No. 254 Traditional Cook: Natividad from Xocén, Valladolid

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Todo el año

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The traditional cook, María Natividad Canul, 48 years old, is originally from the town of Xocén, Valladolid. Xocén is a mystical place with a population that still preserves its customs and traditions, making the community very close-knit and involved in collective decision-making. Doña Natividad specializes in more than 15 traditional and ancestral recipes, including Pipián de lentejas de milpa (Lentil Pipián), Pipián de ibes (Black Bean Pipián), K'ool de frijol país (Local Bean K'ool), K'ool de chaya (Chaya K'ool), Tamal de hoja de xkukut makaal (Leaf Tamale), Caldillo de huevo (Egg Stew), Caldo de chaya (Chaya Soup), Woolbi sikil (Pumpkin Seed Dip), Choochi waaj (Bean Stew), and a beverage called Xtaan uk'ul. These dishes are prepared for daily meals as well as for village ceremonies, prayers, baptisms, and other events. Most of the recipes that Doña Natividad prepares today were passed down to her by her mother and mother-in-law, who explained the cooking process to her once, and she learned by observing until she memorized the entire recipe and preparation method. She started cooking on her own when she was 16 years old. Nowadays, she cooks at home or on her plot of land, where she grows some plants that provide ingredients for her dishes.


If you visit Xocén, you should also attend the town's open-air theatre known as "El laboratorio de Teatro Campesino e Indígena de Xocén" (The Laboratory of Rural and Indigenous Theater of Xocén). The theatre is surrounded by nature and features a large wooden stage, where acts related to Maya culture are performed by actors from the communities in eastern Valladolid. These performances take place periodically, so you will need to check for availability.

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Includes: Traditional and ancestral dishes.
Recommendations for tourists: Taste the food and visit the town's theatre when there is a performance.
Payment methods: Cash.
Recommended for: Families and couples.

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Location of No. 254 Traditional Cook: Natividad from Xocén, Valladolid

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