At Namron, we believe in authentically supporting the local region where we thrive. We are so honored and proud to work with one of the only organic and sustainable farms in the area and incorporate the freshest, most nutritious organic produce in the dishes of our restaurant, NÜ.
We recently sat down with founder Gonzalo Samaranch Granados of Mestiza de Indias, the essential agriculture project rescuing native farming traditions and heirloom seeds in the Yucatan. Through a strong sense of community created on the farm, they are combating harmful agricultural practices in Mexico.
YOUR PROJECT RESCUES HEIRLOOM SEEDS; SURELY, IN THIS WAY, YOU ARE ALSO RESCUING TRADITIONAL MAYAN RECIPES IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION
The Mayan culture is in danger of disappearing. Globalization has made a global culture increasingly predominant over local and ancestral cultures. The culture of consumption has caused a homogeneity in how we dress, the entertainment we consume, the way we interrelate, and what we eat. Increasingly, shopping and tourist centers worldwide find the same clothing brands, movies in theaters, and international
food chains. Something similar happens in indigenous communities. The people stop wearing traditional clothing, consume soap operas, stop planting in the lots, and buy their food in small shops full of processed
products from large transnational corporations that we could find anywhere in the world.
WHAT IS YOUR FAMILY’S FAVORITE TRADITIONAL RECIPE TO MAKE IN MESTIZA?
It varies depending on the season because we cook according to the ingredients available at the time. This allows us to offer our visitors food made with freshly harvested ingredients or those that can be stored without deteriorating. But yes, at Mestiza, we try to rescue pre-Hispanic recipes at risk of disappearing and part of the local cultural richness diluted today by miscegenation and globalization. These are recipes where corn dough, pumpkin seeds, Creole chili, local species such as the holly leaf, achiote or epazote and the different local beans predominate.
SIKIL PAK RECIPE
Gonzalo shares a simple yet delicious Yucatecan recipe for Sikil Pak, a thick pumpkin seed dip that is unique and delicious.
- 1 cup of pepita seeds or pumpkin seeds
- 3-4 roma tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ onion
- 1 habanero
- Place a large skillet to heat while you prepare the garlic (removing its peel without crushing.) Cut the onion into chunks. Remove the stem from the
- Place the tomatoes, garlic, onion and habanero on the hot skillet and char the outside.
- Do not move these elements around as you want to char them on either side until they are softened.
- The onion, garlic and habanero will char in (approximately 3-5 mins) while the tomatoes roast
(approximately 5-10 mins.)
- Remove the charred ingredients from heat and add
to a blender or a traditional mortar and pestle if you buy one while on your trip!
- In the blender, pulse the onion, garlic and chili a few
times to break them up while the tomatoes finish.
- Pour your pulsed ingredients into a bowl and toast the pepita or pumpkin seeds in the pan on medium heat, moving them constantly so as not to burn them. Now puree the seeds and mix them into the bowl of charred veggies.
- Mix into a spreadable texture. The dip should turn a beautiful brownish red. You can top it with cilantro. We love to eat ours with homemade tortilla chips