The Yucatecan gastronomy is an example of the European influence among the pre-Hispanic cultures. The mix of regional ingredients with some from other countries is common among the recipes. The cuisine from Yucatan has evolved through time, with different techniques and the special touch of each village.
The ancient cultures in America used corn as their food base. The Mayans in Yucatan cultivated beans, zucchinis for its seeds, Chaya leaves, habanero pepper, and achiote spice.
The foreign influence
The Yucatan food received influence from Europe and Asia through different ingredients and techniques but keeping its pre-Hispanic roots. From the East arrived garlic, orange, hams, and sausages, while from Europe came lettuce and pork, which is the main ingredient in the Yucatecan gastronomy.
The pre-Hispanic cultures considered cocoa beans as an essential ingredient. They used them as currency in their popular markets. Different villages in the Yucatan Peninsula still prepare Mayan chocolate using the ancient techniques, and is delicious!
The habanero pepper
Es uno de los elementos básicos para acompañar la comida yucateca. Existen de muchos colores: verdes, naranjas, rojos e incluso morados. Aunque tienen un sabor muy particular e intenso picor, para muchos resulta imprescindible para acompañar unos tacos de cochinita pibil, un taco de lomitos o un sabroso salbute.
Cochinita pibil is perhaps the most famous dish in the Yucatecan gastronomy. According to the traditional recipe, it is cooked in an earth oven and wrap with plantain leaves and several spices that include a variety of peppers, sour orange, and achiote which is known as recado in Yucatan. The best way to taste the cochinita pibil is with tortillas and refried beans; the tacos must have a salsa of chopped-red onion with lime and habanero pepper.
The Poc Chuc is well-known between the villages of Yucatan. Thin fillets of pork are marinated with ground peppers and sour orange juice. The traditional cooking is on a charcoal grill with hand-made tortillas and a delicious salsa made out with tomatoes, onion, and cilantro.
Lomitos from Valladolid
This dish is typical from the Magic Town of Valladolid. It is prepared with pork loin cut into small cubes slowly cooked in chicken broth and fat until the liquid reduces. Then, add tomato puree and chopped hard-boiled eggs to be eaten in tacos.
This stew is low-fire cooked with different spices that turn it into black and similar to the mole, although less dense. The relleno negro can be prepared with chicken, turkey or pork, and is a delicacy in the Yucatan Peninsula.
The Lime Soup is a tradition at Yucatan. Its preparation has chicken broth as a base, along with small pieces of tortilla chips. The twist consists of being cooked with some sweet and sour limes from this region, and a final touch of habanero pepper salsa.
Panuchos and salbutes
The classic snacks at Yucatan are the panuchos and salbutes and can have chicken, turkey, traditional black stew or cochinita pibil on top. The panuchos are cooked with a corn tortilla stuffed with mashed beans; then fry them on a pan to later served with shredded lettuce, red onion, and avocado. The salbutes are similar but with a thicker and softer tortilla without being stuffed.
This breakfast dish is famous throughout Mexico and is prepared with fried eggs over a tortilla toast with black refried beans. The Motuleños eggs come with homemade, tomato sauce and peas, chopped ham, and shredded cheese on top.
The pibipollo tamale
This tamale is prepared during the Hanal Pixán or Day of the Dead celebration. It is also known as mukbil pollo or mucbipollo, depending on the cooking technique. The traditional way is a kiln in earth pit; it is stuffed with chicken or pork with spices, and wrap in banana leaf.
This traditional liquor from Yucatan is an excellent digestive drink with a sweet taste. It has a flavor that resembles anisette with a touch of honey since it is made out with the Xtabentún flower nectar. Plus, this blossom is related to the Mayan story of Xtabay.