Ancient MAYAN FOOD – Jungle Cooking in MAYA VILLAGE in Quintana Roo, Mexico!

Ancient MAYAN FOOD - Jungle Cooking in MAYA VILLAGE in Quintana Roo, Mexico!
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Ancient Mayan food in Quintana Roo, Mexico!
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One of the experiences I really wanted to have when I visit the Quintana Roo state of Mexico, was to learn about, cook, and eat authentic ancient Mayan food. So we rented a van, and drove over to the small jungle Mayan village of Chunhuhub, to meet up with Kíichpam K’áax (, who are aiming to preserve their Mayan culture.

It was about a 3.5 hour drive to get to Chunhuhub from Playa Del Carmen, so by the time we arrived we were all pretty hungry. We walked through the milpa (Mesoamerican crop growing system), and finally to the kitchen within the jungle of the property.

They were already busy cooking, preparing a few traditional Mayan foods, like a variety of tamales and cochinita pibil. They prepared everything to be cooked in the pib, the ancient Mayan traditional way of cooking – an underground hot rock oven (there are many cultures around the world who have used or still use a similar underground cooking technique).

Tok-sel – One of the most fascinating dishes they cooked was white beans, and they took a hot rock out of the fire, stuck it into the pan with the beans, and roasted them with the rock. It was incredible to see, and the beans had an incredible ummai flavor to them. They were delicious especially when paired with freshly made corn tortillas.

Achiote (annatto) – An interesting ingredients, used commonly in Mayan food and cooking, is achiote, a pod filled with red / orange fruit. It has a slight pepper and lemony taste, and also makes everything that uses it, bright orange.

Cochinita pibil – One of the main ingredients in cochinita pibil is achiote. They had pre-marinated it, and it cooked underground as well. The flavor of the pork was amazing, and with tortillas, onions, and salsa, it was truly support.

We had a number of different tamales as well, all of which were totally different from any tamales I’ve ever had. They were hearty and packed full of corn and beans, and very filling. They were a little on the dry side, but I fully enjoyed learning about them, and watching them being made. The different leaves, including the hoja santa, was great to learn about.

Special thanks to Centro Ecoturistico Kíichpam K’áax ( for putting everything together. They have an eco lodge and offer various off the beaten path activities like this.
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Thank you for watching this food in Mexico – ancient Mayan food video. It was an incredible experience to learn, cook, and eat, traditional Mayan food!


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About the Author: Mark Wiens


  1. I just don't understand why you don't let your wife and the baby eat first and then you can do your food thing I mean that's just not right I'm a Pitmaster and we serve the women the first at our restaurant and then the men get theirs I mean they're just doesn't show much respect I like your channel but I really don't like that you eat and they have to wait and film you that's just ridiculous

  2. A lot of Central and South Americans are Native people. Some are mixed with whites but many are pure native people. You can see their facial features which is very obvious.

  3. I am Mexican, have lived in Mérida and Campeche. Love Mayan food, maybe one of the best of Mexican dfood. Have never seen such an authentic Mayan food! Amazing. The redish sauce the Cochinita Pibil has is made with achiote. A mix of several spices. Delicious!

  4. The achiote seed is an essential ingredient in Mexican cooking. It gives huevos a la Mexicana it reddish color in the oil that it's cooked in. It's so delicious but so subtle that you have to taste the food without it to know how essential it is. For me achiote is the taste of Mexico.

  5. Mark, Achiote or Annato, is a spice that latinos use in substitute for Saffron, which is very expensive. We use it in our rice dishes and stews.

  6. Mark,really enjoy ur vids…u are so positive…dont ever change..keep up the good work..all the way from San Antonio Tx…

  7. I was in playa del Carmen and Xcaret years ago, I had no idea about that place. If I go back I will make sure to check it out. Thank you Mark for the tip

  8. Say no to pork “Nevertheless these ??ye shall not eat, of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you. And the?? swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass.”
    ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭14:7-8‬ ‭?
    “And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.”
    ‭‭Mark‬ ‭5:12‬ ‭KJVA‬‬
    “So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭8:31‬ ‭KJVA‬‬
    1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
    2 Maccabees 7:1 It came to pass also, that seven brethren with their mother were taken, and compelled by the king ??against the law ??to taste swine's flesh, and were tormented with scourges and whips.
    Seven brothers die rather than eat pork
    “Howbeit many in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves not to eat any unclean thing. ??Wherefore they chose rather to die, that they might not be defiled with meats, and that they might not profane the holy covenant: so then they died.”
    ‭‭1 Maccabees‬ ‭1:62-63‬ ‭KJVA‬‬

  9. I think Mark starves himself before every meal.. just to give him that extra kick when he finally eats something
    always seems excited , nice guy

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