When you discover a new destination, gastronomy always plays a big role; and Yucatán is well known for its cuisine. There are many regional dishes including Cochinita Pibil, Relleno Negro, Panuchos, Queso Relleno, and more, but today we will talk specifically about Frijol con Puerco (black beans with pork). Many people say that it’s a tropicalized version of the famous Moros con Cristinos from our neighbor island, Cuba.
Besides being a traditional Yucatecan dish, it also involves a unique tradition: eating it only on Mondays. This fact took us to the beautiful city of Izamal, well known for its delicious Yucatecan cuisine, to find out more about this tradition. There are also different ways to eat it: everything in one bowl, or separately.
During our investigation, we went to places that are popular with the locals, and spoke with them. Our first stop was the exquisite Cocina Económica de Doña Flory (Calle 31 between 20 and 18, Izamal), where she and her husband Don “Negrito” told us about the kind of meat used for its preparation: loin, leg, ribs, and in some occasions knuckle; all pork, of course! We tried Doña Flory’s version of this iconic dish, along with the traditional accompaniments: chiltomate (grilled tomato sauce), radish, onion, cilantro, habanero chile (if you like), avocado, and rice. (The rice can be simple white rice, or prepared with the broth from the beans, resulting in an extremely delicious black rice.
After that, we had the opportunity to visit the local market, for lunch at Lonchería La Conchita. The recipe that they use to prepare Frijol con Puerco has passed from one generation to the next, and now it’s in the hands of Doña Amada and her sisters. When you visit them, it must be on Monday in order to have this dish. Ask Doña Amada about how they cook it; on many occasions it is prepared together with their family, which makes it even more attractive.
For Yucatecans, eating Frijol con Puerco is a trip back in time to the lunches at their Chichí ‘s house (“Grandma” in Maya) and to remember all those Mondays together with family. So now you know: next time you visit Izamal, walk along its pretty streets, go to the convent and pyramids, but be sure you go on a Monday so you can try this classic recipe cooked in the most traditional way. And remember to eat your Frijol con Puerco with some delicious handmade corn tortillas. Buen Provecho!
Investigation created together with Caballeros Pobres, watch the video: www.yuc.today/FrijolconPuerco
By Natalia Bejarano Calero