Mexico is a big country with incredible landscapes, rich history, amazing culture and delicious food. Mexican food has some of the most well-known and loved dishes in the world. The cuisine varies by region due to local climate, geography and ethnic differences. Yucatecan food, especially, is famous for having diverse flavors and for using traditional spices the ancient Maya used.
Today, we are gonna learn how to make a traditional Yucatecan salad called Xec or Xe’ex. Xe’ek comes from the Mayan language and it means “mixture, blend”. It’s one of the many traditional dishes served on the “Day of the Death” (Día de los Muertos) known in Yucatán as Hanal Pixan (which means “food for the souls”). From October 31st to November 2nd, Mexican people celebrate their loved ones who have passed on, remembering their dead and at the same time, the continuity of life. Families gather together to welcome their dead back into their homes, they visit the graves of their loved ones and they create family altars at home. Gravesites and altars are nicely decorated with flowers and adorned with religious amulets and with offerings of food, especially foods the loved ones liked a lot.
This salad made of citrus, Mexican potatoes, coriander and chile, is traditionally served in small portions after eating the typical muc bil pollo (or simply called pib, a pork dish slowly cooked buried into the ground, following a traditional cooking method).
Preparing this citrus salad is incredibly simple and you only need a few ingredients.
- 1 Mexican potato (jícama)
- 2 oranges
- 2 mandarines
- 1 green lemon
- chopped coriander
- ground chile
- Peel the Mexican potato and cut it in little cubes.
- Nicely peel and cut the oranges and the mandarines. Make sure to remove the white skin and only use the slices.
- Mix everything together in a bowl.
- Finely cut the coriander and add it to the mix.
- Add the green lemon juice
- Serve and sprinkle with ground chile.
I hope you liked this traditional recipe. You can easily prepare it at home wherever in the world you are and dream about Yucatán, until you get here and try the original version. If you struggle to find Mexican potatoes (I know it can be hard in some countries), try to replace them with something else. It’s impossible to mess it up and I am pretty sure the result will be delicious!
If you are planning to visit Yucatán, well done, you have made a great choice! If it’s not in your plans yet, then check out this article to see why you should visit this magic land. Either way, subscribe to our blog for good advice and travel tips.