Stuffed yuyo is a cured meat made of pork and yuyo flowers, which is a variety of plantain that is commonly found in the San Sebastián, Sotomayor and El Arenal townships of Los Andes Sotomayor, in Nariño, a city in west central Colombia. This product was created when someone decided to use the flowers of a common plantain, known locally as yuyo or platano cafetero. Once the flowers are cooked they are added to the pork, which is one of the principle economic resources of the area, in order to create stuffed yuyo, an incredibly appreciated cured meat due to its delicate flavor.
The search for these flowers is the real difficulty in preparing this dish, as it is common practice to cover banana trees with plastic bags, which causes them to lose their leaves and make it impossible to gather them in time.
The flowers must be collected when they are very fresh, still completely closed and before they darken. The exterior petals are removed to reach the internal, tender part, called the heart. This is then finely chopped and rinsed with cold water to wash off the bitter flavor. It is then set to cook for three hours in boiling water, after which the heart is rinsed again and set to cool. In the meantime, the pork is stewed with onions, parsley, herbs, wild mint, spearmint and basil, with a touch of boiled rice and pork finely chopped pork scratching. Once this is all mixed with the flowers and placed inside pork casings it is boiled for another 15 minutes. The product can then be smoked before being eaten either grilled or seared. This dish is often eaten with cooked potatoes or traditional hot peppers known as ají de maní.
Stuffed yuyo is prepared for special occasions, and only for personal consumption; it is not found for sale in the markets. Despite the fact that it is incredibly popular, and its recipe is transmitted from one generation to the next, today this product is at risk of disappearing for several reasons. First of all is the difficulty of collecting yuyo flowers, which are only available in two or three periods of the year, but other issues are the difficulty in preparing the traditional recipe and the competition from commercial products.Back to the archive >