With abundant land and marine resources, Campeche stands out due to a gastronomy that preserves Pre-Hispanic secrets (such as herbs and fruits), and wisely links them to products brought from Europe, such as pork meat and its by-products. From Campeche’s kitchen, we can highlight the panuchos, empanadas, tamales and cazon tacos. Visitors can also enjoy the delicious escabeche vine leaves and the x’catic chili, battered and stuffed with cazon. One of the favorite products in Campeche is shrimp, which can be prepared with coconut, plain, as paté, in cocktails and some hot dishes. The papache, with an exotic flavor, is harvested in the swamps.
One the most traditional recipes from Campeche is beans with pork, even though other stews are prepared with this meat: from the delicious pork trancas (pulled pork sandwiches) to the traditional pibil pork (steamed and prepared with annatto) and clove ham. Turkey is prepared escabeche style, and it is served in salbutes (fried tortillas), sandwiches, tacos, empanadas and soups. Deer, armadillo and caiman meats are also found in the region.
Filet de cazon
The area’s best seafood is served at La Pigua. Other recommended restaurants include Casa Vieja (Cuban food and live jazz); Chac-Pel, Morgan and La Palapa (famous seafood dining –don’t miss the coconut shrimp); Marganzo (regional seafood specialties); La Cenaduria Los Portales de San Francisco (traditional place to taste local food, it only opens at night). Several good restaurants and bars are open at night along the waterfront boulevard (malecon).
For shoppers, the city’s colorful market sells some of Mexico’s best Panama hats (hand-woven in the humid subterranean tunnels in the city of Becal, between Merida and Campeche). There are several handicraft shops on the 10th and 59th streets. The handicraft store, Tukulna, is a beautifully restored house that exhibits products manufactured throughout the State. Other choices include Arte Mexicano (Calle 59 Depto 9-b), Baluarte de San Pedro (Calle 51), Codice (bookstore and crafts at Calle 10 No. 256), and Creaciones Edzna (Calle 10 No. 33).