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Cocina Chontal, Mexican pre-Hispanic food restaurant among the 20 best in the world

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Chontal kitchen captivates with its traditional pre-Hispanic food and is considered one of the best 20 restaurants in the world in the second annual World’s Best Restaurants of Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine.

Photo: Courtesy Chontal Kitchen.

The characteristic aroma of the restaurant comes from the bonfire of a wood comal where food is prepared. It is a dining room with brick floors, old tiles and wooden tables. It is located in the middle of nature, fruit trees and cocoa plantations on the outskirts of the Comalcalco Archaeological Zone in Tabasco, a place maya chontal.

The light was golden and magical … the dark and complex poblano mole suffocates the wet turkey and it’s sprinkled with sesame seeds. The scarlet shrimp are stacked on a base of warm, fresh and vibrant batter and amazing for its deliciousness… ”, describes the critic Besha Rodell.

Cocina Chontal, Mexican pre-Hispanic food restaurant among the 20 best in the world
Manchamntel. Photo: Courtesy Chontal Kitchen.

The restaurant serves many traditional Tabasco dishes, there is no shortage of chili peppers, corn, beans and cocoa. The ingredients that the earth gives in the place and are transformed into delicacies such as mole, manchamantel, chontal tortilla and pozol. You can not miss the chicken in chirmol, the duck in pipian and even the peje lizard in green sauce.

Cocina Chontal, Mexican pre-Hispanic food restaurant among the 20 best in the world
Chontal omelette. Photo: Courtesy Chontal Kitchen.

Rodel explains that the “chontal tortilla“, Is a type of quesadilla of fresh dough served with a dark green sauce that tastes like forest, along with fresh sparkling pineapple water.

In front of the restaurant is Nelly Córdova Morillo a former lawyer who grew up enjoying traditional Chontal cuisine on her grandparents’ farm. She decided to preserve the cuisine of pre-Hispanic origin and give life to the memories of her childhood.

Cocina Chontal, Mexican pre-Hispanic food restaurant among the 20 best in the world
Nelly Cordova Morillo. Photo: Courtesy Chontal Kitchen

With its smells and flavors that are not replicated anywhere, Cocina Chontal is one of the best restaurants capture the spirit of their communities according to Besha Rodell, who before the pandemic began a research trip around the world.

Among the places traveled in search of the 20 best restaurants, Rodell visited Australia, New Zealand, Latin America and the Caribbean. Just when she was beginning her journey through the United States, the pandemic crisis forced her to stop. For now, it was decided to show the first part of the list, as soon as the search for the rest of the world resumes, the complete list of winners will be revealed.

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