GASTRONOMY OF QUINTANA ROO

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Typical Food of QUINTANA ROO

The Gastronomy of Quintana Roo shares several elements with that of Yucatán and Campeche, in which traditional and contemporary cooking techniques are mixed. Although in places like Playa del Carmen and Cancun, where migrants from other countries live, the dishes have been enriched with international flavors.

In regional cuisine, ingredients of pre-Hispanic origin are combined with those brought by the Spanish. The dishes of chicken, pork, beef and rabbit meat stewed and seasoned with oregano, purple onion, sour orange, sweet chili, pumpkin seed, tomato, achiote, habanero pepper and coriander stand out among other ingredients.

The papadzules, cochinita pibil, pipián, black filling and panuchos are part of the gastronomic elements shared with the rest of the peninsula. In some municipalities of Quintana Roo it is still possible to taste wild boar meat, venison, chachalaca and pheasant, cooked in a pib or a ground oven seasoned with chili peppers from the region.

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Pescado a la Tikin-Xic (Fish a la Tikin-Xic)
Fish a la Tikin-Xic
Fish a la Tikin-Xic

You can savor this exquisite dish when you visit Isla Mujeres. This is a delicious fish prepared with a condiment whose base is achiote. It is very common for the various dishes prepared in Quintana Roo to have a characteristic red color. This is due to the use of achiote in its preparations. In the case of tikin-xic fish, in addition to having achiote in its seasoning for a special taste and color, it is placed in banana leaves and some coconut shells that serve as wrapping and is put to cook over wood embers. Do not stop enjoying this delicious dish when you go for a walk to Quintana Roo; you will be very satisfied.

Makum de Repollo (Cabbage makum)

This is a typical Quintana Roo food, although it is not very well known or popular. It is a dish made with chopped pork loin that is marinated in a marinade made with orange juice. The pork is seasoned with oregano, pepper, and cumin. To make it, a pot is taken and in it the cut cabbage or cabbage leaves are placed in layers and the meat is placed on top along with onions and tomatoes cut into slices; this is how several layers are made. Then the pot is covered and cooks over low heat until ready. When you go to this Mexican state, be sure to try the Quintana Roo cabbage makum.

Pipián (Mole)

We can say that the pipián is a typical food of many Mexican regions. However, each site has its own characteristics. In all the places where pipián is made, toasted and ground pumpkin seeds are used to make a sauce used to accompany fish, chicken or pork. The Quintana Roo pipián, which is also known as “oni sikil”, dates from ancient Mayan times. On some occasions, tender plums are added to the sauce and various types of meats are accompanied, such as venison, fish, and pork.

Snail Ceviche
Snail Ceviche
Snail Ceviche

Another of the exquisite typical foods of Quintana Roo is the tasty ceviche prepared with snail meat. This is a meal, made from the raw meat of this tasty mollusk; To do this, first the snail meat is beaten with a mallet to make it soften and then lemon juice is placed on it so that it “cooks” in it. To the meat of the snail in lemon, onion is added, preferably red, tomatoes and habanero pepper to taste; all this chopped into small pieces. If you are in Quintana Roo and they offer you to taste the Chetumal-style ceviche, they will be telling you about the wonderful snail ceviche.

Enchiladas “Quintanorroenses”

One of the tastiest typical foods of Quintana Roo that you can taste when you visit this beautiful state, are the enchiladas of Quintana Roo. For these delicious enchiladas, the corn tortillas are lightly fried in butter. After this, they are bathed with a sauce prepared with ancho chili, guajillo chili, peanuts and almonds. As filling, chicken is placed on them and, when serving, cheese and cream are put on them, as is traditional in other states of Mexico.

Papadzules
Papadzules
Papadzules

Another of the extraordinary typical foods of Quintana Roo are the papadzules. This dish consists of a style of enchiladas that are prepared with a sauce of green pumpkin seeds and epazote. For the filling of this type of tortilla, a boiled egg is used and a sauce made with habanero pepper and tomatoes is placed on top. In addition to the egg filling, you can add chicken meat, pork or cheese. Don’t forget to savor the unique papadzules when you go to Quintana Roo; you will be pleasantly surprised and very satisfied.

Panuchos

Among the typical foods of Quintana Roo, there are the so-called panuchos, very traditional and popular throughout the Yucatan peninsula. Panuchos consist of a fried corn tortilla filled with beans. This tortilla is served with lettuce and chicken or turkey that has been seasoned with the so-called “red recado”, a dressing prepared with achiote, chili and pipián. On the tortilla, the lettuce is placed, then the chicken or turkey and, on top, carrots, tomatoes, avocado and onion are placed in a pickle of acid orange juice and salt. Panuchos are, without a doubt, the typical food of Quintana Roo and their creation is shared with Yucatán, where they can be savored in any place or restaurant.

Empanadas de Cazón (Dogfish empanadas)

Every tourist who comes to the beaches of Quintana Roo, must try the delicious dogfish empanadas, one of the typical foods of this state. They are prepared with a corn dough, which is spread to place in its center a shredded dogfish stew, prepared with tomatoes, onion and epazote; fold in half to close them and fry in plenty of hot oil until well toasted.

Cochinita Pibil
Cochinita Pibil
Cochinita Pibil

One of the most delicious typical meals of Quintana Roo is the cochinita pibil. It is prepared with tender pork, orange, garlic, cumin, achiote, pepper, orejano and banana leaves. The first thing that is done to make this dish is to cook the suckling pig to be able to peel it more easily. Then some slices of meat are taken and varnished with orange juice and salt, then left to rest for a period of 24 hours. When this time has passed, the other seasonings are added to the meat slices. The seasoned meat is placed on top of banana leaves and wrapped to cook in the oven for three hours.

Stuffed Cheese

Some say that the extraordinary stuffed cheese comes from the Yucatan peninsula. However, there is no certainty of this. There are other opinions that establish that this typical food from Quintana Roo was created in Chetumal, since the first Dutch cheeses arrived from Belize, as contraband. To make this unique dish, you must have a round cheese from which the center is removed to place, in its place, a stew or mince prepared with pork, capers, raisins, some strawberries and spices.

Cangrejo Real (King Crab)
Cangrejo Real
Cangrejo Real

The fruits of the sea in Quintana Roo are among the best in Mexico and the extraordinary king crabs come out of the waters of the Mexican Caribbean. To make this dish, one of the typical foods of Quintana Roo, fresh crabs are taken and steamed. This results in a delicacy for the palate due to the soft texture of the meat, its unique and wonderful flavor. When you visit Quintana Roo take the opportunity to taste the king crab, because you will not find it anywhere else in the Mexican republic.

Kibis a la Chetumaleña

This typical food of Quintana Roo has something of a background in Arab food, since it is made with a typical ingredient of Arab cuisine, ground wheat. The first thing to do is to soak the ground wheat, then add it with the other ingredients, which are: ground meat, onion, garlic, tomato, eggs and powdered chicken broth. After all this is well put together, make small square pancakes and fry them in hot oil. As they are golden brown, they are removed and served with a spicy sauce called Xnipec. Some prefer them with sour orange slices and habanero pepper. All a delight for the palate, are these chetumaleña kibis.

Salbutes

Among the typical foods of Quintana Roo, we have salbutes. It’s a scrumptious dish and when you try it, you’ll want more. These are corn tortillas that are fried in butter so that they puff up a bit. Next, chopped lettuce, tomato and onion slices, shredded turkey meat and pieces of avocado are placed on them.

Chocolomo
Chocolomo
Chocolomo

Another of the typical foods of Quintana Roo is this delicious, nutritious and restorative soup, which contains beef and some organ meats to make a broth with a unique and inimitable flavor. It has pieces of beef, kidney, heart and liver. First, the meat, liver and heart are cooked in water, all cut into small pieces. Onion, garlic, peppercorns and salt are also added. When these meats are ready, add the clean and sliced kidney that has been marinating in lemon juice for two hours. Next, the veal brains are added, after removing the membranes. When everything has boiled enough and is well cooked, add slices of seedless lime. When serving this broth, it is accompanied by pieces of toasted tortillas, lemon slices, roasted chili peppers and radishes with salt and vinegar.

Chirmole

We continue listing and tasting typical Quintana Roo foods, and now it’s time for a familiar delicacy, chirmole. This dish consists of a stew whose preparation includes burnt red chili peppers, which are the basis of the recipe. The result is a preparation similar to mole, but thinner and more liquid, a little spicy but without reaching the extremes of the heat left by the habanero pepper.

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