Sunday, December 13, 2015

Giving Cochinita Pibil One More Chance

Cochinita Pibil Tacos

Cochinita pibil is something that I've struggled to appreciate. And the food court at Cancún Airport's Terminal 3 didn't seem like the right place to be giving it another try either, especially when the only Mexican stall was more focused on selling gringo food, like burritos with sour cream. Still, I saw "Mayan pork" tucked away in the corner of the menu, and I figured this was my last chance to get a local rendition before leaving town.

It wasn't very pretty in that plastic box, looking like a scoop of tough shredded meat smeared across a few tortillas. But when I took a bite, I was rather surprised. "Eh, it's actually really moist and tender." I thought. "And there's a little bit of fat in here too!" That made it much tastier than other renditions that I've had, reminding me a bit of a Hawaiian pork lau lau, but with a bit of earthiness from the achiote.

That wasn't all, by the way. What got me even more excited was that little cup of green oil at the top. I was puzzled at first, wondering why one would provide olive oil with something like this. It was only when I tasted it did I realize that it was actually habanero oil instead. Yipee! That took this thing into another world, making it hard for me to stop eating.

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