“Tiritas de Pescado” – The Signature Dish of Zihuatanejo

Mexican food is a combination of the culinary practices of its indigenous people, combined with elements from other cultures from colonial times, including the Spanish, African, French and British. This mixture of cultures has resulted in a wealth and variety of current culinary demonstrations throughout the country.

On the coasts of Mexico, and particularly in the Costa Grande region (the Great Coast) where Ixtapa Zihuatanejo is located, traditional fish and seafood dishes made with the freshest and most delicious delicacies from the ocean are abundant and cherished by residents and visitors alike.

Tourists and visitors enjoy the opportunity to taste the local seafood and the variety of unique culinary creations in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo. They want to savor and experience this important part of our culture.

And they often ask:  Is there a dish typical to this area?

The unique signature dish of the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo area is Tiritas de pescado estilo Zihuatanejo – fish strips Zihuatanejo style! This fish dish is part of the history of Zihuatanejo, which was originally a small fishing village.

Tiritas de pescado are prepared by marinating strips of fresh raw fish in lime that “cooks” them with acidity; there is no need for a fire or heat. Traditionally, fishermen in the Zihuatanejo area prepared this dish right in their boats for their daily meals. They used limes to “cook” their fresh catches of barrilete negro (black skipjack) or pez vella (sailfish). They combined the fish strips with sliced onion, chilies, and sea salt, and ate them with crackers.

Fresh fish for tritas

Tiritas are made from the fresh fish caught every day by the local fishermen in Zihuatanejo.

Tiritas de pescado are often confused with sashimi or ceviche. First, unlike sashimi that is served raw, tiritas are “cooked” in the acidity of lime juice in which they are marinated. Tiritas are not raw fish. Tiritas are similar to ceviche, another local fresh fish dish, except that the fish is cut in strips instead of cubed, and ceviche is often marinated in orange juice to have a sweeter taste.

Tritas marinade

Unlike sashimi that is served raw, tiritas de pescado are “cooked” in the acidity of a lime juice marinade. 

Today, tiritas are offered by restaurants throughout the area of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo and continue to be one of the favorite dishes for visitors and tourists to enjoy. The dish is still prepared by local boat captains for tourists on fishing trips. Most seaside restaurants offer the dish. We find variations in its preparation and presentation with ingredients including onion, avocado, cilantro, orange, olive oil, oregano, red pepper, habanero chili, vinegar, pepper, and cilantro.

Tritas in coconut

Photo by: Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Visitors and Conventions Bureau. www.visitiz.com

The cuisine of any area is very important because it is closely related to the culture of the people. Tourists who are looking to have direct contact with the communities they visit enjoy learning about local customs and traditions. Tiritas de pescado are part of the tradition and culture of the Zihuatanejo area.

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