Home Feature Ixil’s Cebollitas, a gourmet ingredient in Yucatecan cuisine, literally at risk of extinction

Ixil’s Cebollitas, a gourmet ingredient in Yucatecan cuisine, literally at risk of extinction

by Sofia Navarro
0 comment

Ixil shines in the horticultural production of Yucatán due to the cultivation of cebollitas, a unique variety known for its flavor and highly valued in Yucatecan gourmet cuisine. However, it faces the danger of extinction as only eight families continue to cultivate it.

Currently, the municipality produces approximately three tons per harvest, whereas in the past, this quantity would be tripled or quadrupled. The cultivation has declined because of a drop in commercial demand, leading farmers to choose to grow other vegetables instead.

According to the collective memory of the community, these special onions are only cultivated in this area and its surrounding region, limited to the municipal seat.

Ixil’s cebollitas are highly valued in the gourmet cuisine served in distinguished restaurants in the state capital, with the harvest and commercialization of the product typically taking place in April, May, and June.

Reflecting on the history of this crop in the community raises awareness of the importance of these bulbs and the lack of local commitment to their conservation and preservation for the future.

The few works written and published about the origin and history of these cebollitas in the community mainly present the cultivation as a generational practice passed down from parents and grandparents, which has survived to this day.

In “En Ixil, tierra de las cebollitas,” a monograph about the town by Miguel Orilla, the author expresses concern about the gradual disappearance of farmers who cultivate this special vegetable.

It is known that this vegetable was brought to these lands during the Spanish domination, and the Franciscan convents, parsonages, and extensive gardens of the religious institutions were places where cultivation was taught to enrich the cuisine of the region. Undoubtedly, it is an inheritance from the Spaniards and Creoles that spread to the yards of the Yucatecan Mayans.

By the mid-19th century, Ixil’s cebollitas were already a distinctive feature of the community. The newspaper “La Burla,” edited and printed in the city of Mérida in March 1861, contains a special poem titled “Adiós a Ixil” (“Goodbye to Ixil”), which speaks about the cebollitas from its first paragraph: “Your rich cebollitas / And your arid soil, / Your beautiful cenote / that flows swiftly, / they say that the already sweet hearth / awaits me, / and everyone and everyone / says goodbye to me. And in its final verse, it also states: “A beautiful ixileña, who adores me so much, gave me a pair of onions for her love…”.

Regarding this matter, the chronicler Miguel Orilla Canché commented, “Ixil’s cebollitas are an important symbol of identity for our community. And despite it being a pride to cultivate them in our lands, this practice is being lost because fewer and fewer families engage in this activity. If it were to be abandoned, we would lose the seed, the knowledge of cultivation, and the preservation of the harvest. Everything would cease, and then we would have nothing left but to regret not having implemented a rescue plan.”

The chronicler mentioned that this cultivation is annual and is at risk of extinction because only eight families in the municipality continue this commendable work in their fields and yards located in the municipal seat.

TYT Newsroom

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Our Company

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consect etur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis.


Laest News

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
Update Required Flash plugin