yucatec cusine

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Nearly everybody knows Mexican cuisine or has his/her own idea about what it looks and tastes like. One of the most common mistakes is to think that Mexican cuisine is terribly hot. Yes, some meals are hot, but you will be surprised that they are not as hot as the “Mexican” cuisine served in Europe. Mexico is made up of 32 states and there is the same number of “cuisines”. The cuisine served not only along the Caribbean coast in the state Quintana Roo but throughout the entire Yucatan, is called Yucatecan cuisine. It is based, like almost everywhere in Mexico, on tortillas, beans, jalapeños, habanero chillies (hot peppers) and meat. Tortillas, a thin cake made from wheat or corn flour, are as important for the locals as bread is for us. No food is complete without tortillas. Tortillas are served with practically all meals. You will also encounter tacos, quesadillas, burritos, etc. Tacos are small cakes filled with meat, vegetables, fish, etc. Quesadillas are a larger cake filled mostly with meat and cheese or with cheese only, vegetables, etc. and then folded. Burritos are a very thin cake or paste in the shape of strudel, but instead of apples it is filled with meat, vegetables and cheese. In addition, you can try tamales, which are little cakes made from corn paste filled with chicken meat and wrapped into corn leaves and boiled together. You cannot do without frijoles, which are overcooked, mixed beans in the form of a paste; they are delicious and healthy.

Guacamole can often be found on the table as well. It is ripe avocado passed through a sieve with lime-juice, coriander, finely cut onion and tomato with a drop of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Of course, hot salsa cannot be omitted and one can choose from a number of available types. Some salsas are extremely hot and in a good restaurant or where the Mexicans eat, they prepare their own fresh salsa. You might encounter the term “habanero”, which refers to salsa made from habanero chillies, the hottest ones.

As soup, locals often eat sopa de lima, which is chicken bouillon with lime-juice, onion and peppers. The Mexicans eat a relatively large amount of meat, mainly beef, pork and chicken, and there is plenty of fish and seafood available. If you will be staying in a hotel with an all-inclusive package, you will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of international cuisines as well. I recommend trying the local cuisine, you will love it. Yucatecan cuisine is varied and delicious. If you visit a restaurant, try, in addition to traditional “fajitas”, for example “chile relleno” (stuffed chilli peppers), fish a la Veracruzana (with a special sauce made from vegetables and capers) or “mole” sauce (usually served with chicken) which contains a number of ingredients, including chocolate and chilli – it is really delicious! At the end of the meal, try “flan” – their sweet dessert – or “Mayan coffee” - you will like it. For breakfast, try “huevos rancheros” or “huevos motuleños”, eggs made in a local style.

Tequila: this drink is well-known. A piece of advice: if you want to enjoy it, the label should read “100% de agave”. This means that it was distilled from agave only. Otherwise, there may be other “ingredients” and such tequila is not so delicate: you will get a worse headache. You can also try the so-called “reposado” tequila or “blanco” tequila; the first one matures in oak barrels for at least 6 months and has a golden colour. The older it is (añejo), the darker colour it has and its taste resembles cognac. Tequila blanco is clear and has an authentic taste acquired from agave azul. Tequila is usually served with lime or salt.

Beer: The Mexicans drink a lot of beer. Their beer, unlike ours, which is also from hops, is made exclusively from malt (grain), is delicious, refreshing and light and although it contains nearly the same amount of alcohol, you will feel nothing at all. It is sold in thirds of a litre and it is mainly bottled. Corona is likely the best known one, but try Montejo, Dos Equis,  Sol or Modelo Bohemia. Beer is drunk straight from bottles and cans even in expensive restaurants (they will bring you a glass on request). It is served mostly with a piece of lime in the neck of the bottle.



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