The Flavors of Chetumal and its surrounding areas.
Chetumal offers a mix of flavours in its new and more traditional dishes which have resulted from being a border city open to influence from all over the world, the dishes incorporate imported ingredients such as the “queso de bola” ( a very unique ball of cheese) and the very special flavours offered by creole inspired belizean cooking. The traditional empanadas, machacados and hot dogs distinguish the Chetumal palate and delight visitors. The empanadas are a traditional breakfast food for the Chetumal inhabitants. Originally they were filled with fish (Cazon) but now they are filled with beans, meat, chorizo, potato, chicken, seafood and a large variety of cheeses such as manchego, tip top, string cheese and a ball of cheese.
In the afternoons the city is ruled mostly by stands that sell traditional Yucatecan fast food such as the machacados. These delicious treats are made of ice shavings, milk, condensed milk, a fresh chopped tropical fruit, and cinnamon sprinkled on top. Night time is when hot dog stands come out, these may be a fast food item that is renown throughout much of the world, in Chetumal however they “taste different”. The inhabitants have found very original ways of preparing them from breading them, wrapping them in bacon, smothering them in mushrooms, pineapple, or just simple hot dogs accompanied with the yummy caramelised onions. Just take a walk downtown and you are bound to find one of these many stands, where people of all ages line up to buy and enjoy these delights.
The outskirts of the city are also flooded with gastronomic wonders made of seafood such as ceviche which you can enjoy in one of the many restaurants of Calderitas with a beautiful and placid view of Chetumals Bay, you can also enjoy a fresh fried fish and chihua ( local fish) kabobs are the main dishes. Along the federal highway between Chetumal and Bacalar there are also many chicken barbecue restaurants, fresh sliced fruit stands and you can enjoy a refreshing glass of pool made from coconut or cacao.
Meanwhile along the Hondo River one can breathe in the delicious cooking aromas reminiscent of Veracruz, Tabasco, Michoacan and the northern states which is where most of the inhabitants come from. Tacos, barbecue, tamales, chicharron and menudo are very traditional dishes that can be found, not even lizard meat goes unused on this part of the river, this meat can be seen in the tamales. The agricultural richness of the zone makes it possible to enjoy the sweetness of the sugar cane and the tender corn that is cooked or barbecued and accompanied by cream, mayonnaise and cheese.