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Italy will be the guest country of honor at the 11th Sabor es Morelos (Flavor is Morelos) international food festival, slated to take place in Cuernavaca on Saturday, Dec. 3, and Sunday, Dec. 4.

“There will be more than 50 restaurants participating in the festival this year,” explained Morelos Tourism Secretary Julieta Godzweig Conejo during a press conference at Mexico City’s María Ciento38 restaurant on Tuesday, Nov. 11.

“And we are expecting about 9,000 attendees.”

The festival is expected to bring in revenues of over 50 million pesos.

The festival, which will include not only food, but a series of cultural events, will also have as the visiting guest state of honor Tlaxcala and as the Morelos showcased cities Taxco, Guerrero, and Jojuntla, Morelos.

Renowned for its simple but tasty cuisine, Morelos is best known for its savory grilled cecina meat, stuffed squash with chilies, cheese and corn kernels, fired cactus pads, pork in peanut sauce and pumpkin flower soup.

Its sweet, toasted amaranth-seed alegría candies and crispy palanqueta peanut brittle are also favorites across Mexico.

Cristina María Cialona, whose María Ciento38 restaurant will be representing Italy during the two-day festival, said that most of the dishes that will be presented will be from her native Sicily, but in honor of Italian Ambassador to Mexico Luigi de Chiara, who is from Naples and who played an instrumental role in arranging for his country’s participation in Sabor es Morelos, there will also be some Napolitano dishes.

“Italy is known worldwide for its fine food,” said De Chiara. “Gastronomy is part of our way of promoting Italian culture around the world.”

The Sabor es Morelos festival will be held along Cuernavaca’s main avenue, Hidalgo, and is open to all free of charge.

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