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What is Pibil?

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Cochinita Pibil

The popular Mexican dish known as cochinita pibil

JOE, Flickr Creative Commons

Definition:

Pibil, a Mayan word that means buried or cooked underground, is a popular dish found in restaurants and in homes all over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Pibil is a cooking technique that involves wrapping pork (or another meat) in banana leaves, marinating it in sour orange and achiote– a sweet, slightly peppery red sauce made from annatto seed, a plant found in the tropics – and baking it in a hand-dug barbecue pit in the ground for several hours. The meat becomes tender and flaky, with a subtly smoky flavor, and is generally served piled into soft tortillas.

A popular preparation, which can be found on menus throughout the Yucatan, is Cochinita Pibil, made from a whole suckling pig.

Pronunciation: PEE-beel

Also Known As: Cochinita Pibil, pibicochinita, pit smoked pork, Mexican roasted pork

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