Jollof Rice in Nigeria and Beyond
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One of my most treasured food memories is of a family vacation to Italy when I was a teenager. We spent a week in Florence, and every meal we had was a revelation. But the one that stands out most in... Read more
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What: This classic Yucatecan pavo (turkey) stew, which hails from Valladolid, seems fairly simple, just a super flavorful, comforting turkey soup at its heart. But its laundry list of ingredients—revolving around a recado blanco, or “white” spice mix, made from a slew of ground spices (including peppercorns, cumin, cloves, allspice, cinnamon)—and various components, including not only the turkey (or chicken) but also the marinade, the broth, and the ever important pickled onions, would prove otherwise. Escabeche means “pickled,” here referring to the vinegar-based seasoning used to flavor the dish, giving it some tartness, as well as the pickled onions (cebollas en escabeche) that go on top (this dish is also called pavo en escabeche and escabeche oriental). It’s a delicious, spicy, refreshing stew that transcends the Yucatán’s tropical heat. You’ll also find the poultry and onions nestled into tacos and tortas at taquerias around here.
Where: We loved this dish at the terrific El Faisan y El Venado (Carretera Federal at Calle 2 Norte, map), a local gem off the highway (read: about 10 long blocks from the beach) in Playa del Carmen.
When: Daily, 7am-9pm
Order: The escabeche de pavo (80p) here is presented in a bowl, lots of tender turkey meat—white meat, dark meat, even a meatball of sorts—swimming in a rich, savory, spicy-tangy broth, with a mass of pink pickled onions crowning it all. Tortillas are served on the side, but while the meat and onions do lend themselves well to a taco, you’d be a fool to not slurp up every drop of this beautiful broth. This is one of many classic Yucatecan dishes on offer here, so be sure to bring your appetite and try a few more. We also enjoyed the salpicon de venado, a shredded venison salad.
Alternatively: The wonderful Labná (998-892-3056; Margaritas 29, map) in downtown Cancún carries this dish for a few pesos more, but you should also try escabeche en pavo (or pollo) at a taqueria, like El Paisa in Tulum pueblo (Av. Satelite Sur & Sol, map), where the meat (chicken, in that case) and onions are spooned out of bubbling pots and onto handmade tortillas.
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