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FOTO: MUGY

YUCATECAN CUISINE

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ucatecan cuisine comes from an exquisite blend of Mexican and European flavors. However, it is quite different from Mexican food which uses more chiles and spices, while Yucatecan recipes have more of a Maya influence. BRAZO DE REINA. This Yucatecan dish is ideal for Lent and Semana Santa, for it contains no meat. A mixture of chaya leaves, corn meal, salt, onion, pepper and hard boiled eggs is baked in banana leaves. It is then sliced and topped with tomato sauce, and ground toasted pumpkin seeds.

FRIJOL CON PUERCO. This is the Yucatecan version of pork cooked in beans. It is served with rice and tomato salsa, and dressed with radish, cilantro, and onion. Frijol con Puerco is usually served on Mondays in Yucatecan homes. HUEVOS MOTULEÑOS. A delicious breakfast! Fried eggs are served atop a tostada covered with refried beans, and dressed with tomato salsa, chopped ham, and peas. It can be served with slices of fried plantain. PANUCHOS AND SALBUTES. Corn tortillas topped with chicken, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and onion. The only difference between the two is that the panucho has refried beans inside the tortilla, and the salbút does not. PAPADZULES. Hard boiled eggs inside

Papadzules with Longaniza

a tortilla covered by ground pumpkin seed sauce and tomato sauce. PESCADO A LA TIKIN XIIK’. A very traditional seafood dish in Yucatán. Yucatecan “recado,” a local paste mix of spices and achiote is added; this gives the dish its characteristic red color. It is wrapped in banana leaves and coconut shells, and grilled over charcoal. MUCBILPOLLO. This dish, similar to a tamal, is traditionally prepared for “Hanal Pixan” (Day of the Dead); however, it can be eaten all year long, for its delicious taste will leave you wanting more. It is made of corn meal, chicken, pork, tomato, onion, sweet chile, epazote (a delicious local herb), red “recado” paste, cloves of garlic, salt, and chicken broth. It is wrapped in banana leaf instead of corn husk, and it is tied together with henequén thread. As with cochinita pibil, it is traditionally cooked in an underground “pib.” POC-CHUC. Thinly sliced pork marinated in sour orange juice, grilled, and served juicy with tomato salsa and chopped purple onion and beans on the side. POLCANES. The “polcán” (serpent head) gets its name from its shape. It is a Yucatecan appetizer made from corn meal and stuffed with chives, pumpkin seed, and white beans, and some versions also include meat. POLLO PIBIL. Chicken pieces marinated in achiote paste, sour orange juice, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper; wrapped in banana leaves and baked in an underground “pib.”

POTAJE. This dish is very popular in Yucatán, with a mix of Spanish and indigenous influence. It is a stew prepared with pork, onion, plantain, tomato, potato, carrot, squash, chile X’catik, longaniza sausage, and lentils. QUESO RELLENO. There is a great variety of cheeses in Yucatán, but the one that is used for this dish is the Edam-like “queso de bola,” stuffed with ground beef and pork. It is delicately spiced and is served in a white sauce made of flour and chicken broth, and is finally topped with tomato sauce. RELLENO NEGRO. This unusual dish gets its dark black color from the spices it contains. Relleno negro combines turkey, ground meat (“but”), and broth. The “but” which is the soul of this dish is made with tomato, pepper, chopped egg, oregano, achiote, cumin, epazote, and black “recado” paste, made into a meatball-like dough, lightly fried, and to this the broth and the turkey are added while it finishes cooking.

Food and Lodging

COCHINITA PIBIL. This iconic dish is made from pork marinated in achiote paste, sour orange juice, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. It is wrapped in banana leaves and baked in the oven, or better yet in an underground pit known as a “pib.”

SOPA DE LIMA. Iconic Yucatecan broth served with shredded chicken or turkey, tortilla strips, and lime juice. Definitely a must during your visit to Yucatán!

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