The Best Traditional Foods You Need to Try in Yucatan
If you ever ask us what we enjoyed most about Yucatan, we will definitely answer: the food!
Yucatan is a state full of tradition and culture dating back from the Mayan times. The entire region has some amazing views, cenotes and architecture to offer, but most importantly, delicious food! We love to take roadtrips to visit new places, and we always love to incorporate most traditional foods in our itinerary. Apart from the sights and meeting people, we believe that food can also teach us a lot about the culture.
The food we tasted during our road trip through Yucatan was probably the best in Mexico! Yucatan distinguishes itself from the other parts of Mexico through the Mayan traditions, but also through the food. We are extremely happy to have left Quintana Roo for a bit and crossed the state border to Yucatan, as there is a great difference in terms of culinary experiences. Read on to find out the top foods you cannot miss during your travels to Yucatan.
Table of Contents
One of the most popular dishes to taste in Yucatan is definitely cochinita pibil. This dish consists of hairless pork meat cooked to perfection in for 7 hours in an underground oven. The tastiest and most traditional one is made with fresh ingredients and it is usually eaten as a main, accompanied by fresh, handmade tortillas. We were honoured to taste the best cochinita pibil at Rosalia Chay Chuc's place in Yaxunah, near Valladolid.
Relleno negro is very similar to cochinita pibil, the difference being the spices used, as it has a black sauce. This dish is usually cooked in an underground over for 12 hours. The color of the sauce comes from a special type of chili pepper, which gives an amazing flavor to the entire dish. This is another dish we have had the luck to try at the Netflix star's place, Rosalia Chay.
Panuchos are an appetizer-type food traditional from Yucatan that consists of refried tortillas. The special things about this dish is that the tortillas are filled with black bean sauce. They can be served with different types of meat, vegetables and pickled onion on top. You can find this dish everywhere in Yucatan.
Another popular appetizer in Yucatan is the salbute. This is another tortilla-based food, that is topped with pulled meat and pickled onion. The difference between this and a taco is that the tortilla is fried, thus harder, so you don't fold it when you eat it. Salbutes are delicious, but we found them difficult to eat, due to the meat falling down with every bite.
Escabeche is a very interesting traditional Yucateco dish. It is made out of meat, which is marinated in a slightly sour sauce. Compared to cochinita and relleno negro, the sauce for the escabeche looks more clear, like a soup. Although this dish is very tasty, we found it a bit confusing. Why? Because it looks more like a soup, but you eat it with tortillas, like a main.
This is one of the best mains we have tried in Valladolid, Yucatan. Lomitos represents a dish made out of small cubes of pork meat marinated in a delicious tomato sauce with spices. The best lomitos we have had were at cenote Zaci restaurant.
Sopa de Lima
Sopa de lima is probably the best soup you'll find in Yucatan. Translated as lime soup, the dish usually contains chicken, onion, tomatoes and habanero peppers. It is soured with lime juice and served with fried tortilla pieces on top. It is the best cure for the heat, or if you have a cold or feel hangover.
Probably the most interesting dish we have tried in Yucatan is the papadzules. This food is similar to enchiladas, but the taste is very different. Papadzules consist of grated hard-boiled eggs, wrapped in a corn tortilla and topped with pumpkin seed sauce. We thought we will love this dish, but it was our least favourite, probably because it is missing the meat. However, it is a must-try in Yucatan.
In this article, we tried to give you an idea of the most traditional foods we have tried during our trip to Yucatan. Have you tried any of these yet?
If you enjoyed this article, make sure you check all the corn-based foods to try in Mexico, or about our amazing culinary experience at Netflix star, Rosalia Chay Chuc.