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Yucatán recaptures record for largest cochinita pibil

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Mérida, Yucatán — Today, cochinita is being served, typical for a Sunday morning. But this is a special cochinita pibil. It’s an official Guinness Book record-breaker.

This year’s Yucatán Expocampo, a series of agriculture, livestock, forestry, fishing and craft shows, winds down today after volunteers prepared the world’s largest slow-roasted Yucatecan suckling pig. An official from the Guinness organization was on hand to make the announcement official.

In a makeshift kitchen at the Siglo XXI Convention Center, 200 people ran 45 stoves on Saturday, a massive undertaking coordinated by Míriam Peraza Rivero, proprietor of the restaurant Manjar Blanco in Santa Ana.

Food was shipped in by the ton. Many tons.

The 7.2 tons of pork brought in were reduced to 4.5 tons after 12 hours of cooking. Also in the recipe: 622 pounds of annatto, 94 pounds of salt, 564 liters of sour orange, 282 packs of banana leaf, 353 pounds of pickled onion, 220 pounds of habanero chile and and 2.5 tons of tortillas, which was accompanied with 25,000 bottles of horchata.

This morning, they are serving cochinita tacos to whomever comes. (Update: An estimated 32,000 people did come, many by shuttle bus, and were each given four tacos.)

A previous Guinness record was established in the same spot, in March 2010, when some 20,000 people tasted 3.4 tons of the delicacy. But that was broken last November in the Philippines, with more than 4 tons of pork. Now, the title, and bragging rights, revert back to Yucatán.

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