36 years cooking for the people of Mazatlan

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Flavors and aromas cooked ‘over low heat’ by Doña Esther in the heart of Mazatlan.

This lady learned culinary art when she was a child, and for 36 years she has had her “cocina económica” in downtown Mazatlan.

La cocina es un lugar de creación donde se da vida a platillos que dejan huella en el gusto de las personas por muchos años. A lo largo de la historia, muchas mujeres han marcado un antes y un después en lo que al arte de los fogones se refiere, una de ellas es María Esther.

A kitchen is a place of creation where the cook leaves a mark on people’s taste for many years. Throughout history, many women have settled a “before and after” when it comes to the art of cooking, and one of them is María Esther, who started cooking in burners and grinding in metate from the age of 6 in her native Culiacán; she never imagined that she would devote much of her life to preparing the different dishes her mother taught her.

At age 14, Mrs. Esther arrived in Mazatlan, where she used to live with relatives, and three years later, she started working as a cashier in a Chinese restaurant located on Aquiles Serdán street, which was called “El Oriental”.

Later on, she went to work at the Cervecería del Pacífico, she got married and years later she started selling tamales in the Social Security Clinic 45, then she started selling food in her house and it wasn’t until 1983 when she finally opened her now-famous “Cocina Económica Esther“, on Calle Aquiles Serdan. At first, her husband did not want her to work, so, secretly, she began to bake tamales to sell on the street, to help with the home economy. The first time she made 60 tamales, which she sold for three pesos each in front of the Social Security clinic. Sometime later, she came to make between 100 and 150 tamales a day for four years.


Her friends and relatives already knew of her great talent as a cook, and she started selling meals 50 pesos each; until she was encouraged to formally start the business and she began distributing meals in the market and in the businesses around her home, with the help of her daughters.

Sales began to grow, so she decided to rent a place in front of the Student House of UAS on Melchor Ocampo Street. At that time, the leftover food was given to the students.

In 1983 she was offered the rent of the premises she still has her famous “Cocina Economica”. And back then, she stated that “she did not intend to sell food for a lifetime”.

I told one of my children – I do not intend to do this for the rest of my life -, and he said to me – Esther said.

The woman of almost 78 years of age recognizes that, although this is a tough and tiring job, because you have to spend most of the day standing up, she enjoys very much putting into practice all the teachings of her mother, who transmitted the love to cook dishes such as broth of beef, mole with chicken, stuffed peppers and ribs in red chile, to delight the Mazatlecos.

“As long as God does not decide otherwise I will continue here, because she has the last word, anything can happen, no one is exempt, and although my daughter Cristina helps me 100%, I know she will hardly continue in this trade”, Doña Esther said.

Doña Esther declared that she has obtained many satisfactions throughout the year’s thanks to her “Cocina Economica”.

The Mazatlan Post