Flavorful Mayan street food at Mami’s Panuchos

in Food

Flavorful Mayan street food at Mami’s Panuchos

There’s always something new to learn in the magical world of food. This week, that lesson is panuchos.

A panucho, for those who haven’t discovered it, is a Yucatán specialty of a fried tortilla stuffed with refried black beans and mounded with pulled achiote chicken, tomato, pickled red onion, lettuce, avocado and cucumber.

As served at the new Mami’s Panuchos food truck in Santa Rosa, the homemade corn tortilla is so gently fried it’s both crispy and soft, cradling the creamy beans beneath the achingly tender chicken and crunchy vegetables. Think of a tostada married to a street taco — the tortilla is removed from the hot oil when it puffs up, then the cook cuts a pocket in its middle and spoons in the beans. You can add several choices of vinegary sauces to finish the dish, if you like.

Panuchos are very basic but come together in a delicious assembly. Somehow, I’d forgotten how much I love them. They’re not common in these parts after the famed Mateo’s Latina Cocina closed last July and the casual El Rinconcito Yucateco shuttered a few years back. These days, we have to trek to the El Yucateco taco truck in San Rafael for the tasty bites.

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