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I’ve been staying at a private house in the “Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve” over in Tulum, Mexico. (The Reserve is about a 3 hour drive, south of Cancun.)

Spanning some 2000+ square miles, this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a stunning array of flora and fauna.

You’ll find tropical forests, mangroves, and marshes, and, an expansive beach area intersected by a barrier reef. (If you’re into nature, it’s a wondrous paradise, and a “must add” to your bucket list.)

After a long day of touring, and gawking at all that beauty, we also looked forward to sampling what resident chef Luis Antonio Lopez (@toniotron86) had in store for us.

On his menu was “CHILES POBLANOS RELLENOS DE QUESO” — oven cooked poblano chili filled with manchego cheese. But when we objected to the artery-clogging dairy, he graciously shifted to a lentil stuffing ... that was absolutely sublime.

Indigenous to Western and Central Asia, lentils are reportedly among the earliest crops domesticated by human beings — with its use traced back to 11,000 BC.

While some describe the taste as akin to “eating dirt,” I prefer “earthy,” “smoky,” and “slightly peppery.” The thick wall of the poblano, on the other hand, exuded a mild, “meaty” texture and taste.

In sum, this particular dish was made up of poblano chiles, roasted and deseeded, stuffed with lentils, olive oil, garlic powder, diced onions, oregano, salt, pepper and some chili flakes. The stuffed poblano was then plated on a bed of rice and a few fried sweet plantains were thrown in, just good measure.

This was, by far, one of my favorite meals of the trip: relatively simple and savory.

Kudos to Chef Luis for delivering yet another great meal.

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