mercado-lata-cochinitaEasy to prepare but with amazing flavor, “tortas de lechón” are part of our region’s culinary richness. So, after tasting all the different gastronomic delights of our state, go ahead and try this for a casual meal. This dish, apart from being delicious, is important because it includes essential elements from Yucatecan cuisine such as pork, “pan francés” (baguette) and typically prepared pickled red onion.

The first time I heard about “tortas de lechón” here in Mérida, I imagined a traditional torta, like the ones they serve in other parts of México (prepared with spreads, shredded ingredients, in a “bolillo” or “birote” as the baguettes are known in regions like Jalisco): a typically Mexican dish. But I was wrong! “Tortas de lechón” deserve a special place in the diet of anyone who visits the region, lives in Mérida, or who just arrived. You have to try them!

This delight consists only of “pan francés,” (our local Yucatecan baguette) baked, juicy pork with a crunchy crust known as “chicharrón,” pickled onion, and if you are brave enough, you can add some chile habanero! Only these few ingredients provide a delicious experience. It is customary here to have tortas for breakfast, so if it is early and you are hungry, you can find them in the following places:

In Mérida’s Centro, you can find “tortas de lechón” from the early morning hours at all the stalls, just pick one and enjoy yourself. If you have a big appetite, you can add to your breakfast some “lechón” or “Cochinita Pibil” tacos, also always available, and equally irresistible. After your breakfast, walk around the market, where you will find some fresh fruit to finish off your meal. (Calle 65 and 69 x 56, Centro)

Open every day at 7 am, a place of long tradition in Mérida. Other specialties at this restaurant that you should try are the “tortas de Cochinita Pibil,” that are popular for breakfast as well. A big plus is the fresh orange juice that they prepare at the moment you order. (Av. Cupules #503)

Here you can find “tortas de lechón” and all kinds of tacos in the mornings. The stalls offer more options for breakfast and the market is in a great location, just steps from the south end of Paseo de Montejo, a great place to walk off your breakfast. (Calle 47 x 58 y 60, Centro)

Also located in Centro, here you can find many stalls offering “tortas de lechón” in the mornings. As in Mercado Santa Ana, there are many breakfast options. I recommend having your “torta” together with a fresh lime water with chaya, also an important (and delicious) part of the local Yucatecan tradition. (Calle 57 x 70, Centro)

Finally, “tortas de lechón” are so popular, that on the weekends you’ll be able to find stalls all over the city from the very early morning hours where you can enjoy this tasty Yucatecan meal. So, nobody can miss out!

By Katia Bedolla

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