I have dedicated over 25 years of my life to the hospitality industry, this brought me the opportunity to work in more than 20 different countries, which allowed me to know in detail their cultures and most of all, their culinary traditions.
I was born in Mexico City and my parents are from the Yucatan Peninsula, my father from Campeche and my mother from Mérida. During my childhood I traveled to Merida a number of times so I know their food and traditions. It is a fact that not many ancient cultures in the world are so holistic as the Mayan; it was one of the most dominant indigenous societies of Mesoamerica and the way their customs and traditions have been preserved throughout centuries is worth mentioning.
I remember that while on vacation my grandparents took me many times to Isla Mujeres. Precious jewel embedded in the Caribbean paradise. It was a long roadtrip back then, and everytime, my grandpa “Chucho” wanted to make a stop in Chichen Itza, what was really kind of boring for me as a child.
Grandpa used to make that trip two or three times a year, always visiting the famous archaeological site and rigorously making a stop in the village of Piste, heading on to the market for breakfast.
After many years, I went back to Chichen Itza and amazingly, I realized that instead of a remote, rarely visited place, now it has become one of the most visited archaeological sites in the American Continent.
The truth is that I feel very nostalgic every time I come back to this great place and somehow it brings back all my childhood memories.
Recently, I was pleasantly surprised when I decided to eat at a restaurant called “Pueblo Maya”, where exceptionally good regional food is served.
Located in downtown Piste, this place is like an oasis in the middle of the desert. I entered the premises through a real “Maya hut” and was delighted by the authentic regional atmosphere of the location. I was surprised to learn that the hut was built by a real Maya craftsman using ancient techniques, such as dipping the rods to bend them with the exact pressure to support the materials the walls are made of.
It seems simple, just one more Mayan hut … But looking at the details one is surprised to see each part is made to fulfill a specific function. The hut has a living area, kitchen and it ends in a space with its own cellar for storing food.
It was a great surprise to see a group of Maya people inhabiting the hut!
Just as an ordinary day in their life, a lady was making fresh tortillas on a stone brazier and the aroma woke my appetite. Two minutes later, I was already enjoying a freshly made white round tortilla with a glass of Chaya water, a regional plant that apparently has many nutritional properties.
Leaving the hut behind, I walked into an open space with four big Palapas and a swimming pool surrounded by a botanic garden with more than 100 plants, all regional species with their corresponding description.
The staff was smartly dressed, the ladies wearing hand-embroidered traditional “hipil”; while men were dressed up in white Guayaberas, projecting cleanliness, reliability and hospitality.
I immediately ordered a Montejo, Yucatecan beer with its own personality, and I was ready for the Buffet. The display of color and flavor was outstanding, the wide variety of sauces and the smell of annatto … I just could not decide what to eat. I finally decided to try it all!
Fot starters, Lima soup with lime wedge and sun dried strips of tortilla, a condensate of regional flavors, Sweet Chile remaining as one of the main highlights.
Along came the “Codzitos”, fried rolled tortillas bathed in a thick tomato sauce, sprinkled with “cotija”cheese and with a touch of habanero, a truly traditional snack of yesteryear.
Then, the “Vaporcitos” (baked tamales) a little “Pollo en escabeche oriental” (Chicken in Oriental Marinade), black beans and finally, the greatly expected Cochinita pibil for the “Grand Finale”.
But this is no ordinary Cochinita, no sir, this suckling pig is prepared in the ‘Pib “, a limestone pit buried in the sand where the pork is cooked slowly for more than 12 hours … a natural treat.
When I heard the song “Yucatán, I have come” by Mexican singer Natalia La Fourcade, emotions take over, I reach the point where tears come to my eyes and I just say: “Thank you Grandpa, thank you Yucatán …
But the best of all is the people. No more nobility than the people here. They have treated us with such care, with such attention, detail after detail. Definitely an experience worth living, where the pride and honor of being Mexican makes us stand up.
When the night came, we went to see the “Light and Sound Show in Chichen Itza” … but that’s a story I won’t be telling you this time, you need to come and see it for yourself!
Just keep in mind that you cannot miss “Pueblo Maya“!
by Jorge Camino
PUEBLO MAYA BUFFET MENU
COCINA YUCATECA (YUCATECAN CUISINE)
SOPA DE LIMA (LIME SOUP)
FRIJOL REFRITO (REFRIED BEANS)
VAPORCITOS (STEAMED TAMALES)
EMPANADAS DE QUESO & PESCADO (FISH & CHEESE EMPANADAS)
POLLO EN ESCABECHE DE VALLADOLID (Valladolid Style Chicken in Marinade)
COCHINITA PIBIL (ENTERRADA) LINEA COCINA INTERNACIONAL & MEXICANA
(INTERNATIONAL / MEXICAN FOOD)
FAJITAS DE POLLO
SOPA DEL DÍA (SIN CARNE)
FAJITAS DE POLLO (CHICKEN FAJITAS)
DEDOS DE PESCADO (FISH FINGERS)
PURÉ DE PAPAS (MASHED POTATOES)
SALAD BAR / BARRA DE ENSALADAS : Romanita, tomate, pepino, zanahoria, remolacha y ensalada de repollo (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrot, beeds and cole slaw)
DRESSINGS / ADEREZOS : mil islas, ranchera y vinagreta, aceite de oliva y vinagre balsámico, salsa tártara, pico de gallo, cebolla curtida roja (thousand island, ranch, vinagrette, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, tartar sauce, pico de gallo, red onion)
COMPLEMENTOS: Pan, tortillas y totopos
DESSERTS / POSTRES Arroz con leche, caballeros pobres, dulce de papaya, gelatina y helado de fruta (2 opciones).
FRUTAS : de la estación (2 opciones)
CAFÉ o TE
– N.B. Atendemos de manera personalizada a las pasajeros con particularidades alimentarias (v.g.: vegetarianos, Celíacos, etc)
(We cater special service for vegetarians or Celiacs)
– Agua de chaya como bebida de bienvenida en recepción, para todos los grupos con reserva.
(Agua de chaya as welcome treat for all reservations)
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PH.- (985) 851 0391 // (985) 851 0098 // (985) 851 0174
Nextel 32*694502*1 // email@example.com
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