The Yucatan peninsula offers a cuisine as unique as its culture. It is very fruit heavy, especially citrus fruits such as the sour orange. Its main proteins include pork and fish. Below are 10 of the best foods to try while visiting the Yucatan peninsula.
1. Cochinita Pibil
Traditionally, this dish is made with a whole suckling pig (as conchinita translates to “baby pig”), but many other pork roasts have been used in its place. It is marinated with sour orange juices, habaneros, and spices overnight, and then cooked slowly for an afternoon wrapped in banana leaves, traditionally in an earth oven. It is then served with tortillas. It is not spicy, but it is earthy sweet. This is perhaps the best-known dish from the Yucatan.
Served on tortillas that have been grilled and then deep fried. It is topped with pulled chicken, avocados, and limes.
Similar to panucho, only the tortillas have not been grilled before deep frying. This allows for the tortilla to remain softer.
Kibis are ground wheat folded around meats and cheeses, and then deep fried. They are served topped with pickled red onions, cabbage, and habaneros.
5. Pollo Ticul
Pollo means chicken, and this chicken dish is filled with the unique tastes of the Yucatan. It is marinated in achiote, sour orange juice, honey, and spices overnight. Then it is wrapped in banana leaves and baked.
Papadzules are similar to enchiladas, but they are much older. They are corn tortillas filled with hard-boiled eggs topped with the sweet and spicy sauce made with pumpkins and habaneros.
7. Tikin Xic
This is a fish dish, usually made with grouper. It is marinated, as with the dishes above, with sour oranges and spices, and then cooked while wrapped in banana leaves, traditionally in an earth oven.
Similar to tostada, the base is a tortilla that has been fried. However, the tortilla for sopes are only fried just short enough for the outside to be cooked. This makes them softer and thicker than tostadas. The sides of the sope are pinched to hold the toppings. They are topped with shredded meat, cheeses, and salsa.
9. Atropellado de coco
This is a traditional dessert made with sweet potatoes and coconut. It is served as a custard.
First, a drink similar to mead is made and mixed with anise. After the honey has been fermented and the anise added, rum is then added. It is either served neat, on the rocks, or either with tequila and lime or with coffee.
Cochinita Pibil – By Popo le Chien, CC BY-SA 3.0, from Wikimedia Commons
Panucho – By Canibalazzo, CC BY-SA 4.0, from Wikimedia Commons
Papadzules – By kevin from south boston, ma, usa (Papadzules), CC BY 2.0, from Wikimedia Commons