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Past and present: investigating ancient Maya cuisine

by Yucatan Times
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Caribbean traits of Yucatecan gastronomy underlined

(MERIDA, YUC. – UADY), January 24, 2022.- “Yucatecan gastronomy is conceived as a set of recipes, procedures, ingredients and etiquette, which is why it is considered as a “Creole” cuisine instead of “Indigenous”, for which , despite integrating ingredients and techniques, as well as technologies of local origin, its declared roots are in the global level,” said the research professor of the Faculty of Anthropological Sciences of the UADY, Steffan Ayora Díaz.

(Photo: UADY)

Within the framework of the Mérida Fest 2022, and as part of the activities on the occasion of the Centennial of the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY), during the discussion “Creativity and Innovation: Past and present investigating ancient Maya cuisine”, the professor stated that In different Caribbean regions, the similarity of Yucatecan recipes with other Cuban, Puerto Rican, Venezuelan, Dominican and other regions of the Greater Caribbean is observed.

“In this sense, and for historical-political reasons, Yucatecan cuisine has developed as a Caribbean cuisine and not as a Mexican cuisine,” he stressed.

(Photo: UADY)

However, he clarified, Yucatecan cuisine has been forged as different from the other Caribbean ones with which it maintains its kinship.

In her turn, Lilia Fernández Sousa, also a research professor at the Faculty of Anthropological Sciences, explained that the concept and term of gastronomy was born with modernity.

(Photo: UADY)

“All societies had a kitchen, and in many, including Mexico, from pre-Hispanic times to the present, the kitchen has been divided between the kitchen of those who have less and the kitchen of the ruling classes and elites,” he said.

(Photo: UADY)

However, she stated that the difference between societies that are recognized as having a cuisine or gastronomy is more recent.

(Photo: UADY)

In this sense, Ayora Díaz pointed out that Yucatecan gastronomy is, then, an assembly of ingredients, recipes, procedures and kitchen technology that adheres to precise rules for its production and for the label of its consumption.

“This assembly is an expression of the aesthetic-culinary preferences of the inhabitants of the state of Yucatan, its representation is that of a Creole cuisine, which incorporates elements of the regional Maya culture, but with a cosmopolitan vocation, which distinguishes it from other types of Mexican cuisine”, she concluded.

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