Hacienda Renaissance

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The story of the Mexican hacienda sounds like it came from mythology—like one of those morality tales about the fleeting nature of wealth and glory.  It begins with the feudal system where generations of Maya worked the fields for wealthy Spanish landowners.  The era peaked in the Yucatán in the late 19th century with the world's demand for henequen—or sisal—made from a local agave plant.

Today, the hacienda is being reborn—as museums for a glimpse into the past, as production facilities for fine rums and liqueurs, and as luxury hotels.

We join Rick on a field trip through the golden era of the haciendas and then go to his home kitchen to make the classic Mayan-Spanish-European fusion dishes Yucatecan Black Bean Dinner and Pollo Alcaparrado (Capered Chicken).

Hacienda San Jose, a luxury resort, inspires Rick's rendition of Achiote-Seared Shrimp.



It's a Shore Thing:  Seafood dishes that capture everything that's perfect and irresistible about a day at the beach.

Fusion Revolution: Mexican cooking might even be called the original "fusion cuisine."

Quest for Fire:  Rick can't resist the kind of well-seasoned, simple food grilled over a fire pit Mexican food is famous for.

The Capital of Hip:  Rick takes us on a dawn-to dusk culinary tour of Mexico City that separates the hip from the hype.

Eat, Drink & Be Mérida:
Fusion of Mayan traditions with Spanish influences resulted in Mérida—the "Paris of Mexico."

Fresh Chiles, Hot & Cool:
Everything about the Yucatán’s beloved habañero with its one-two punch of flavor and heat.

Yesterday, Today & Tamales:  Mexico's past is present everywhere you travel in the form of tamales.

Yucatan Snack-a-Thon:
Who wouldn't like to snack from dawn to dusk on all kinds of Yucatecan specialties?

Modern Mayan:  Mayan culture is experiencing a rebirth in the Yucatán today—in revitalized food, art and architecture.

Paste Sensations: Mérida's colorful, aromatic essential seasoning pastes are the key flavoring for many of the region's dishes.


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