afro-mexican cuisine

More than 15 dishes are part of Afro-Mexican cuisine

The traditional Afro-Mexican cuisine, based on seafood, meat, poultry and exotic animals, is composed of a variety of more than 15 dishes that are enjoyed in Afro-descendant villages, located throughout the Costa Chica region of Guerrero.

The traditional cooks of the municipality of Cuajinicuilapa, considered the Black Pearl of the Pacific, are identified by having a good seasoning in their stews, mostly used in their spicy recipes, and accompany them with handmade tortillas.

Sergio Peñaloza Pérez, president of the Asociación Civil México Negro, said that in the Costa Chica region, made up of Afro-Mexican municipalities, there are more than 15 dishes that distinguish Afro-Mexican cuisine and culture.

In addition to outstanding traditional cooks who are respected and trusted for their good seasoning.

Peñaloza said that among the dishes that are identified in the afromestiza kitchen is white rice with black beans, which is eaten when there is little time to feed and few resources in the home.

Another of the typical foods, which is losing its traditional recipe is the red beef broth, which is stewed with dried meat or dehydrated by the sun and vegetables are added.

The enchirmolado of pork or stew also in garlic chili, mole of robalo, beans with dehydrated beef, fish stock, tamales of fish, tamales or mole tichinda, the chilate, the mole of guajalote and chicken, are also part of the kitchen afromestiza.

Mohamed Molina, director of Culture of the municipality of Cuajinicuilapa said that in the cuisine of afromestizos people used butter, corn leaf, banana leaf, banana, holy grass, broth, guajillo chile and chilean chilepara.

He said that in Cuajinicuilapa, municipality of Guerrero that borders on Oaxaca, it is common that among the Afro people, they consume beef and moronga, which is the blood of pork or beef and stews with tomato, chili and add species.

He said that Africans like to eat a lot of beef and pork blood, that’s why Moronga is also a dish typical of the region.

He explained that in Cuajinicuilpa, which is filled with meat, is consumed with broth, while in communities belonging to the municipality of Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, this dish is eaten dry.

Blanca Merced Rodríguez Lucero, and Aydé Rodríguez López, traditional cooks of this municipality of the Costa Chica, pointed out that the typical dishes of Afro-descendant peoples that are consumed with more frequency are tichinda tamales, raw meat tamales, shrimp and rice , mole of turkey, iguana, armadillo, pork head mole and other dishes considered exotic food.

Blanca Merced pointed out that her specialty as a traditional cook is the preparation of tichinda tamales, fish carving, ceviche and mole.

She assures that her dishes are not so sophisticated or gourmet, but she has participated as a traditional cook in events where she has conquered the palate of many and won the first place with tichinda tamales.

She said that in addition to tichinda tamales and ceviche, which are similar to mussels, fish in broth or red chili stew, tichinda mole, shrimp tamales or stews also in red chili, is part of afromestiza gastronomy.

Also inside the cuisine of Afro towns is the exotic food like mole de armadillo, iguana and tlacuache stewed in garlic or green chili.

“The iguana and armadillo are cooked in mole or in garlic chili or in green sauce. The iguana is also made in tamales or in broth that has cando leaves and can be substituted for cumin, cloves and other condiments,” she explained.

Blanca, recalled that when she participated for the first time in the first meeting of traditional cooks, in Acapulco, she did it with chinda tamales.

She considered that her tamales, in comparison to the dishes of other cooks, were “a poor thing”.

However, tamales de tichinda is part of Afromestiza cuisine, a dish that all people eat at any time.

“I was surprised because I even brought the first place with tichinda tamales when I competed in Acapulco, I made 400 tamales and everyone liked them.”

She explained that these tamales are prepared with corn leaves, masa, guajillo chili, lard, chile costeño and enough garlic is added to the tichinda, because it is a little cold and can cause stomach pain.

Blanca said that the tichinda is like the mussel and it occurs in clusters, in logs in the lagoon and there is also tichinda in mud, but that is special to prepare ceviche, because it is bigger.

Aydé Rodríguez López, is another traditional cook originally from Cuajinicuilapa and her specialty is the preparation of seafood, with a good seasoning that she shares in her restaurant “El Pescador”.

She said that among the Afro villages you can taste the tamales of raw pork or chicken meat, turkey mole, iguana, rice, shrimp, pork head mole, pork enchirmolado, chipile, armadillo mole and barbecue stew tlacuache.

She said that between 15 and 20 traditional dishes from the Afromestizo region can be eaten, including exotic dishes. She added that spicy is what characterizes Afro cuisine and if it does not have chili, it has no flavor.

About the author

This article was written by Ian Hayden Parker, Oaxaca Life staff writer, the leading source for English news in Oaxaca, Mexico.