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#479513 - 12/11/13 03:25 AM Launch of First Ever Maya Cookbook in Belize
Marty Offline

“Nothing is better than a home-cooked meal that is wonderfully flavored with native plants, and served with love.” - Aurora Garcia Saqui

Producciones de la Hamaca is proud to announce the publication of U Janal Aj Maya: Traditional Maya Cuisine by Aurora Garcia Saqui with Amy Lichty of Maya Centre. “Learn how to prepare traditional Maya food from garden to table with recipes that have been passed down through the generations.”

Aurora Garcia Saqui is a Yucatec Maya, one of the famous Garcia sisters of San Antonio, Cayo, who married Ernesto Saqui of Maya Centre, a Mopan Maya. Reflecting these two language traditions, both Yucatec and Mopan names are given for each recipe. She and Ernesto have welcomed guests at their Nu’uk Che’il Cottages in Maya Center since 2000 and served them all traditional Maya food. “They always ask how I can cook such delicious food and I answer, ‘Because I cook with love.’”

Nicely illustrated with photographs at every stage, the book begins in the garden where many of the ingredients are grown. Instructions for preparing ingredients such as annatto and a description of the Mayan kitchen are included. From Sah’ (Atole) to Tz’yan Arroz (Rice Lab), 46 recipes of beverages, breakfast, soups, sauces, seasonings, side dishes, main dishes and desserts will delight any cook. The book sells for BZ$30.

U Janal Aj Maya will be launched at a Maya Cultural event on December 21, 2013, beginning at 10 am at the Nu’uk Che’il Cottages in Maya Centre. There also will be a demonstration of making tortillas on a fire heart followed by a buffet lunch. A traditional Maya winter solstice ceremony will be held in the afternoon. The public is invited by reservation because space is limited. Call 665-1313. A fee will be charged with proceeds going to the new Maya cultural organization Juun-tulico'on.

Jumbelo’on ich muchnalil - “together we move forward”

Juun-tulico'on is a diverse group of non-profit volunteers, committed to sustaining Maya cultural heritage for future generations. Email: Juuntulicoon@gmail.com. The book is currently available at the Image Factory and will be available at Nu'ukcheil Cottages in Maya Center and other giftshops and bookstores around the country after December 21, 2013. For more information on the cookbook contact Judy Lumb at 501-226-0197 or 600-4710 or email at: producciones.hamaca@gmail.com

#483778 - 01/23/14 03:21 AM Re: Launch of First Ever Maya Cookbook in Belize [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

U Janal Aj Maya Cookbook released

Especially since, the minute the email came across my screen, I realized that the cook behind the book is actually family! Aurora Garcia-Saqui is one of the famous Garcia Sisters who captured national and international attention in the late 1980’s – early 1990’s with their slate carvings and love of the Maya culture. She also happens to be my aunt and someone I remember from the early San Antonio Village, Cayo days. I have shared meals with her and the family, and even seen her cooking alongside my mother, grandmother and aunts. Thus, I was excited to reconnect with her and proceeded to find out more about Aurora Aureliana Garcia Saqui and U Janal Aj Maya (Uh-Hanala-Maya).

First of all, “U Janal Aj Maya” means “Food of the Maya”, and it is a reflection of the mixture of language and traditions that came about when Aurora married Ernesto Saqui, a Mopan Maya of Maya Centre. In keeping with the two languages, both Yucatec and Mopan names are given for each recipe.

How old were you when you began cooking?
I was 9.

What was the first meal you cooked by yourself?
That first meal was “Tamales Colado”

What is your favorite ingredient?
My favorite ingredients are Oregano, Cilantro or “Wild Culantro” (or Cilantro Cimarron) and the Achote.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


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