Yucatan Food
Yucatan food

The cuisine found within the Yucatan Peninsula is unique and merits a separate mention. It is distinct as it traces its roots back to the ancient Maya civilization with the added mixture of European and Oriental flavorings. In fact, it could possibly be the world's first fusion cuisine!

Ingredients unique to Yucatan include oregano Yucateco, epazote and the habanero (the most popular and hottest of chiles). The way Yucatan food is prepared is also fascinating. They sometimes use the pib, which is a pit that is lined with stones and coals. Here, meats wrapped in banana leaves are placed for cooking. The meats are seasoned and flavored with marinades, sauces, citrus juices – all contributing to the uniqueness of Yucatan food. In addition, the cuisine makes use of spices galore, such as cilantro, oregano, achiote seeds, black pepper, garlic, cinnamon and cumin.

Usually meats, such as beef, fish, chicken and pork, are cooked in the pibil style. The meat is seasoned with recado rojo, an achiote paste which is made of red annatto seeds and other local spices. This is then wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in the pib.

Here are some must-tries when it comes to Yucatan cuisine:

  • Cochinita pibil: This is an all-time Yucatan favorite – pork that comes with a rich and pungent sauce made of orange, garlic and achiote chiles, this is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in a pib
  • Pollo pibil: Chicken that comes with the same sauce and cooking method as above
  • Poc chuc: Pork steak soaked in spices and orange and served with steamed beans
  • Huevos motuleños: Made of ham, cheese, peas, black bean paste and fried eggs
  • Pollo ticul: Chicken cooked the Yucatan way
  • Chilmole: Turkey in a dark spice sauce
  • Pescado Yucateco de Tres Carnes: Yucatan Three-Meat Stew
  • Frijoles Estilo Yucateca: Beans cooked Yucatan style
  • Pavo en Pipian: Turkey with pumpkin seed sauce
  • Salpicon de Res: Beef with sour Yucatan orange, onion, tomato, radishes, cilantro and guacamole
  • Queso Relleno: Cheese stuffed with ground pork, capers, olives, raisins and served with a red sauce
  • Pan de Cazon: Baby shark, black beans and tortillas in a red sauce
  • Lime soup: This is not just good to eat, this is actually good for you, especially when you are not feeling well. It is made with fried tortilla, lime juice and chicken, along with a combination of vegetables
  • Tikin-Xic: Baked fish with oregano, achiote paste, tomato, sour orange juice, bell peppers and onion

As for drinks, be sure to try the Michelada, which is a drink that mixes a dark Mexican beer with lime, salt, soy sauce, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper.

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