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Should Mexico declare every March 1 a day for Yucatecan food?

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Doña Miriam Peraza Rivero, center, is using a family recipe for Manjar Blanco’s Caballero Pobre. Photo: Facebook

Mérida, Yucatán — Yucatecan cuisine should be the basis of an annual national celebration.

That’s the proposal from Sen. Rosa Adriana Díaz Lizama, a PAN politician who represents Yucatán in Mexico City. She has forwarded the idea in by decree.

And it should happen every March 1, to coincide with the date the Peninsula was “discovered.”

Yucatan has diverse traditions, including gastronomy, which combines Mayan dishes with influences from the Spanish and Lebanese, which results in the typical Yucatecan cuisine of today.

“Our cuisine has dishes of excellent quality, diverse flavors and ancestral traditions, which must be embraced by local and federal authorities,” said Díaz Lizama.

The proposal has an economic angle.

“This gastronomy is a remarkable generator of jobs and generates an important economic benefit, of 30 percent of the total tourist expenditure,” she explains, noting that promoting the region’s cuisine benefits everything down the food chain, from agriculture and livestock, to processing, to service providers and to restaurants.

But Díaz Lizama laments that Yucatecan food isn’t promoted more widely. Of 212 restaurants in Mérida, only 33 specialize in Yucatecan food, she said.

“This situation disfavors Yucatecan cuisine before national and international tourists, but also represents an area of ​​opportunity for local workers who could well compete with restaurants of other specialties,” said Díaz Lizama.

The Meeting of Traditional Cooks, organized by restaurateur Míriam Peraza Rivero — the “queen of cochinita” and owner of Manjar Blaco in Santa Ana — among others, is proposed as a first step to boost this sector. The decree stresses that this type of project should be reinforced with tourism promotion campaigns.

The proposal also seeks the coordination of local, state and federal bodies. In the end, Yucatán would enjoy cultural events modeled on the National Mole Fair, which takes place in Mexico City every year.

Source: Diario de Yucatán

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