Top Ten Dishes of Mexico's Yucatan Cuisine
While dining, authentic orders will include one or more of the most popular dishes :
Sopa de LimaWhole turkeys are simmered for hours to make a delicious broth. It is then seasoned with garlic, onion, tomatoes, dried oregano, and lots of lime juice. The result is a sour yet refreshing lime soup. It is usually topped with fried tortilla strips for a crunch.
PanuchosAn appetizer of handmade corn tortillas topped with refried black beans and shredded chicken. The chicken is marinated in annatto paste (peppery achiote seeds) dissolved in juice of sour orange. It looks colorful when garnished with pickled red onions, avocados and chopped lettuce.
SalbutesLooks very similar to paunches, but in salbutes, the tortillas are made of a combination of corn and flour, and are fried until crispy. They are topped with shredded chicken, onions, tomatoes and avocados, and served as appetizers.
Longaniza AsadaA spicy, long, skinny sausage similar to the Spanish chorizo. In Yucatan, it has a darker color because of achiote and uses venison instead of pork. It is smoked on a charcoal grill and served with beans, tortillas, white cheese, and sour orange.
Cochinita PibilShredded barbeque pork is one of the delicacies of the region and can be found at practically every restaurant. The pork loin is traditionally marinated in annatto paste and sour orange juice overnight before being wrapped in banana leaves and gently cooked over charcoal for hours. It is always served with refried black beans and pickled red onion relish.
Queso RellenoProbably the most globally influenced dish in the Yucatan. A round block of Dutch Edam cheese is hollowed out and stuffed with ground pork cooked with onions, bell peppers, olives, raisins, capers, and almonds. Hardboiled eggs are added to the meat mixture before it makes its way into the cheese dome. The entire dish is wrapped with banana leaves, baked for 30 minutes, and served with tomato salsa and a cheese sauce.
Poc ChucSounds like a pork chop, and is a grilled filet of pork loin. The meat is beaten until thin (Milanese-style) and marinated in sour orange, salt and pepper, then grilled over charcoal.
Dulce de Papaya Con QuesoAn interesting dessert recipe that can take three days to prepare. A whole green papaya is candied by leaving it outside (only at night) soaking in lime water, then caramelized with sugar for few hours. The result is a sweet and gummy piece of fruit that is served with shredded Edam cheese.
FlanA common dish found across Central and South America and at practically every meal in the Yucatan. Flan is made with condensed and evaporated milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. The caramel custard is delicious when light and creamy.
XnipecRoasted habanero peppers are used to make all kinds of sauces that can taste anywhere from mild to burn-the-tongue-hot! Xnipec is a fiery hot chunky salsa made with habanero chills and Seville orange juice, eaten in small quantities.
Images courtesy of GoYucatan Culinary Tourism
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September 22, 2016