These are the different varieties of “pib” that are offered for Hanal Pixán

Hanal Pixán is almost here and thousands of homes in Yucatán are ready to eat the traditional Pib. This is a traditional dish with which the dead are honored every year. 

The preparation of this dish begins by putting the dough in a mold, adding cabbage, a special type of sauce made of flour and corn, then cover it all with more dough, add the meat, wrap the whole thing in banana leaves, and tie with threads of henequen to put it in the oven or to bury it, in order to cook it underground.

It is in this preparation process, in which numerous Yucatecans have begun to innovate, adding to the Pib various ingredients that are not the traditional chicken or pork, since, in fact, its Castilian name in Yucatan is mucbipollo.

But for some years now, the new generations, as expected, have begun to break the “mold” and are transforming this dish by adding other ingredients. Now it is common to find ham and cheese Pib, or seafood Pib (just to name a couple). But of course, most Yucatecans only eat the traditional Pib on Hanal Pixan.

In social networks, people who are dedicated to the sale of this “food of souls”, offer those other types of Pib, such as ham and cheese, black stuffing (relleno negro), Dutch cheese, cochinita, shrimp, lobster, and even dogfish.

Also, there is the vegan version of Pib, which is not the same as vegetarian, since vegans do not eat meat of any kind but, unlike vegetarians, that do not consume eggs, dairy products, or honey.

The ingredients of the mucbipollo have a meaning

It should be noted that when innovating in this dish, the meaning of its preparation is lost since each ingredient symbolizes something. 

For example, the chicken means the bones of the dead, the cabbage means blood, the dough represents the skin, and when the Pib is cooked underground, an allegory is made of the burial of the dead.

Eat Pib with moderation

Now that the coronavirus pandemic has shown the cost of obesity to health, we must reflect on the consumption of Pib with moderation.

Beatriz Gaspar Hernández, a clinical nutritionist at the IMSS in Yucatán, pointed out that excess calorie intake on these dates can cause weight gain, digestive problems, and even lack of control in people with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension.

The specialist explained that the recommended calorie intake per day is approximately  2,000 calories for men and  1,500 for women.

“Pib, a typical tamale in the region, is made of corn, which gives energy; the tomato provides vitamins and minerals, the chicken and/or pork provide protein, so it can be consumed, but in moderation ”, she explained.

A  slice of Pib, accompanied by a 250-milliliter glass of soda and a  moderate-size portion of Pan de Muerto, could provide up to 1,300 calories.

Given this situation, the nutritionist recommended eating a small portion of the aforementioned foods, and in the other meals take care of the calorie intake and consume more vegetables and fruits; as well as drinking plain water throughout the day.

The Yucatan Times
Newsroom



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