If you want a unique culinary experience tasting the authentic Yucatecan food that locals eat, you need to get in touch with the people from “Eating With Carmen” right now!
They will take you on a gastronomic walking tour through Mérida’s downtown that you will never forget.
The Yucatan Post went on one of their tours just a few days ago, and it was fantastic!
The experience started at Mérida’s Plaza Grande, one of the most iconic places in the state capital.
On this occasion, we had the opportunity of being part of a private tour for a young European couple, Lukas Mossig from Austria, and his beautiful wife Natalia Romanova-Mossig from Saint Petersburg, Russia (the city formerly known as Leningrad). The guide’s name is David, he is from Mexico City, but has been living in the Yucatan Peninsula for a number of years now.
The first stop was at Janitzio, a traditional refreshing drinks shop located right in front of the Plaza Grande. Natalia tasted the traditional Chaya leaf beverage. Chaya, also known as the ‘Mexican Spinach’, is actually a large fast-growing, and productive perennial shrub from the Euphorbiaceae (Spurge) family of plants. The plant is native to Central America and is supposed to have originated on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Lukas on the other hand had Guanabana; known in English as Soursop, Guanabana is a native fruit to the tropical regions of the Americas and the Caribbean and is widely propagated in the Yucatan Peninsula. David had pineapple.
From there, we walked across the Plaza Grande main square, to get our first dish of the day, Gorditas. A gordita in Mexican cuisine is a dish made with corn dough (the same type of dough used to make tortillas) and stuffed with cheese, meat, or other fillings. In this case, we had Gorditas de Cochinita Pibil. As we all know, Cochinita is the most iconic dish in Yucatan. It is basically slow-roasted pork prepared with “Achiote” a mix of ingredients.
Across the street from the Gorditas place, is the Catedral de Mérida. The cathedral of Mérida was the first cathedral to be finished on the mainland of the Americas, and one of the only two in the entire American continent to be entirely built during the 16th century.
We walked through the “Pasaje Revolución” which is a representative space of the pulse of the city of Mérida. Located between the Cathedral and the MACAY Museum, it is a strategic and attractive point for the dissemination of art and culture.
We continued the tour walking south towards the Lucas de Galvez market on Calle 65. This is one of the main food markets in town (a really authentic and traditional place). There, we visited Lonchería Paty, a food place right in the heart of the Mercado. This is not a common tourist hot-spot, it is basically a place where Yucatecans go to eat Yucatecan food.
We had Panuchos de Relleno Negro. A Panucho is a specialty from the Yucatecan cuisine made with a refried tortilla that is stuffed with refried black beans and topped with different ingredients; in this case, it was topped with Relleno Negro. Relleno negro or Black Stuffing is a typical dish from Yucatán based on turkey, pork, and a mix of chili peppers and spices also known as Chilmole.
We walked along the isles of the market where Lukas and Natalia had the opportunity of tasting different types of tropical fruits.
It was a unique and completely incomparable experience for them. They were mesmerized by the colors, aromas, and textures of the different fruits, vegetables, and flowers that abound in this traditional market.
We stopped to get some Yucatecan tamales that they ordered to go; and then we headed back north towards the Plaza Grande, where we paid another visit to Janitzio, where we had natural fruit popsicles for dessert. And that was the final stop of the tour.
Eating With Carmen features small group tours of no more than ten people departing from Monday through Saturday. you’ll receive a highly immersive, generous, and friendly experience. Perfect for couples, groups of friends, and families.
But we highly recommend taking one of the private tours, it’s totally worth it! It is a personalized gastronomic adventure, a real Food & Culture immersive experience into the Yucatecan culinary world.
Contact them today and book your reservation:
PH/ Whatsapp: +52 (984) 310 7514
by Alfonso Galindo for The Yucatan Post