Rick defies the old adage to never shop when your hungry—he always shops hungry, to provide a source for inspiration. In the Merida market, inspiration comes in the form of homemade tamales—made from fresh corn masa flavored and filled with achiote-seasoned chicken or pork and steamed in banana leaves. Those tamales tap into Mexico’s past which is present everywhere you travel. At Uxmal’s Pyramid of the Magician, Rick gives us a brief lesson on water and corn which brings him back to the Mayans and their pit-cooked tamales. To learn their secrets, we visit Silvio Campos’s home for a step-by-step class in muchipollo—rustic chicken and pork tamales baked in an earthen pit. Silvio serves the crusty-hot tamales to Rick with slivers of fresh habanero and ice cold beer. The aroma of the achiote motivates Rick to make Tamales Colados (Yucatecan Pudding Tamales) at home. Fresh chaya leaves in the Merida market inspire Rick to experiment with growing his own chaya in his urban garden. In Topolobampo, Rick’s fine-dining restaurant, he shows us the ancient Mayan tamal—Dzotobichay—made Rick’s way with local chard leaves and elegantly served with a roasty habanero-spiked tomato sauce.