For $95 a person, 21 participants joined Mouthwatering Mission on a Saturday in October for a tasting tour of the 24th Street corridor that featured shiitake mushroom galettes, tacos al pastor marinated in pineapple juice and foie gras-flavored ice cream.
Stops included the long-established El Farolito and La Palma Mexica-tessen, plus newcomers that have helped keep the Mission the gastronomic heart of the city, like Humphry Slocombe and Local Mission Eatery.
Participants learned about the history of iconic dishes, such as the origin of al pastor tacos, whose name refers to a shepherd’s style of cooking influenced by the spit meat-grilling brought to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants.
The kitchen at La Victoria Bakery was the last stop of the afternoon. There participants learned how to prepare four dishes, including tacos with chocolate mole and queso fresco, crab quesadillas and mini taquito cups filled with chorizo and avocado.
The tour and class were organized by Parties that Cook, a company that puts on group cooking events, and Lisa Rogovin, an epicurean concierge who offers tours of culinary secrets throughout the Bay Area.
Rogovin, who has been giving culinary tours in the Mission since February, says these events are a way for people from around the city and the Bay Area to experience the Mission, a part of town they may not have known about or were too intimidated to come to before. They are a way, she says, to discover “places that embrace the community and local culture.”