Authentic pibil is hardcore!
I have struggled over the years deciding if we still call it pibil when it's cooked on a stovetop or if it has to be a Maya/Mestizo cook to be called authentic.
The short answer is that culture evolves and erodes overtime, but it's up to us to stay enlightened, and to keep our traditions alive. We should not feel offended that people are cooking their version of pibil on a stovetop. Instead we should feel blessed that there is such love for this amazing dish.
Even the term authentic could be problematic, considering that there is no authoritative definition for true pibil (as far as I know). What I do know is that the last remaining Belize Yucatec Maya would not settle for a 'water downed' version of pibil.
Hardcore pibil is scorchingly intense and unbelievable hard work. Only the ones that dare put in the effort should be considered worthy of calling their creation authentic pibil. TOONE Masehualoon, we are Maya, and this is our tradition.
I will let this one sit and burn here. In the meantime, I'll consider piecing together some clips I took some time ago. I realize that not many people are familiar with the process of heating up rocks to create an underground 'oven.'
Photograph and text courtesy Valentine Rosado
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