Photo: "Sabores Yucatecos: A Culinary Tour of the Yucatan"
The Mexican community in the United States never forgets its roots and feels most at home when enjoying traditional dishes, which prompted chef Gilberto Cetina to launch a Spanish-language edition of his book “Sabores Yucatecos: A Culinary Tour of the Yucatan.”
“The book is a collection of 140 recipes with the original flavors of Yucatan food, which is how my mom used to cook for laborers at her diner,” Cetina told Efe.
“Popular Yucatan dishes are the heritage of our Mayan ancestors blended with recipes from Spain during the conquest, plus a dash of flavors from other nationalities that went to live there like the Dutch, French and Lebanese,” he said.
The book was initially published in English two years ago by WPR Books, and now a Spanish-language version is being launched at the request of the Latino community.
It will be available on Amazon.com beginning April 25.
“When I came to the United States in 1979 I brought with me all the cooking knowledge of my mother, who fed loggers at her diner in Tizimin, Yucatan,” the chef recalls.
“Thirty years ago in the United States it was hard to find a lot of the ingredients…but today we can find them all,” he said.
The book, written by Katharine Diaz and Gilberto Cetina Jr. and illustrated with photos by Matthew Fried, includes main dishes, desserts and beverages.
“Among the original Mayan recipes is ‘cochinita pibil,’ meaning pig roasted underground, though the Mayas originally cooked ‘armadillo pibil,’” Cetina said.
The Mexican chef also noted that another popular dish in the Yucatan is rice with saffron, which combined with chicken, pork and the abundant shellfish of the the Yucatan’s Atlantic Ocean, adds up to the traditional Spanish paella.