(Photo: Yucatan al instante)

Mérida, Yucatán, (January 11, 2022).- In addition to culture and tourism, the sister cities of Mérida, Yucatan, and Chengdú, China, share one more wealth: gastronomy. 

Within the framework of the Mérida Fest 2022 “The City that Knows”, thanks to the bonds of brotherhood between both cities, the exchange of gastronomic experiences and the expansion of knowledge of the culinary art are being carried out.

The Chinese city of Chengdu was named by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010, as the gastronomic capital of the world. In October 2019, our city of Mérida entered the Unesco Creative Cities Network in the gastronomy category within the framework of World Cities Day. With these achievements, both capitals are placing culture within their development and as a strategic pillar of political, cultural, and identity innovation.

Among the selection criteria for a city to be selected by UNESCO for its gastronomic richness, it is taken into account that the city has a well-developed cuisine with characteristics of the region, include a community of chefs and traditional restaurants well related to each other, show how its traditional culinary methods have survived technological advances, as well as promoting sustainable local products, instructing gastronomic students and schools in nutrition knowledge and the conservation of the local biodiversity.

Merida and Chengdu share a heritage and an ancient gastronomic culture in which the smell, shape, and of course the taste of food are important, already recognized throughout the world. In the case of Chengdu, a great Chinese city recognized as the birthplace of many traditions of cooking and cultivation of creativity, the great variety of flavors based on five elements stands out: sweet, sour, bitter, spicy, and salty, as highlighted in the UNESCO.

For the 2022 edition of the Mérida Fest “The City that Knows”, four prominent Chinese chefs shared the stage on Friday, Jan 7th. Asian culinary art at the High Specialty Gastronomy Workshop, in which prominent chefs Zhao Huankong, Zgang Shirong, Xu Huang Jifeng and Red Dong Sheng shared different techniques of Tabo cuisine and popular Chinese dishes.

The exchange of flavors had great acceptance from the students of the ISIMA Institute when they saw the preparation of Mapo tofu, sweet and sour fish (a highly popular dish in Canton of Guang Dong province), Kung Pao Chicken (in Sichuan when the authentic göng bäo jï is prepared ding is used only chilis such as cháo tiän juäo) and sweet and sour pork ribs.

The varied Asian cuisine was again featured in a gourmet tasting-type charity dinner that featured 21 fine Chinese cuisine dishes in which guest chefs transported diners to the ancient country and its healthy Chinese food culture. Included red meat and poultry (beef with orange, Peking Duck, Kung Pao chicken, sweet and sour pork rib), seafood (shrimp with salt and Chinese pepper, salmon with black bean sauce, fried squid with celery, sweet and sour fish), soups and other fresh side dishes.

As a culmination of the varied Asian gastronomy, on Sunday during the Popular Kitchen exhibition at the Paseo de Montejo Auction, in which representatives of the Yucatecan regional gastronomy took part, a space was added to show the Healthy Chinese gastronomic culture, where together With patties and Chinese candied apples, different vegetables used in that country were offered, such as sweet cucumber, eggplant, watercress, lotus root, kale, and Chinese mustard. In this meeting it was possible to emphasize the common elements of the traditional gastronomy of Mérida and Chengdu, all the bio sanitary protocols were taken care of to attend.

The presence of the chefs was possible thanks to the twinning ties that the cities have and through the Chinese Embassy in Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula China Association.

In addition to the gastronomic events, today and tomorrow Tuesday it will be possible to enjoy as part of the digital programming of the Mérida Fest a series of short videos that show different cultural aspects of the community through music.

TYT Newsroom