Best traditional dishes of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Mexico is reputed for its huge culinary heritage. From Baja California to Yucatan, from Tabasco to Michoacan, each region developed its specialties and made renown of Mexico across the world. Even though we could write an article for each region of Mexico and their own specialties, today we are focusing on the Yucatan Peninsula gastronomy and the dishes you absolutely have to try during your vacations here !
The most famous dish that you can come across in Yucatan is undoubtedly the Cochinita Pibil. This traditional Yucatec Mayan
food is a slow-roasted piece of pork marinated in strong lemon juice and annatto seeds. It is wrapped inbanana leaves and cooked underground in the “pib”, a traditional oven.
Once the meat is marinated and cooked, you can pour it into a tortilla to create a taco, or put the preparation in a pie.
Whatever way you decide to eat the Cochinita Pibil, you will always find on the side the “xnipec” salsa, made with sour orange, purple onions, coriander and habanero, which is very spicy but also extremely popular all across Yucatan.
On the contrary of the Cochinita Pibil, which takes its roots from the Mayan cuisine, the queso relleno is a more modern dish. Influenced by the Europeans, and mainly the Dutch people, the queso relleno, or “stuffed cheese”, is made with Edam cheese
originally from the Netherlands. The Edam cheese is hollowed and gets stuffed with many sorts of ingredients such as pork,olives, seeds eggs or peppers. It then gets wrapped in banana leaves like the Cochinita Pibil and gets cooked until the cheese is half melted.
Cheese lovers are going to fall in love with it !
Sopa de Lima
Another traditional dish of the Yucatec gastronomy, the Sopa de Lima is actually much lighter than the two first dishes described in this article.
It is a chicken and vegetable soup where the Yucatec lime has been added, giving to the scup a unique flavor.
It is generally served with fried tortilla and seeds. Even if it’s hot outside, eating this soup can be surprisingly refreshing !
This one is for all the eggs breakfast lovers. Looking a bit weird at the first glance, this dish is actually quite interesting and can surprise many of us.
A tortilla is laid on the plate, covered in a black bean puree. Then the eggs are placed on top and the rest of the plate is decorated with peas, ham and sweet potatoes or plantain bananas. Finally, the dish gets sparkled with red sauce, which is not very spicy.
This dish might be one of the most surprising one you can find around Yucatan, and this is for a good reason !
Its coal-black appearance might scare more than one of us, but if you give it a chance, you will be surprised at how good it can be.
It basically consists in a piece of turkey meat cooked in a black spicy mix, the “recado negro”, the black color coming from the cooked and roasted chili peppers.
The recado negro is made from three chilis and is added to the meat before being cooked as a stew.
And finally, for the sweet teeth, you can not pass on the marquesitas !
These crispy crepes are cooked longer than regular crepes before being rolled. You can ask anything you want it to be stuffed with, but the traditional marquesita is stuffed with a Yucatec cheese called “queso de bola”, and Nutella (yes, you read well, cheese and Nutella !)
And the best in all of this is that if you wander in Playa del Carmen, city between Cancun and Tulum, and that you suddenly crave for a marquesita, you won’t even have to look for it or travel far to get one. Indeed, the marquesitas vendors are stationed all across the city with their small cooking carts, and prepare your dessert in no time !
It is definitely worth a try.
Food in the Yucatan Peninsula is so diverse that anybody can find their favorite dish. Most of them come from Yucatec Mayan culture and are still very popular in the region, enriching the culinary diversity of Mexico.