Apparently, mom was right — my eyes ARE bigger than my stomach. Still, I gave it a good go as I scoffed my way through my recent trip through the Yucatán. From the colonial cities of Merida, Valladolid, Izamal, San Pedro Nophat, Kanasín to the Gulf beach towns of Progreso and Telchec, to the tourist city of Cancun… I enjoyed the regional Yucatan food, local Mayan specialties, and traditional Mexican cuisines. Here are some examples… which ones look good to you?
Salbutes, empanadas, and flan
This was probably the best Yucatan food that I consumed in this part of Mexico, especially the salbutes, which are an authentic Yucatán specialty. They are small, puffed, deep fried tortilla topped with pulled pork, chopped cabbage, tomato, pickled red onion, avocado, and pickled jalapeno pepper.
Filete de Yucatán
Pork fillet marinated in tamarind seeds and chile peppers and sour orange then sautéed and served with pickled onions and black beans.
Tamale and chaya drink
The huge tamale was an appetizer shared by our table. Chaya is a drink made from spinach, considered to be refreshing by local Karen Kruse, however, not by me.
Who doesn’t like donuts? These deep-fried treats are crisp and coated liberally with cinnamon sugar. I have to admit, I ate the whole bag while walking around the Mexicana fiesta of local music and art on Saturday. I didn’t even share.
Not a specialty Yucatan food, but by now, nearly everyone in the world knows my appetite for ice cream. I plan to eat ice cream around the world.
The nachos at this little eatery located right on Merida’s fashionable, tree-lined Paseo de Montejo were good, but the margaritas were phenomenal. Close second to Hussong’s in Baja, where they originated. That’s saying something.
A burrito, delicately fried to a satisfying crunch and filled with shredded beef, cheese, salsa and sour cream. Unlike the Tex-Mex version, Eladio’s Yucatan chimichangas are not filled and folded over before deep frying, but just folded over. Messy to eat, but delicious.
No English is spoken here, and I’m still not sure exactly what kind of meat was in these tacos!
Chorizo quesadillas and the mother of all margaritas
The quesadillas were good, the margaritas were fun but weak but who cares? Carlos ‘n Charlies is my favorite place to go in the evening in Cancun. What can I say? I’m partial to dancing on my chair!
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