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Old 06-11-2003, 05:11 PM
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Default The Cuisine of Nayarit

The following is a quick guide to the cuisine
of Nayarit. This guide was discovered by
Conner and adapted from the original Spanish
version by Camille. There are several foods
listed for which there are no translation as
they are native to the region.

The Nayar mesa is famous for its chiles and,
as such, Nayarit offers a wonderful chile
sauce called Salsa Huichol. This sauce is
made from a variety of chiles, spices,
vinegar and salt and is sold in bottles
under different names. Akin to tabasco
sauce, it has a much better flavor.

We would love to assign the proper credit
for this piece to he/she/they who wrote it
and ask that you please notify us if you
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An Introduction

Nayarit is blessed with a unique geographic
location. It is situated on the Tropic of
Cancer which provides it with an excellent
climate that offers abundant rains in the
summer. This, along with its fertile soil,
produces a great variety of beautiful
flowers and fruits with an incomparable

Nayarit produce includes coconuts, corn,
wheat and beans and it is the largest
producer in the nation of tobacco, bananas
(there are 14 varieties grown in this
region), mangos (the famous "petacones"
come from here) and sugar cane. The best
example of the fertility of Nayarit soil
is seen in Jala, a town near the state
capitol, where the corn stalks grow to a
height of 70 cm.

From its seas come shark, dog fish, sea
bass, sierra, shrimp and oysters, which
explains why seafood takes center stage
in Nayarit's gastronomy. Exquisite oyster
enchiladas and sopes, shrimp tamales,
barbecued fish (one of the region's spe-
cialties), shrimp soup and fish cooked
over a manglar wood fire are just some
of the delicacies offered here.

Representative Dishes of Nayarit

Following are descriptions of some of
the wonderful regional dishes you can
experience while in Nayarit.

Barbecued Fish (Pescado Sarandeado)

This most typical dish originated on the
isle of Mexcaltitan. It is usually pre-
pared with the "pargo" fish (sea bream),
one that does not readily dry out when
exposed to heat because of the fat content
of its skin. The fish is smoked over a
manglar wood and palm frond fire and is
previously marinated in a combination of
lemon juice, soy sauce and chile.

This is then served on large platters
accompanied by sliced onion, tomato and
cucumber, tortillas tostadas and a
special salsa. Truly Unique!

Chicken Ixtlan del Rio
(Pollo al Estilo Ixtlan del Rio)

After boiling the chicken, it is fried
in lard and served with potatoes which
have been fried in the same lard, zucchini
with a vinaigrette dressing and chopped
lettuce; all smothered with a typical
Mexican tomato sauce prepared with plenty
of ground oregano. If you visit Ixtlan
del Rio and try this dish, we know you'll
love it!

Pipian Sauce with Pumpkin Seeds
(Pipian de Pepitas de Calabaza)

This sauce is prepared with pumpkin seeds,
peanuts and a variety of toasted grains
and seeds which are then ground and com-
bined with broth to make the sauce.

When done, this sauce has a light brown
color and is served over meat with
tortillas and well-fried beans or frijoles

Pork Beans (Frijoles Puercos)

A special kind of beans called "azufrados"
are cultivated in Nayarit for local con-
sumption and are the preferred beans for
this dish. Chorizo and Szechwan chiles
(chiles de arbol) are sautéed in pork lard
then the beans are added and mashed. This
dish is usually garnished with farmers
cheese and served with corn chips. In some
places along the coast they serve these
with sardines.

Chitterling Tostadas
(Tostadas de Chanfaina)

Pig innards are prepared in a unique and
traditional manner then chopped and served
atop tostadas with huichol sauce which is
made from the best chiles available on the
Nayar mesa.

Oyster Soup (Sopa de Ostion)

Onions, garlic and tomatoes are sauteed
until soft, then water, bay leaf, oregano
and fresh coriander are added and brought
to a boil. Oysters are added one by one
in order not to break them and the broth
is simmered and served. Delicious.

Ceviche (Ceviche de Pescado)

Raw Sierra is scraped to remove the flesh
from the bones and then placed in a bowl
and mixed with lime juice and allowed to
marinate until "cooked". Chopped carrot
and onion is added to the fish and allowed
to marinate a bit longer before serving.

Fish Tatemado (Pescado Tatemado)

Normally the fish used for this dish is
"liza" or mullet. It is cooked over and
open fire made of manglar wood and is
another one of the typical Nayarit dishes
you will find served in San Blas.

Shrimp Ceviche (Ceviche de Camaron)

Fresh shrimp is marinated in lime juice,
salt and chile. It is then served with
onions, cucumbers and condiments.

Shrimp in Garlic Sauce (Camarones al
Mojo de Ajo)

In a pan butter is melted, then the garlic
is added, followed by shrimp, a touch of
vinegar and spices. This mixture is sauteed
until the shrimp are well flavored.

Shrimp a la Diabla (Camarones a la Diabla)

Prepared as above but with chile sauce
instead of the garlic.

Shrimp Rancheros (Camarones Rancheros)

Shrimp are peeled and butterflied and
placed in an oiled frying pan. Tomato,
onion and green chile is added and the
mixture is sautZed until the tomatoes
become soft.

Shrimp Broth (Caldo de Camaron)

In Nayarit, shrimp broth is customarily
called "juice" (Jugo). The shrimp are
simmered with bay leaf, oregano,
cilantro and tomato and the broth is
served with chopped onion and lime
and saltine crackers.

Shrimp Pate (Pate de Camaron)

Shrimp is finely chopped and mixed
with spices until it forms a paste.
It is then bathed with white wine
or port and allowed to rest in the
refrigerator. It is served with
saltines or black bread.


A haute cuisine dish with pre-hispanic
origins which consists of atole - a
liquid made from ground corn - powdered
shrimp and chile. It requires delicate
preparation and those who know how to
prepare truly deserve recognition.

Oyster Sopes (Sopes de Ostion)

The most famous of these are the ones
prepared in the typical restaurants
found on the main square of San Blas.
These are prepared just like the en-
chiladas with the exception that the
tortilla is smaller and has edges to
contain the filling. Don't miss these!

Shrimp Cockroaches
(Cucarachas de Camaron)

A small amount of butter or oil is
heated in a pan. Then the shrimp are
added and covered with huichol sauce
to taste and sauteed until the shrimp
are well done.

Shrimp Tamales (Tamales de Camaron)

There are two varieties of shrimp -
fresh and dried. Tamales with fresh shrimp
are made following the traditional recipe -
masa, lard and baking powder, which is then
filled with whole, peeled shrimp. Tamales
made with dried shrimp are also prepared
as above with the following additions to
the masa: ground chilacate and shrimp
powder. Both are a delicacy.

Rice with Shrimp
(Arroz con Camarones)

This dish is the traditional Mexican rice
with dried shrimp added along with the
broth. This gives the rice dish a unique
and delicious flavor.

Shrimp and Cactus Fritters or
Omelets (Tortas de Camaron con Nopales)

These fritters are prepared with
dried shrimp, powdered chile and egg. The
cactus is simmered in a tomato and
chilacate sauce with which the fritters
are then served. This dish s most common
during Holy Week.

Oyster Chichichangas
(Chichichangas de Ostion)

A dough is prepared using the liquid
retrieved from oyster shells. This dough
is then formed into tortillas and filled
with oysters, tomatoes, green chile strips
and onion and folded like a taco and then
fried in oil.

Typical Sweets (Dulces Tipicos)


Shredded coconut mixed with a variety of
fruits like pineapple, strawberry or lemon.

Platano Pancle

Sun dried bananas. Once dried, they are
sweetened with raw sugar (piloncillo).
These are now sold commercially in


A regional fruit prepared with raw sugar
(piloncillo) syrup and cinnamon. It is
common to find them in school snack shops.

Once you've eaten the syrup that sticks to
it, it is broken open to extract the nut
inside which is also edible.

Grilled Sugar Cane (Cañas Asadas)

Nayarit, one of the principal producers
of sugar cane, offers its inhabitants
this unusual treat. On the streets of Tepic
during the harvest or "safra", you will
find numerous vendors selling bags of tender,
peeled, cooked sugar cane.

Aside from being sweet, cane juice is said
to contain a number of minerals, making it
healthy as well.


Another delicacy of this region, melado is
sugar cane syrup. It is served with cottage


A custard made from milk, eggs, sugar and
cinnamon then baked. It is normally served


A wild regional fruit that is cooked with
raw sugar (piloncillo) and cinnamon.


A delicious bread made with eggs and butter,
covered with sweet cream, raisins and nuts.
It is served in individual portions in clay
dishes and, during the month of September,
is decorated with a national flag.

Corn Tamales (Tamales de Elote)

There are two versions of these sweet tamales.
The first, colados, are made with ground corn
which is then sieved.

The second, oyejos, are made with crushed corn.
Both are made with young corn.

Gorditas de Maiz Horneadas

The corn is prepared with eggs and raw sugar
(piloncillo) and then formed into small cookies
and baked. A true delicacy.

Arrayan Cubierto

The arrayan is a wild fruit which abounds in
this region. The fruit is made into a paste,
covered with sugar and sun dried.

Buñuelos de Viento

These tasty fried cookies are made form wheat
flour, milk and eggs. Different patterned molds
are dipped into the batter and then into hot
oil and fried. When golden, they are removed
and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Buñuelos
are a common dessert at Christmas.

Banana Bread (Pan de Platano)

As mentioned at the beginning of this article,
Nayarit is one of the largest producers of
bananas in the nation. The banana bread is made
with flour, cinnamon, eggs and baking powder
and has a soft consistency and a wonderful aroma.


A wild fruit most commonly prepared with pilon-
cillo syrup.


A delicious egg bread which is sliced then dipped
in egg and quickly pan fried, covered with pilon-
cillo syrup and cinnamon. Before serving it is
sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Beverages (Bebidas)


A drink made from fermented corn.

Nanche Liquor (Licor de Nanche)

The nanche fruit macerated in alcohol and sugar.
Also available as an "agua" or "-ade" (fruit

Barley Water (Agua de Cebada)

A refreshing drink made from barley. Most
commonly consumed by people living on the
coast, especially in summer.

Pineapple Tepache (Tepache de Piña)

Pineapple rind is soaked in sugar water until
it is fermented then served chilled.

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