An Interlude for Food - Yucatecan Cuisine

Valladolid Travel Blog

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Panuchos at the Hacienda - Chicken, Pavo Negro (the black turkey one) and Conchinita Pibil pork. Yum!
Since the Yucatan historically had ports with commercial and cultural contacts with Europe (especially France and Spain), New Orleans, and Cuba, the Yucatecans were influenced by many aspects of those countries, especially including foreign cuisine.  Here are some pictures and descriptions of some of the tasty food we tried while running around the peninsula. 

For the record, if you are interested in preparing Yucatan Cuisine (or other Mexican cooking for that matter) Rick Bayless has some fantastic books and recipes as well as several Chicago restaurants including Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, and XOCO.  A few years back Cindy and I had a great “Tasting Menu” dinner with her sister Cathy and brother-in-law Rob who went to Nicaragua with us last year. His web site is at http://www.rickbayless.com/

Cochinita Pibil is a marinated pork dish (usually baby pig but not always) and by far the most renowned from the Yucatecan cuisine.
Tasty fried chicken Torta
  Pork is marinated in ground achiote seeds (a dusty red thing also known as annatto seed and popular in Filipino food too. Usually, the whole seed is ground together with other spices and formed into a reddish seasoning paste, called recado rojo), sour orange juice (popular in Seville Spain as well), ground peppercorns, cumin, garlic and salt and wrapped up in banana leaves and roasted or baked.

Pollo Pibil is the chicken version of Cochinita Pibil and has a similar marinade of recado rojo, sour orange, spices, etc.  It is equally tasty.

Panuchos and Salbutes are hand made, lightly deep fried tortillas topped with shredded chicken and garnished with lettuce and onion. The difference between panuchos and salbutes is that panuchos have mashed up, re-fried black beans stuffed inside the tortilla prior to frying.
Ceviche
  These are some of the most popular snacks in the Yucatan and found virtually everywhere (probably not exactly low calorie for the record but very delicious...)

Sopa de Lima is a very tasty soup made with shredded chicken, bits of fried tortilla, and lots of lime juice and chopped lime and sometimes cilantro. Good for the belly, especially if Montezuma has paid a visit.

Poc Chuc is tender slices of pork marinated in sour orange juice, grilled, and served with a tangy sauce and pickled onions.  I think I actually ended up liking this better than the Conchinita Pibil because of the grilling rather than the steaming/baking preparation of pibils.

Papadzules are another appetizer dish made of chopped hard boiled egg rolled up in tortilla and covered with pumpkin seed sauce.
Commida Corrida in Cozumel
Very different than what you think of as typical Mexican cuisine.

Frijol con Puerco is the Yucatecan version of pork and beans. Chunks of pork cooked with black beans, served with rice, and garnished with radish, cilantro and onion. Homey, tasty, as Emeril says, "Pork Fat Rules!"

Huevos Motuleno is a breakfast dish of a tortilla, covered with re-fried beans and a fried egg and then smothered with tomato sauce, peas, chopped ham and shredded cheese. Yucatan's own, different version of Huevos Rancheros I guess, different but tasty

Pavo en Relleno Negro is a Yucatecan specialty dish of turkey meat stew cooked with a black paste made from roasted chilies, a local version of the mole de guajalote found throughout Mexico.
Papaya con Queso
The meat soaked in the black soup is also served in tacos, sandwiches and even in panuchos or salbutes.  Very tasty if a little bit weird looking (since the sauce is brownish black)

Ceviche -  Raw fish, octopus, shrimp or other shellfish marinated in lime juices and spices.  I love the stuff.

Chili Rellenos -  more traditional and typical Mexican cuisine, chili rellenos are usually poblano chilies stuffed with either cheese or ground beef and pork, often with other ingredients like raisins, capers and olives, then coated in a batter, fried, and served with a tomato sauce on top.  In Campeche we had Chili Rellenos made from baby shark called Rellenos de Cazon or something like that.
Huevos Motuleno


Longaniza - The Yucatecan sticks of longaniza from Valladolid are smoky and closer in appearance to pepperoni than traditional longaniza. The aging and drying process produces a firm, compact texture and mellower flavor.  Not too spicy, a little bit dry but nevertheless, very tasty.  Usually served grilled or as a topping for other dishes.

Habaneros -  The world’s hottest chili and used liberally all over the Yucatan although, even with the ever present green habanero salsa found on every table, I didn’t think it was killer hot the way some of the bottled ones you get here are.  

Tamales -  The Yucatan has its own version of meat and vegetable tamales wrapped in banana leaves, a little different than the rest of Mexico which have mole sauces or poblano chiles, and can be sweet and are usually rapped in corn husks.
Dos Equis, Negro Modelo, Chips and Salsa
 

Papaya con Queso -  we don’t usually do much in the dessert department (I save the calories for more important things like cerveza and tequila!) but this one was interesting and was a kind of jellied/pickeled papaya topped with white cheese.  Interesting, rich and a nice finish to a great lunch at the Hacineda.

Tortas - Sandwiches bought at little market stalls that are basically a fresh roll stuffed with chopped grilled or fried meats and topped with tomatoes, avocados and red onions.  Cheap and tasty.

This is by no means a complete list but gives you an idea of some of the truly tasty (and often very inexpensive) food available in the Yucatan.  Enjoy!
lrecht says:
Eating all that tasty food required lots of beers and tequila which always makes me happy :-D
Posted on: Nov 21, 2009
sylviandavid says:
wow..... you really ate some beautiful food to supply these pictures..... Great Job! Sylvia
Posted on: Nov 20, 2009
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Panuchos at the Hacienda - Chicken…
Panuchos at the Hacienda - Chicke…
Tasty fried chicken Torta
Tasty fried chicken Torta
Ceviche
Ceviche
Commida Corrida in Cozumel
Commida Corrida in Cozumel
Papaya con Queso
Papaya con Queso
Huevos Motuleno
Huevos Motuleno
Dos Equis, Negro Modelo, Chips and…
Dos Equis, Negro Modelo, Chips an…
Giant Margaritas (unfortunately em…
Giant Margaritas (unfortunately e…
Salbutes in Valladollid
Salbutes in Valladollid
Rellenos de Cazon - Baby Shark Chi…
Rellenos de Cazon - Baby Shark Ch…
Fried Parga Fish at the shore in C…
Fried Parga Fish at the shore in …
Sopa de Lima in Valladollid
Sopa de Lima in Valladollid
Larry goes Tequila Tasting in Cozu…
Larry goes Tequila Tasting in Coz…
Longaniza de Valladolid - spicy sa…
Longaniza de Valladolid - spicy s…
Panuchos
Panuchos
Fiery Hot Habanero Chilies
Fiery Hot Habanero Chilies
recado rojo - chili, achiote and s…
recado rojo - chili, achiote and …
Tamales
Tamales
Valladolid
photo by: Stigen