Ancient MAYAN FOOD – Jungle Cooking in MAYA VILLAGE in Quintana Roo, Mexico!

Ancient MAYAN FOOD – Jungle Cooking in MAYA VILLAGE in Quintana Roo, Mexico!

(tapping) – When I was in the Quintana
Roo state of Mexico, one of the things I was most excited to do was experience and eat ancient Mayan food, so we rented a van and drove to Chunhuhub, a small Mayan village deep
in the Yucatan Peninsula known for preserving
Mayan cultural traditions. If you love chocolate, corn
tortillas, or guacamole, you, well actually we
have the Mayans to thank. In this video I’m taking
you on a culinary experience where we’ll cook and eat
traditional Mayan food, and wow, is it fascinating. (mellow music) Okay, we’re all loaded up in the car, and by the way, meet my
friend, my buddy Carlos. We’re traveling with Carlos
and his wife and Armando. Ying and Micah are all in the back. So we’re driving to a place,
it’s called Chunhuhub. I think that’s how you, it’s fully Mayan, but it’s about a two and a half hour drive from Playa Del Carmen, so we’re gonna just follow the map into the jungle. We’re on our way. Carlos, listo? – Do it. Listo, vamanos. – Vamanos. Just stopping quickly to
get some gas to fill up. Been driving for about an hour and a half. We have reached a place it’s
called Felipe Carrillo Puerto. Wow, it’s been gorgeous so far. We’re really getting off the beaten path. Oh yeah, what is that? (speaking foreign language) There’s a very nice lady who
is serving, como se llama? (speaking foreign language) – Panuchos. – [Mark] Panuchos. – [Carlos] Panuchos. – Ah, panuchos, they look like a little, almost like a tostada
wrapper on the bottom and then topped with, it looks like topped with chicken and avocado, lettuce, and there might be some
beans on the inside, yeah? Thanks, man. – [Carlos] Todo buenas, man. – Here it is, my panucho,
it’s a little breakfast snack. Que paso? – Panucho. – Panucho. (panucho crunching) Mm. Yeah. It’s really good. A little bit cold, but
it’s kinda cold outside. Possibly on the inside, maybe it’s beans, but it’s just a very thin
layer on the inside there. But that kind of gives it a
nice kind of different texture and flavor to the whole
little handheld treat. (panucho crunching) – [Wife] Did you want another, Carlos? – [Carlos] Hmm? – This was a much needed
little road snack. (mellow music) And we have about 40 minutes to go. We made it to Chunhuhub. The place that we’re going
to do the Mayan cooking and to eat is just down the road. I think it’s about a 10
minute ride from this town but this is a very off the
beaten path destination. (mellow music) Oh, I need to stretch. That was almost a three hour drive from Playa Del Carmen,
but we have arrived. This is actually a whole eco lodge, but they also preserve Mayan culture here, so we’re gonna see it, have a chance to watch traditional Mayan
cooking and to eat Mayan food coming up very soon. We’re literally like
somewhere in the center of the Yucatan Peninsula. We’re right on the border, kind of close between Quintana Roo the
state and Yucatan state. Gracias. It’s some kind of a citrus,
I think orange juice. A type of, mm, but it has like a, almost like a bitter smell to it. Slightly. Oh! Oh, that is wonderful. It’s like a cross between,
tastes like lime-y yet orange-y at the same time. It’s delicious. (speaking foreign language) Naranja agria. It was a sour orange. (speaking foreign language) Okay, so we’re just walking
back into the garden and into the compound. It’s beautiful back here, it’s just a fruit and vegetable paradise. (upbeat music) (speaking foreign language) Oh like a tamales pib, ah. This is the traditional Mayan milpa, which is a, it’s like
a whole garden complex, self-sufficient, vegetables and fruit and cooking and I think you, anyway, this is the milpa, and they just started the fire, you can see the logs are burning and then there’s a bunch of
rocks on top that we’re gonna, I think we’re gonna cook
some things underground, and it’s called a pib. Hola. – Hola. Buen dia. – [Mark] Buenas dias. (speaking foreign language) – [Man] Okay. (speaking foreign language) – [Man] It’s very traditional. – [Mark] Okay. – [Man] She was saying when she was a kid, she didn’t like it because it was like so traditional back then. – This is absolutely beautiful to see the Mayan food culture like this. Right now they are working on preparing a few different types of tamales, which are traditional
in the Mayan culture. After they finished
wrapping all of the tamales in, there’s both banana leaf packets, and another type of leaf. This is the, oh, this is the,
it’s called the Hoja Santa, and this is another leaf
that they’re wrapping some of the tamales in, but then right outside is where the pib, it’s like an underground
oven, where they dig a hole and then they burn wood, and
then they put hot rocks on top, that’s outside, that’s
being lit right now, that’s getting ready for the preparation. I’m just getting hungrier by the second. But I am so excited. (speaking foreign language) (upbeat music) – Another dish that they’re making is called cochinita pibil, and it’s a pork dish which is marinated in a bunch of spices,
they just showed it to me. They have already pre-marinated it because they say it
takes a very long time. But you’ll find that dish across Mexico, but they are telling
us that a lot of times it’s not made the traditional way anymore. It’s originally from the
Yucatan Peninsula area, it’s a Mayan dish, and they’re going to be cooking it underground in that oven, the traditional way, so
we’re gonna have a chance to try the authentic version. Wow that feels, it’s so hot, the immense heat coming off of it. Something I have to share with you that’s really, really cool, though, is you can’t really see it right now but I might have gotten a shot earlier where the sticks, the wood, was covering this entire ground pit, and then the rocks were on top and then they lit the wood on fire and they say that they
know that the fire is ready to start cooking when
the rocks break the wood because the wood has burned enough, and then the rocks fall
down to the ground, and so they have just fallen. We were actually in the hut,
we could hear like crack, and the sticks broke,
and in traditional Mayan they called in wood in fire, and this is a very authentic way to cook traditional Mayan food. (speaking foreign language) (upbeat music) There’s another version that she’s making that’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It almost looks like a pot
pie or like a giant muffin, but she takes some of the masa, she makes it into a little cup, then she adds in some of
this, kind of orange-y, I’m not totally sure what it is yet, sauce and then she adds in
some chicken, and then tops it, and then pats down some
more masa, corn meal mixture and then tops it with a lid and then wraps it up
into a banana leaf packet and that’s another type of Mayan tamale that we’re going to try today. (speaking foreign language) (spoon scraping and food sizzling) – [Man] This one is Tox-sel. – Tox-sel. – [Man] Tox-sel. (speaking foreign language) – And it’s the white beans,
but so cool how she made it. They took a rock directly out of the pib, stuck it into the pot with the beans, and you could immediately hear it just hissing as it cooked. You can smell the, you can see
the smoke pouring off of it, it smelled so good, probably
because it’s burning with the spices as well. That’s really cool to watch. Awesome method of cooking. (speaking foreign language) (fire popping) They took out all the wood which
is burning right over here. You do not want to fall into this pit or you would be roasted. Oh and now some giant,
looks like some type of palm are being covered, covering the pit. (speaking foreign language) (palms rustling) (metal creaking) (speaking foreign language) Every now and then, you
can hear like a little, a little explosion under there maybe some, a rock exploding, maybe
some food exploding. That is gonna bake for
about an hour and a half. That is a Mayan feast cooking underground. I can’t wait! (speaking foreign language) As we’re waiting for the
pib to finish cooking we’re actually gonna have a snack and so she’s making fresh
tortillas and that’s just masa, I asked her what’s in it,
it’s just pure, raw corn pounded with water, that’s it, and then she makes it
into a tortilla shape. She puts in onto the
hot griddle over fire, and we’re gonna eat these fresh tortillas along with that Tox-sel,
which is what she cooked with that lava rock, that hot stone which she mixed in with those beans. This is gonna be our appetizer. (speaking foreign language) It has this unbelievable,
I’m getting the steam, I’m bathing in the steam because I want to because it smells so good. It’s like this really unique, almost, I guess roasted garlic, but it’s like a really umami smell coming off of those beans. It’s really, really unique. (upbeat music) (speaking foreign language) Muchas gracias. These are ultra fresh tortillas right of the griddle. When you take one out of that little gourd they’re steaming hot, and
then you put some of the, I remembered the name,
it’s called tok-sel, and you put some of those beans, oh, by the way, that unique aroma and ingredient in those beans,
they said is pumpkin seed which is ground up and
put inside those beans, and then a little bit of salsa on top, you wrap this up, a
little taco, and, okay. Mm. Oh. Oh, those beans are amazing! It’s so smoky, like, intense
smokiness from that rock, but then you do taste
that variation of flavor from those pumpkin seeds
which has a little bit of a, kind of earthy, kind of, almost like smoky meat kind of flavor to those beans. That is incredible. Mm. That’s a two biter. – [Man] What is it? (speaking foreign language) – [Woman] Achiote. (speaking foreign language) – [Mark] Can I see that? (speaking foreign language) – [Man] It takes a while. (speaking foreign language) – Oh, they wanted to show us the plant, kind of red-orange color and they use that in a lot of dishes. Oh yeah, it has a little
bit of a taste, like a… A little floral-y, floral
taste, maybe a little, but very light though. So we’ve got about an hour and a half to wait for the food to cook. So we are just gonna take it easy. Micah is loving it here. The breeze, the shade,
the natural fresh air. And yeah, this is great. We’re just going to relax
until the food is ready, until the Mayan feast is ready. Oh! Oh, Micah, look at these
giant lemons, or limes? – [Woman] No, it’s orange. – No, I don’t think it’s orange. (speaking foreign language) (upbeat music) That was a long wait, but it’s time. (shovel scraping) Look at that steam just coming out now. (palms rustling) (speaking foreign language) You can still feel the heat of those rocks coming out even after two hours of baking, but as soon as he took
off those palm leaves you get this eruption of
like roasted leaf aroma, baked and steamed all in there. I am so excited right now, and they have a whole
really nice dining room but the light is a
little bit dark in there, so I thought it would be
perfect to sit outside, sit within the milpa,
sit within the garden that we’ve been cooking in and that we have just been hanging out in. The food looks absolutely incredible. I gotta start eating immediately. I absolutely have to begin
with the cochinita pibil. It’s a piece of pork,
with all that spice on it. You can see all that red-orange color which came from that spice that we, that flower thing that we checked out, and you can see all the juices
at the bottom of that plate. This is just, I bet it’s tender, and just loaded with flavor. Oh, look at how tender that is! (laughs) Oh. Oh, wow. I think there’s some red
dried chile in there. But you can taste that little fruit. Kind of almost has a, a citrus-y,
peppery component to it. Okay and she said it would be best to eat it with tortillas
and some of the onions. That sauce will absolutely blow your mind. And the tenderness of that pork and that just caked on spice. Oh wow, it’s unbelievably good. Put this into a tortilla. I’m gonna add on some of the
cebollas, some of the onions, which they look very purple, and maybe they’re marinated in something? And then finally I will
add on some of the roasted hot chile sauce, she
said it’s muy picante, which is very spicy. Which I need. (slurping and chewing) (laughing) Unbelievable. That pork, the sour vinegared
onions, pickled onions, it tastes like burnt chiles. Yeah, they do have a kick to them. Excellent. Insane, with those freshly made tortillas. Absolutely amazing. It’s absolutely stunning. So incredibly good. Okay, so we’ve got all
three different types of tamales on this plate. This is that giant like
cupcake, wow, that’s heavy! This is that giant one, and this one is a variation with the beans. I think those same white
beans on the inside, and then this one is quite
an amazing looking one, and something like I’ve never seen before wrapped up in multiple leaves. There’s beans in the middle
with masa around it as well. Okay, I’m just going to
reach in with my hands here and try a piece of this, wow, that’s a, that looks very hearty. Oh, it’s still so hot. And then it’s wrapped in that leaf, which is called Hoja Santa. (bird calling) Mm, mm. So it’s, I mean it’s a
little bit on the dry side because it’s so starchy and so
many beans and corn in there, but the flavor, I love the flavor. I think the unique thing
that I can immediately taste is that one leaf, Hoja Santa, which has a, not really bitter, well, slightly bitter, very green tasting, and very unique. But then you’ve got the creamy beans, you’ve got the very fine corn paste. Mm, and that leaf just
keeps on giving flavor. Okay, I’m gonna add
some of the tomato salsa onto this for next, this is the
one she says goes with this. (birds chirping) It’s a little bit dry,
but I really like it. I’m gonna revolve the
plate and I’m gonna try the giant one too which
is filled with meat. So I gotta unravel this, and this also has that orange coloring, seasoning to it as well. That jungle seasoning. Let’s break into this. Oh, yeah, it’s just full of meat. Oh, and all that orange sauce,
take a look inside of that. And all of that masa, that thick masa. Okay I’m gonna take a center bite so I get a lot of that orange sauce and some of that chicken as well. I got a little bit of all
the components on this bite. (upbeat music) Mm, again you can taste that little orange-red fruit in there. It has a little bit of a peppery taste. I mean, it’s mild in flavor,
but you can just taste the naturalness of it. The chicken, the corn,
that fruit in there. It’s like warming, it’s
hearty, it’s filling, it’s nutritious. It’s awesome food. Okay, and now I have
the final tamale to try which is this other one, and yeah, just, I love
how everything is natural, all the ingredients are natural, all the ingredients are from right here. It’s eco-friendly, it’s traditional, this is ancient cooking,
and this is cooking using the land, ancient Mayan food, and it’s absolutely superb. Mm, mm. Oh, so the same type of
beans with the pumpkin seeds except this time it’s
been cooked underground and wrapped in that masa. Mm, the flavor is awesome. Again, I do like it with
a little bit of sauce because it’s kind of dry. But that’s just hearty, filling, Mayan, delicious natural food. (upbeat music) (laughs) That’s outstanding. That is so incredibly good. Oh wow, that masa is extremely heavy. I’m very full after that meal, but it was, yeah it was delicious. I loved learning about Mayan culture and learning about the food, how some of the traditional
Mayan dishes are cooked and then trying them. The pork, the cochinita
pibil, was insanely good. The tamales were all very
unique and also very good but very, very filling, and everyone here, they’ve been so nice to us, they’re so warm, they’re so generous. Yeah, they’re very, very nice people, and this is just, it’s such a cool place. You can come here, it’s right, I mean it’s a little, it’s quite
a ways off the beaten path, and that’s what makes it
so amazing here as well. You can come here, you can learn about traditional Mayan culture, you can eat, you can cook. This place is an entire
eco lodge, and it’s called Kiichipam K’aax, and I
will have all the details of this place and all
the information you need about coming here in the
description box below. It’s been a fantastic time here. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve learned so much about
the Yucatan Peninsula and Mayan culture, just
from one day spending here and learning about the food. I want to say a huge
thank you to everyone here for their extreme generosity
and yeah, it’s been a privilege to have a chance to hang
out here and eat Mayan food. And I want to say a huge thank you to you for watching this video. Please remember to give it a
thumbs up if you enjoyed it. Leave a comment below,
I’d love to hear from you and also, remember to click subscribe. I’m gonna be publishing lots
more food and travel videos. And also click that little bell icon, that way you’ll get notified
of any future videos, and all future videos that I publish. Thanks again for watching. I will see you on the next video.

100 thoughts on “Ancient MAYAN FOOD – Jungle Cooking in MAYA VILLAGE in Quintana Roo, Mexico!”

  1. what's your metabolism and diet secret Mark.. damn never seen a man eat so much and still that skinny just ask ANDREW ZIMMERN 🤔🤣

  2. A lot of Central and South Americans are Native people. Some are mixed with whites but many are pure native people. You can see their facial features which is very obvious.

  3. I just don't understand why you don't let your wife and the baby eat first and then you can do your food thing I mean that's just not right I'm a Pitmaster and we serve the women the first at our restaurant and then the men get theirs I mean they're just doesn't show much respect I like your channel but I really don't like that you eat and they have to wait and film you that's just ridiculous

  4. Milpa, its a cleared forest area used for growing crops and has been around for long time, the filed is used for a set number of years and then abandoned so that it can regrow into what was growing before. here are my 2 cents

  5. Omg "roocoo" used to ad color and the tainos used to use it also for facial stuff .. oh my God

  6. I never post a comment but man I got to say I really enjoy watching you my man thank you and you freaking awesome

  7. This is still my favorite video of his. Idk it just looks like such a fun and beautiful trip. And the food looks bomb af!

  8. Me impresiona como te impresiona lo maravilloso de nuestra gastronomia la verdad es unica y tu ya eres mexicano🤗👍

  9. I love watching your videos, but I would also enjoy watching your family and friends reaction to the food..

  10. I've noticed that when he really likes the food his eyes open wide and he laughs while eating and saying "Wow"!

  11. The Mexican cuisine is so diverse it has no limits or end in each region you can eat differently
    and delicious …Thank Mank a lot to share at the world about Mexican food

  12. Thanks for another great video/food experience. In many of the regions/countries you visit one of the most common forms of cookware is aluminum (because it is very very (dirt) cheap to manufacture). While the various foods prepared look delicious I have an issue with aluminum. Basically the way the metal reacts with certain food juices (especially the acidic ones,but not only those) and the way it releases various chemical compounds when subjected to heat ( is cooked in), is toxic to the human organism. Literally you may be losing I.Q. points and negatively affecting other organs/adversely affecting your family's health by ingesting aluminum and byproduct compounds of the cooking processes! There is some very good science research to back this up too. Google it. In poorer countries aluminum and plastic is chiefly what people can afford, I understand that, but it is an extremely unhealthful material to use with food. This is known, but of course profits are the driving concern of manufacturers. Non stick cookware (usually coated/applied onto aluminum!) is also pretty toxic. Look that up as well. Aluminum is suitable for car wheels and sliding glass door frames etc., not for food preparation! I enjoy your blogs/ videos. You are a beautiful family. Please take a little time to do your own research. Peace

  13. I find it mildly irritating that he keeps saying "Mayan culture" or "Mayan food"
    Mayan is a modern generic term for people from a certain area. I'm a big fan, but what part of the world are you in? Being able to travel, and see things, and meet people, are amazing. But if you referred to things as "Roman" or "Byzantine" or "Belgian" in regions of Africa, it's just not accurate. But, you are accurately referring to a point in history. By this philosophy you could call anywhere or anything associated with America, "British."

  14. Mark I just want to tell you ,your Adorable i love the way you eat ! You are so appreciative and humble for everything you eat, it's simply priceless and I love you for that!!!! 🌶 ❤🙏

  15. Mayan proud I have a weakness for that cochinita pipil my mom makes it for us and when you took that bite with the lemon and onion salsas my mouth got freeknd watery because I know its freeknd bomb lol

  16. During the holidays when we make the pibes , we do 3 different types. the first one like the one she made, the second one with quesobde bola, Chile maax but one thing that makes them even more delicious is that we put the cool ( that red sauce) over the pub before wrapping it. And it's sooooo good , my favorite is with queso de bola , it's reeeeeeally good.

  17. Finally the God decided Mark to be as a food traveller so why make his stomach as like as a mixer grinder

  18. Have there been any incidents when u've traveled to a certain area, that caused u to be in danger??

    I cant even imagine some1 visiting the U.S.A and they are enjoying food in Chicago…but then a shooting happens.

    The food is amazing..but im curious about some of the other things uve experienced being in other parts of the world

  19. Muy hermoso lugar y que se diga de la comida muy rica. Muy recomendable para relajarte y convivir con nuestra naturaleza❤️

  20. Do u realize u laugh after every bite and lean to ur right? Also seems like u eat by the numbers. Love ur videos tho. I’m a foodie like u

  21. I just want to know- with all the places he’s travelled to eating food- has he ever had an experience with where he’s got the shits?

  22. Never stepped out of India but immensely enjoying your videos. You are so natural and I am also enjoying your videos with you 👍

  23. I've been watching his shows for about a day now. My question "Where are you putting all this food??" You should be bigger than me!!!!!!!!

  24. 👋Mark, Ying, Micah, Carlos, Fam, & aalll Mayans 😚Really enjoyed the narrative of wood & rock cooking, culture, food.. wonderful vid. I love learning!! 👌

  25. And now anthropologists beleive that Maya were nearly as savage as Aztecs. Practicing war, slavery, and ritual cannibalism.
    But when it comes to cruelty and savagery Noone beats the Azteca.

  26. It's like Star Wars small towns. Primitive structures, but natives have cell phones , and satelite dish TV. Plus modern small arms. The dichotomy is staggering.

  27. Mark when I have to eat any unliked dishes at home or office… Just I watch your videos…. Because the way you eat.. The mouth full opened and your expressions….and explanation about the dish and ingredients in it. Just I finish my lunch watching your videos and imagining that I were there…. Nice videos keep it up

  28. Panuchos vs some sugary pastry for breakfast; i choose the panuchos

    Also someone else has prolly said it, but the mayan pib and the hawaiian imu are like EXACTLY the same method of cooking, down to the layering of foliage lol

  29. Amazing video…love the Mayan Food and respect the people for thier great hospitality n a great culture

  30. We have the same method of cooking in Fiji. Well it is common in th Pacific. We call it lovo. In other Pacific Island nations they call it umu and luau.

  31. You need to go to Puerto Rico. My Grandma Plantation looks just like that but more Land. More Fruits more VEGETABLES….

  32. We dont know what kinda chemicals and cancers are in the food we buy 😣. Dont gimme that "the USDA inspects our food" they dont give a crap. The Natives believed in food to heal, nurture, build up our health.
    Mark is eating truly healthy nurturing to the body and soul food. This man is healthy. Just look at him. He is glowing! He is healthy!

  33. Magnifico te doy las gracias xq siendo extranjero nos muestras el cariño x nuestros platillos q nos das a conocer sigue mostrando lo más sabroso de mi mexico lindo

  34. Mark, I need you to know that you are living my dream life and I wish I could be you every single time I see you stuff yourself with that delicious Mexican food!!!!!!!!!!! So jelly.

  35. I love Mexico and the Mayan people. I have never visited a country where the people are so warm and friendly and so happy to talk to you about their fabulous rich culture and history. Have a deep love and respect for the peaceful Mayan people ❤.
    Another great video from Mark too!

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