Much of the memorable events of travel are found in good food. On our fact finding journeys we prize above almost everything else splendid local foods. Here in Valladolid nearly everything edible is worth the trip. This lovely and scrumptious chicken dinner in savory sauce garnished with beans, chilies, olives and sautéed onion is served with yellow rice and fresh corn tortillas.
Would you believe finding this in a cocina económica?
Huevos a la Mexicana or Mexican style eggs when done right make for a sustaining breakfast that will keep your bicycle in motion until noon. Fried eggs over toasted tortillas and smothered in a savory sauce laced with garden fresh green peas sliced avocado, thick bean soup, and a stack of hot tortillas made from real corn not maseca. (We maintain that the maseca tortillas are de cartón or cardboard tortillas.)
This lovely traditional breakfast comes with several types of chili sauces and ripened bananas.
Would you believe that this and several other local specialties can be had at the municipal food court across from the main plaza where lunch and dinners are available all day at very affordable prices?
Also from the municipal food court you might want to try Motuleños, fried Motul style eggs made famous by Siqueff Restaurant that now has a Mérida location on calle 60. They are bicycle friendly. This is an ample meal smothered in ham and cheese or the huevos a la Mexican, scrambled eggs mixed with a variety of diced chilies and whatever the cook has on hand.
At night on the streets of Yucatán you are sure to catch the aroma wafting up from street carts where a scorching grill sizzles with hot dogs, sautéed onions and toasted buns that are than covered with as much jalapeños chili peppers as you can tolerate. Hot dog in Spanish is known as perro caliente, and in the Mayan language; Choco pec.
For a traditional taste of Yucatecan food prepared in the authentic Mayan style head to the open air municipal market three blocks east of the municipal plaza or zocolo.
These young fellows are enjoying tamales baked in a banana leaf and filled with corn masa and chicken. The large bucket on the table contains the spiced tomato sauce that is the preferred topping. The small tamales are known as vaporcitos and it is customary to order several at a time. These tasty treats are steam cooked at home and then brought to the market in the large aluminum kettles you see in the background.
This is a typical array of home made items sold on the street by independent Mayan women who daily set up these provisional shops on fruit boxes. From their home gardens fruits and vegetables of the season, ground chili pepper, and achiote, a deep red coloring with a mild flavor extensively used in traditional Yucatecan dishes, some baked goods and hand crafts are sure to be found.
In the above photo the round white items, crackers that are three to a bag, are unique to the Americas and made from yucca root, also known as cassava root that tapioca is made from. They are very labor intensive to make and these lightly sugared delicate treats must be sampled. Another unique item to these street venders is the elegantly scented fresh corn cakes about six inches in diameter and half an inch thick roasted to a deep golden brown on a comal that will sustain you for hours.
Jane makes a purchase from the Mayan street vender lady who keeps her marketing overhead to a minimum and personally brought her handy work and produce to put on the market.
New to Valladolid, guided bike tours and bike rentals.
On a recent bike trip around the Valladolid area, we were happy to discover Mexigotours. Plan an extra day in Valladolid and take the tour. It is well worth the time and the price is economical.
Vivyana Hernández Molina and Toon Vande Vyvere, owners and operators of MexiGO tours and bike rentals.
Tours in English, Spanish, French, Dutch with a guide who speaks Maya.
They take you to the out of the tourist trap places for an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.
The tour takes you to two beautiful cenotes plus a visit to a Mayan home and a couple of villages.Take a guided bicycle day tour in the heart of Yucatán that is not only ecologically friendly but healthful. Photo opportunities in bird watching country plus sampling authentic exquisite Mayan foods 100% natural are just part of what you will enjoy.
Phones; +52 (985) 8560777 cel: 521 (985) 1082018
Above is one of the two beautiful cenotes that you will visit on the tour.
The ecologically friendly bicycle tours are at an easy pace, divided into pleasant segments in the tranquil back country guided by informative guides that open a seldom seen side of Yucatán to you.
Jane in front of the MexiGO tour and bike rental office in Valladolid. MexiGO is located behind the cathedral and 1 block from the central park at Calle 43 No. 204B between Calles 40 and 42. For a map, click here.
We have biked to the places on this tour. Check out our website * for stories of some of the places we visited on our trips to Valladolid from Tulum and along the Caste War Route.
This is part of the very noisy Revolution Day parade making its way around the municipal plaza with the arches of the local government building in the background. The celebration is supposed to be a one day event but the clever Mexicans have managed to stretch it out to four days.
To make the congestion even more intense Revolution Day happens to coincide with the American Thanksgiving so the airlines and rent-a-car agencies were booked full with returning Mexicans.
A visit to Valladolid must include a trip to the open air municipal market where local items ranging from hand crafts to all the locally produced fruits and vegetables are on sale.
At the municipal market you will do business with the people that actually brought their own home produced products. Typically Mayan women, in their elegantly adorned dresses like the one above will transact the business.
If you choose to take the MexiGo one day guided bicycle tour of the Valladolid area this is just one of the many sights you will get to visit.
The variety of natural foods mixed with local color makes for photo opportunities and lasting memories at the municipal market.
Fresh pork meat in Yucatán is high quality and the tasty but greasy deep fried pork known as chicharrón are both staples of the Yucatecan diet found in the municipal market.
The twenty-first century is here but in Yucatán, blacksmith made hand-hammered iron is forged in the same old way as before the industrial revolution. The beautiful relics of the past are not produced for the tourist trade but for everyday use.
These are some of the tools of craftsmen here; hammers, chisels and punches plus essential hammock hanging paraphernalia like the wall inserts and “S’s” to connect them. Besides the machete, the caó, the question mark shaped sheet metal implement above on the upper right is an essential garden tool here.
When garden production is down it is desperate times for some.
Tom Jones of North Carolina purchased an old colonial home here nine years ago and restored it. Six months a year he and his wife take up residence in Valladolid to enjoy a slower pace of life in the land of take it easy while waiting for northern winter to pass.
Jane and I met Tom in the local tourist information office across the street and he invited us to join him for coffee and conversation.
We visited the villages of Chichimila and Tixhualactún. Visit our web page on Valladolid for those stories: www.bicycleyucatan.com/valladolid plus stories of many other places of interest in the Valladolid area such as Uayma and the beautiful Mayan ruins of Ek Balam.