Tizimin, Yucatan — Cochinita ice cream was just the beginning at Sunday’s first-ever Feria Gastronomica del Helado.
The ice cream fair, held on the former convent’s esplanade, brought in 13 ice cream specialists who offered flavors that ranged from plain vanilla to smoked sausage and pork with beans. The more exotic ice creams sought to present traditional Yucatecan flavors in a new way.
Another 27 vendors sold jewelry and beads or served traditional Tizimin dishes such as roast mutton, a specialty in this cattle ranching region.
But the main event was the ice cream. From an early hour, dozens of families came to select varieties with guanabana, coconut, strawberry, or more exotic jamaica with tequila or relleno negro in waffle cones.
Event organizer Rodrigo Aguilar said that the first-ever fair is an initiative that seeks to position Tizimin as a cradle of entrepreneurship, both gastronomic and touristic.
“I know there are many ice cream fairs in many states, but not in Yucatan,” said Aguilar.
This fair combined Yucatan’s savory dishes with sweet desserts.
Aguilar, owner of SubTerra Helados Artesanales, explained that after earning his degree in gastronomy, he decided to devote himself to making craft beer, but a lack of resources led him to venture into the world of ice cream.
“My contribution to the Yucatecan gastronomy, to its culture and its ingredients is the use and adaptation of products that have been lost and that are of local origin and that the new generations do not know,” said Aguilar.
In honor of the event, Aguilar presented yet a new ice cream flavor: chiltomate, a tomato and habanero salsa, with smoked sausage.
“What happens when I try my ice cream is like a mental disconnect. What you see and what you taste on the palate don’t match,” he said.
Two years after opening his shop, Aguilar produces 10 ice cream flavors. He is applying for a city permit to start a food service that delivers to homes, using a smartphone app.
In addition, he said he will jointly work with a sommelier to create regional tasting menus paired with wine and his cold creations.