The motuleño eggs had a somewhat bumpy origin … One day Felipe Carrillo Puerto, then governor of Yucatán (between 1922 and 1924) visited the restaurant “La Sin Rival” in the town of Motul with number of guests. The owner of the premises, Jorge Siqueff Febles, did not have enough dishes to serve all the guests, so that each placed different foods that had thought to offer: A Toast with beans, an egg, diced ham and peas that covered with tomato sauce. To the surprise of the owner and chef Eugenio Lugo, this dish become part of the restaurant’s menu, eventually was copied by other establishments. Thus, it became one of the most traditional breakfasts Yucatan.
The traditional cuisine of this land every dish has a story to tell; and how not to mention here the one that perhaps is the best known dish of Yucatecan cuisine?
Among families of Mayan communities it is served only on special occasions. The preparation of the cochinita is a ritual. The preparation of this dish, for traditional weddings and festivals, begins the night before.
It starts seasoning the pork meat with sour orange and annato; then wrapped in a banana tree leaf. It does not take more than bury it in a “Pib” (earth oven with hot stones on the bottom) and wait for the meat to cook in its own juices. Ideally, let it cook overnight and dig in the early hours of the morning. When you visit, you’ll find almost anywhere although there are places La Tradicion, which makes this dish an art.
Legend has it that near the Ermita de Santa Isabel, Merida, in the mid-nineteenth century there lived a man known as “Don Hucho,” which had a food for travelers going to or coming from Campeche, one way known as “Camino Real”. One day Don Hucho began preparing a snack consisting of bread with beans strained and boiled egg. Some time after people called it “bread of Don Hucho” or “Pan de Don Hucho” Over time, the bread was replaced with “Tortilla” and being called “Panucho”.
The “Queso Relleno”
The “Stuffed Cheese” or “Queso Relleno” is for many the epitome of culinary art in Yucatan … Its origins are uncertain, and the legend surrounding this delicious dish … How the first cheese ball came to Yucatan is also a mystery and versions are many: There is a romantic tale that marks the stranding of a ship in the peninsular coasts and in whose charge cheeses somehow came to Merida is one of the most accepted versions.
Another version relates that during the caste war, the soldiers quartered in Bacalar, used to eat those Dutch cheeses, imported from Belize … on one occasion, found a ball half eaten by mice at the top, and decided, instead of cut it in slices, continued to carve it with a spoon until it was almost empty … they were going to throw it away when the cook had the idea of filling it with fish and tomato and cheese filling was born there … there is really no way of knowing whether this story is real, but it would be great if it did.
For taste, is considered a true delicacy that while not as popular as the “cochinita pibil” itself is a unique and representative dish of history, merger and evolution of the legendary Yucatecan cuisine.
Sopa de Lima
The taste of the Yucatan soup is light, refreshing, with a hint of citrus from the lime. But there’s more; the soup is served with chicken, tomato, bell pepper, cilantro, tortilla chips and ingredients that give it sensational flavor. It’s definitely a soup that whets the appetite, nourishes the spirit and excites diners with what may come later. (That in the case of Yucatecan food is a lot). It is difficult to describe the taste of lime because its flavor is unique.
And now, a dessert … The marquesitas
One of the most recent contributions of Yucatecan culinary history are Marquesitas; these have a very particular history … The history of marquesitas dating back to 1910 in the city of Mérida.
Don Leopoldo Mena who was originally from the beautiful city of Izamal, devoted to the ice cream trade, emigrated to Mérida became known as the first bell ice cream vendor. Twenty years later, in 1930, his son Vicente Mena Muñoz, better known as “Polito”, took over the business. Because of winter the sales where not too good, so he began selling the wafer, filling it with various products and after several tests came up with the idea of using as an ingredient de Deutch cheese…
Marquesitas name came up as among their regulars were two daughters of a marquis. At present marquesitas can be tasted in parks as Santiago, Aleman and Las Americas. When you visit, its is indeed a must.