Friday, October 25, 2019

A Delicacy from Yucatán

When I was last in Mexico City in May, I had noticed that a new restaurant, specializing in the cuisine of the Yucatán Peninsula, was going to open just a few blocks up Insurgentes Avenue from the place where I stay.   Fortunately it did not take as long for this place to open as it has for the "coming soon" Restaurante El Cardenal.  Last month was the grand opening of "Seis 28" (the name is a reference to its street address on Insurgentes), and on Tuesday afternoon I went to try it out.

I began with the best known Yucatecan soup... "sopa de lima" (lime soup)... a chicken soup with tortilla strips and flavored with lime.  I have had "sopa de lima" in plenty of places, and this was top-notch.

My eyes were drawn to the special listed on the chalkboard on the wall.  I have never tasted "mucbipollo", but I have read about it.  It is the traditional Yucatecan dish for the Day of the Dead.

The description says, "A tradition that comes about each year with the hope that, through this exquisite delicacy, a connection is achieved between those who have gone and those of us who are still alive."

"Mucbipollo" is like an enormous "tamal"... corn dough with a filling of pork, and chicken, and baked in a banana leaf.  It is then covered with "achiote" sauce.  ("Achiote"... known as annatto in English... is a condiment and food coloring frequently used in Yucatecan cooking.)

The chalkboard did not lie.  It is indeed an exquisite delicacy.  I now have a new favorite of Yucatecan cuisine.  The sad part is that it is only served during the Day of the Dead season. I asked if two people can order one to share, since it is so much food.  He said that up to four can share it.  And I ate the whole thing!  I did not have any supper that evening.

I hope that I can make it back here with Alejandro before the Day of the Dead so that he can try this dish.  And even though the season will be over for "mucbipollo", I definitely want to take my cousin and her friend to this restaurant when they come down to Mexico City next month. 

By Mexican standards my meal, which cost 409 pesos (a little over 20 U.S. dollars), was expensive.  But if you could find a meal like this in the U.S. it would have cost much, much more.

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