Chicharra Festival seeks to revive a tradition in Xcalachén

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The mayor announces the launch of a festival to celebrate a unique culinary tradition in a small Mérida neighborhood of chicharronerías. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — A first-ever neighborhood block party celebrating the decadent fried-pork treat called chicharra will begin noon Saturday, July 1.

Games with prizes, live entertainment and refreshments will be offered in 22 stalls, but the main event will be fried pig parts that the neighborhood of Xcalachén is known for. The popular bar snack is called chicharrón in other parts of Latin America, and are similar to pork rinds.

The Festival of the Chicharra de Xcalachén was born of an alliance between residents, chicharroneros, city authorities and business groups.

No part of the pig is wasted by the chicharronerías. Photo: Courtesy

This neighborhood has been associated with this food since the 1950s, although its popularity started to die out in the 1980s. If successful, the festival will become an annual event — and perhaps the tradition will see a revival.

A chicharronería is a small shop that produces crispy pig skin, organs, ears and even jowls. It is cooked in its own fat, and seasoned only with salt.

The women who inherited this gastronomic legacy were the main champions of this event. The best known is Elda Rodríguez González, owner of Lupita de Xcalachén, and heiress of the chicharronero trade of her grandfather and his buche relleno and tripa rellena.

Other participants include Antonio Cauich Andrade, owner of La Flor de Xcalachén; Raúl Humberto Villanueva Cámara, of El Amigo de Xcalachén; José Tomás Priego Canché, of El Campeón (Pensiones); Gloria Cauich Correa and her parents Pedro Pablo Cauich and Gloria Ma. Correa, of La Gloria; Karminia Pérez Hoil and María del Carmen Hoil Cámara, of “El Roble” (Xmatkuil); José Matilde Priego Canche,of La Guadalupana (Plaza Fiesta). Also, the tortillería Xcalachén, which is on Calle 64 at Calle 95

Xcalachén is located in the second square of the city to the south. On the corner of the Calle 95 and 64, a stage will be erected for live entertainment.

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