75 F
Mérida
Thursday, September 23, 2021
###

Unsolved mystery: Was Motul first to serve Huevos Motuleños?

Latest headlines

Blocked from Chichén Itzá, new-age pilgrims congregate in Uxmal

Both Chichén Itzá and Dzibilchaltún were closed to the public during the fall equinox due to concerns over COVID-19 infections, as well as land disputes. 

Tensions flare over plans for Mérida’s new stadium

Promotion of Housing Industry, says Mérida’s new multi-purpose stadium will increase property values in the city’s north. 

Mérida’s most powerful art collection turns 50

The work of Yucatán's most celebrated muralist, Fernando Castro Pacheco (1918-2013), housed in Mérida's Palacio de Gobierno, turned 50 on Independence Day.

Casa del Águila: Just the right location for $150,000

Casa del Águila in Mérida is in just the right location. It is offered by Melissa Adler of Mérida Living Real...
Yucatán Magazine
Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week.


It’s not a major scandal, but it’s certainly an escándalo delicioso.

As Motul gets ready for its Huevos Motuleños festival, a newspaper is dishing out a years-old debate that questions the city’s claim on dish.

Diario de Yucatán re-published a 1990 interview that suggests the concoction really originates in Telchac Puerto.

But they’re not called “Huevos Telchac Puertoleños.”

According to popular lore, in the early 1920s, the governor and revolutionary leader Felipe Carrillo Puerto visited a cenote in the area and unexpectedly decided to eat in Motul, along with his companions.

The Lebanese-Yucatec chef Jorge Siqueff, who was traveling with them, and short on dinnerware, decided to condense all the food he had planned to serve separately into a single dish: fried eggs, beans, tomato sauce and peas.

“Motuleño eggs are part of the history of Mexico, part of the history of Yucatán. They were born from a meal that Don Felipe Carrillo Puerto had, with Don José Vasconselos, Diego Rivera and other great personalities of that time, we are talking about 1922, 1923,” said Evelia Sánchez, a Mayan cook from Motul.

An alternative story doesn’t argue with its Lebanese connection, but places its origins 27 kilometers/17 miles away.

Carlos Saidén Isaac, a Yucatec of Lebanese origin who contributed a part of the recipe, told Diario in 1990 that it was he who improvised the dish for a later governor, Governor Álvaro Torre Díaz, and other guests at a hacienda in Telchac Puerto.

“The famous Yucatecan chef Olegario Katún and I started thinking about what to do for the food,” he said. “It was first spoken of fried eggs, but they required a garnish (accompaniment, sauce, etc.) that we called “adornment” at the time.”

Then, according to Saidén Isaac, “it occurred to us to put on a fried tortilla a couple of starry eggs, covered with another tortilla and all this sprinkled with black beans, strained and thick, and tomato salsa that must be natural and not canned, so it tastes good.”

“Then, to complete it,” he specifies, “Katún and I chose fine ham, grated cheese and peas. Over the years the recipe has been improved and now beets, carrots, two slices of fried plantain are placed on one side and sprinkled with cheese.”

From the fortunate success of creating this simple and tasty mix, Saidén decided to open the restaurant Siqueff in Motul.

Saidén Isaac recalled that many people traveled 44 km/27 miles to Siqueff from Mérida for lunch or breakfast.

Today the dish is a tourist favorite. Even with all the ingredients that go into it, he said that the key to good Huevos Motuleños is the salsa.

The salsa should be made with a sauteed onion, tomato and chopped garlic, with little fat. In his kitchen, a large pot was prepared the day’s orders. Balancing the ingredients is also important. The “hand of the cook” is the one that finds the “point” of the sauce for Motuleño eggs, he said.

Not so fast, says another newspaper

A history column in La Voz de Motul took issue with Diario’s coverage.

No records were found of Saiden Issac as a cook, according to the column, written in 2016. The column even finds flaws in how Diario described its recipe.

As businessmen, Siqueff and Saiden Isaac promoted Motuleño eggs, but they used a recipe from Siqueff’s wife, Margarita Alonzo Villanueva, with help from the cook, Olegario Kantún.

“It is undeniable that Jorge Siqueff and Carlos Saiden worked together for a while,” the column states.

Siqueff was the one who most worked promoting Huevos Motuleño, both from his restaurant La Sin Rival, as well as in special events such as Rotary dinners, and as far away as Campeche and Ciudad del Carmen. He also taught multiple cooking courses in Cancun and the Riviera Maya through the Secretary of Tourism.

“Jorge and Carlos fought. …  They distanced themselves without resolving the paternity of Huevos Motuleño that once they dreamed up together. The collective memory of Motul relates three ingredients well: Jorge Siqueff, La Sin Rival and Huevos Motuleños.”

“The truth is that Huevos Motuleños are a dish born on this earth and rooted in the feeling of identity of the Motulian. It is an expression of the fusion of Mayan and Lebanese food. Huevos Motuleños are a symbol of our identity,” wrote Valerio Buenfil in the La Voz de Motul.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

More articles

Casa Vagantes is a rescued wonder found behind Paseo Montejo

Casa Vagantes comprises a traditional abode with a surface of 70 square meters / 754 square feet and has been fully revamped with modern travelers in mind.

Jazz festival to make its comeback in Playa del Carmen this November

The festival will be of a hybrid nature, with some of the events being held online to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, city authorities announced.

Mérida prepares to host Mexico’s most important tourism trade show

The event known as the Tianguis Turístico Mexico will bring together representatives from the country’s 32 states, as well as buyers from 70 countries.

The great Kukulkán prepares for his descent, but no one will be there to see him

As was the case during the last spring equinox, Chichén Itzá closed for three days as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

Yucatán kicks-off rabies vaccination campaign for cats and dogs

This week marks the beginning of Yucatán's rabies vaccination program for cats and dogs

House permits for foreigners — How to buy a house in México

Any foreigner can obtain direct ownership of a property in the interior of the country, they just need a permit from the Foreigner Affair's Office. However, under Mexican law, foreigners cannot directly own property within the restricted zone.

Bars, cantinas, and sports centers to re-open in Yucatán

Mérida’s bars and cantinas will be allowed to operate once again, but only at 50% capacity. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der...

Great news for music enthusiasts: Santa Lucia Serenades To Return In October

We think that the serenades are learning the necessary measurements very quickly to be able to open this show,” says Mérida's director of Culture.

The small but beautiful ancient city of Chicanná

Chicanná gets its name from its most famous building, the House of the Serpent Mouth.

Yucatán curfew: Vehicle restrictions almost at the end of the road

A road curfew that kept non-emergency vehicles off the road after 11 p.m. will end Monday, Oct. 4.