When you think of Mexican food what do you think of? Maybe tacos, spicy salsa, rice and beans, and tortillas?
Although I am a Mexica (Aztec) by blood I used to think along the same lines…
Yes, there are some minor and major differences in Mexican food according to location. It is important to understand that Mexico is not some huge country-state where culture and gastronomy are consistent. It is made up of numerous states that have do have similar aspects but differ in gastronomy.
Take for example in the Northern part of Mexico where my parents are from – this is where you would find spicy salsa and tacos but in Oaxaca their salsa is very mild and they actually prefer to use mole which is sweet in comparison.
You may also have experienced a Oaxacan restaurant and noticed that their flank steaks are a little tougher than usual. That is because they dry their meat.
In Quintana Roo or the lower beach areas of Mexico, you can find seafood everywhere.
Ahhh the Yucatan where an organic avocado is as big as your head and you don’t have to give your life fortune to eat one. My favorite of all Mexican gastronomy is Yucatan cuisine.The Yucatan is famous for having diverse flavors and they still of course use a lot of the traditional spices that the ancient Mayas used.
Some dishes that are a staple in the Yucatan are; Panuchos, Cochinita pibil, and Papadzules to name a few. I took a lot of pictures of the different and amazing foods that we consumed but unfortunately there is not enough space in one blog to feature it all.
Maybe a part two is in order for all the foodies out there?
YUCATAN DRINKS AND DISHES
Below are a couple of the drinks and dishes that we enjoy when we travel to the Yucatan:
This concoction of a rice and water blend makes for a wonderful breakfast mix. It is pretty filling and will give you the much needed boost of energy to explore the Yucatan throughout the day.
Oxkutzcab is renowned for its daily produce market and colonial church but this little known treat often passed over by the casual tourist is made available by vendors in the local market.
A fruit water in the Yucatan is not only hydrating but it gives us a healthy kick. There is an assortment of these waters that come in a variety of tropical organic fruits.
When you approach the vendors your intention may be to purchase only one but don’t be suprised if you quickly consume it and end up buying two or three more! And the real kicker is that the price of these in the Yucatan is ridiculously cheap!
Now, this specific fruit water is made with Chaya. Chaya has a very high nutritional value; it contains Iron, calcium, vitamin “A” and, above all, vitamin “C”.
CHAYA PLANT WARNING:
There is a warning you must heed when handling or eating these Chaya plants. Most Chaya plants have thorny leaves and many tourists have had an allergic reaction to them.
Also, be aware that uncooked Chaya is toxic because uncooked Chaya contains hydrocyanic acid.
This hot chocolate or Xocoatl (which means bitter water) is served as a breakfast drink. The drink is prepared by roasting, peeling, and grinding cocoa beans; the paste is then mixed with water and spices.
It is not sweet like the hot chocolate that we know of today. In fact it was the Spaniard interlopers that added sugar to this Mayan beverage because they felt it was too bitter.
Besides the delicious taste and the cocoa trances that this hot chocolate can induce, this drink has some medicinal uses. The shell looking bread on the side is called a concha or conchita depending on the size. Concha in spanish means “shell”. This delicious egg and vanilla breakfast bread is a traditional staple in Mexican bakeries and homes.
This is our friend Rosa. She is making a tortilla stuffed with an egg on a hot comal for breakfast. I had never tried one of these before but it was amazing!
They paired it with a special red sauce that is primarily found in the Yucatan. The sauce is mild, sweet, and pungent. It gives any meal an extra burst of diverse flavors that will have you begging for more.
You can read my Mayan Wedding Ceremony blog to learn more about the traditional Mayan breakfast
MAYAN HONEY MARMALADE
This Mayan honey marmalade is to die for. It is prepared from scratch and it is not too sweet. I could definitely eat a whole jar!
The marmalade is typically paired with a basket of breakfast bread. The bread that is served with the marmalade is a miniature-sized bread…It is almost served as a pre-breakfast snack.This should be a thing everywhere. Or maybe, it’s the taste buds talking?