Fresh from the Yucatán Download PDF
A mainstay of home cooking throughout Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and a standard on nearly every restaurant menu in the region, sopa de lima combines zesty Old and New World flavors. The basic elements are savory chicken broth, fiery habanero chili, and a tart blast from the lima fruit. According to Chef José Vázquez, a native of the Yucatán, the soup is a quintessential example of cultural fusion—centuries before the term was coined to describe a culinary movement.
The Yucatán is wedged between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, geographically isolated from the country’s interior. “Historically, it has had a much closer relationship with Europe than has the rest of Mexico,” notes Vázquez, who studied at the California Culinary Institute and returned home to become head chef at Hacienda Xcanatún in Mérida, the Yucatán state capital. And sopa de lima, more than any other staple of local cuisine, represents the collision of indigenous Mayan foods with European, Asian, and Middle Eastern fare. Continue reading