Top Ten Dishes of Mexico's Yucatan Cuisine

the varied and delicious cuisine of Yucatan Mexico top ten dishes

The culinary delights of Yucatan food is its own unique style, distinct from traditional Mexican cuisine. The food, much like the locals, is influenced by the Mayan, Caribbean, Spanish, African, and Middle Eastern cultures, as well as from other parts of Mexico.

Differentiating factors are key ingredients ranging from locally grown spices to vegetation such as pumpkin seed, oregano, red onion, sour orange, sweet chili, tomato, achiote, the xcatic chile, and habanero pepper.

While dining, authentic orders will include one or more of the most popular dishes :

Sopa de Lima

Whole 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.


An 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.


Looks 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 Asada

A 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.
the varied and delicious cuisine of Yucatan Mexico top ten dishes

Cochinita Pibil

Shredded 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 Relleno

Probably 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 Chuc

Sounds 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 Queso

An 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.


A 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.


Roasted 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.
For more information about Yucatan's culinary background please visit GoYucatan Culinary Tourism

Images courtesy of GoYucatan Culinary Tourism

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September 22, 2016

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