Throughout the Yucatan, the Mayan language and many ancient traditions are preserved with great pride and resonate with modern life.

The Mayan’s may have performed sacrificial offerings there, but for us it’s exhilarating to swim in the beautiful sun filled, exotic freshwater Cenotes, which sadly translates as a “sink hole” and does not evoke the experience… must change that translation!

Also abundant in the Yucatan is the unsuspecting Achiote plant, commonly known as the lipstick tree with pretty pink flowers, but it’s the bright red annatto seeds of the pod that is a major player in Yucatecan cuisine.  It would be amiss of me not to mention that it was used by the ancient Aztecs in 16thC manuscripts, containing anti oxidants it has medicinal qualities specifically for the treatment of heartburn, stomach ailments and is also used as an insect repellent (remember we are in a tropical rainforest!) and was also used as a lip stick and body paint.

In this case, the Annatto seeds are crushed and mixed with a citrus juice and used as a marinade.  “Tikin Xic” is fish rubbed with annatto and wrapped in a banana leaf then steamed, baked or buried and translates to dry fish, which I can assure you it is anything but!

Nettie Z 🙂

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