Updated: Jul 30, 2018
Origin - Yucatán, Mexico
Poc Chuc is one of the most traditional Mayan dishes of the Yucatan region of Mexico. The highlight of the dish is the grilled pork that was first marinated in orange juice. The dish is usually served with rice, pickled purple onions, refried beans and fresh avocado slices.
The words "Poc" and "Chuc" come from the Mayan language, meaning "toasting" and "charcoal", which best summarizes the cooking method for the dish -- roast in charcoal.
There are several versions of how the dish was created, the popular one is that the dish emerged in the Hispanic-Mayan era. The Spanish introduced the pork, and vegetables such as garlic and onions which all have become the ingredients in nowadays Poc Chuc.
At that time, the meat needed to be preserved in salt. In order to hide the salty taste, Mayans prepared the meat with fruits and vegetables with strong flavors such as garlic and citrusy fruits with aroma like oranges. Although nowadays the pork no longer needs to be salted (thanks to the modern technology of refrigerator!), the marinating method has been preserved.
The dish originates from a small town called Maní (peanut) in the Yucatán region where the Mayan Tutul-Xiu dynasty was based. Speaking about the city of Maní, it has a population of about 5,000 inhabitants, who are very religious.
Every year the town hosts a festival celebrating the Assumption of Virgin of Candelaria (Virgen de Candelaria) , which goes from August 15 to 24. Tourists from all over the world visit Mani and get to enjoy the delicious poc chuc in its place of origin.