chihuahua City. Then catch our flights home. (Options available to stay an extra day or two in Chihuahua.


Pricing and details for October 2-9, 2010

Authentic Copper Canyon Trip

“The Blue Corn Express”

·       For pricing call Dave at 217.369.9897 – we can supply pricing including airfare and trip insurance from your local city.

·       Food experiences on the trip will be numerous and fun for all. The ones mentioned in this itinerary are not guaranteed, and typically our trips include much more than described here.

·       All hotels have private baths, hot water and linens and most have air conditioning- ones without air are in the mountains.

·       Hotels range from 3.5 star range to simpler cabana style places in the small towns. All are secure, clean, and have comfortable beds.

·       Price includes all transport to and from the Chihuahua City airport, all meals except 4 (alcohol on your own), and all entry and guides to places in the itinerary.

·       Arrangements can be made for guests to stay over for an extra day or more in Chihuahua City.

·       Travel insurance including medical and evacuation coverage is strongly encouraged

·       Your lead guide is Dave Hensleigh and we will also be accompanied by various local guides along the way

·       Most guests bring $200 -400 USD in pesos for the 4 meals, incidentals, souvenirs, and small tips- primary gratuities are included.

·       ACC will supply a bring list, an FAQ sheet, etc for other questions

·       Cutoff for registration and deposit is August 1, 2010.

For more info, registration and deposit, contact Dave Hensleigh, davehensleigh@gmail.com, 217.369.9897

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