The roots of Yucatecan cuisine
The traditional Yucatecan cuisine has its roots in Spanish and Mayan culture. The array of tastes depends on the combination of recipes and ingredients characteristic for the kitchens of their origin – Spain, and Yucatan.
Spices and corn determine the flavor of that kitchen. Locals eat the latter in enormous quantities, as well as all people around Latin America.
The Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Maya, says that man was created from corn
However, throughout history, Yucatecan gastronomy has been influenced by the kitchens of other Latin American countries, and continents.
Pineapples, tomatoes, peanuts, achiote, among others, come from South America. Europe has brought some other gifts like wheat, lettuce, mint, pork, beef. Asia has contributed more healthy ingredients like chickens, rice, onions, garlic, citrus fruits, tamarind, almonds, carrots, and sugar cane. The end of the 19th century brought the wave of Lebanese immigration, which also added some coins to the already abundant Yucatan kitchen. Nowadays, also American lifestyle and cuisine inspire the local cooking.
The main spices
Some of the main components of the Yucatan cuisine are pumpkin seeds, oregano, red onion, agria orange (bitter orange), sweet chili, lime, achiote, xcatik chili, chili habanero, coriander.
Spices are part of the flavor’s secret, but also the water of the region contributes to the original taste of meals and, of course, ingredients too.
Find more about some of the most famous dishes of Yucatan