If a food contains the word -ole – as in mole, atole, and posole – you should be prepared to stir. “Ole, olini means move [in Nahuatl],” said Irwin Sanchez to WNYC. “It used to be cooked in clay pots so you had to constantly stir it, move it, so that it didn’t stick.” These are the kinds of things you’ll learn if you take cooking classes with Sanchez and Marrisa Senteno throughout New York. Through Tlaxcal Kitchen, the couple is using food to teach Nahuatl – a language that has 1.5 million speakers but isn’t always passed down, especially in a place like the United States.
Sanchez – who grew up speaking Nahuatl, his native tongue, in Mexico – lost connection to the language and the culture after he moved to the United States. When his grandfather died 10 years ago, he was motivated to reconnect with his indigenous background. As the only one in his family who speaks the language normally, he wants to pass it down to his son and younger generations.
The classes are unfortunately not offered on a regular basis (they last hosted a session on November 12), but you can check in on All Events to see when the next course will take place.