A Seafood Adventure in Mexico's Riviera Nayarit

General Dining
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Riviera Nayarit’s lush landscape, eco-conscious resorts and beautiful Pacific Ocean beaches set the table for a first rate foodie adventure.

Since Riviera Nayarit stretches along 192 miles of Pacific Coast, it’s only natural that the region’s gastronomy would be dominated by seafood. Lime-drenched ceviches and aguachiles can be enjoyed at beachside eateries with ones toes in the sand, and in elegant restaurants at five-star resorts. The region’s top chefs, such as Betty Vasquez and Marco Valdivia, are creating so many fresh takes on local seafood that you could order freshly made ceviche every day without duplicating a dish.

One of the region’s claims to fame is pescado zarandeado, a preparation created on the tiny island of Mexcaltitán, off the coast of Riviera Nayarit. Watching a cook prepare pescado zarandeado is part of the pleasure of enjoying it, since a whole fish (most often red snapper) is split in half and then grilled over a fire of mangrove wood, while being slathered with spices then served on palm leaves. It’s a great dish to share at the table with other diners.

The jungly and humid climate of Riviera Nayarit is a hothouse for a great variety of fruits and vegetables. Some of these will be familiar, such as coconuts and pineapples, while others may cause a double-take, such as star fruit, guanabana and jackfruit. Travelers should stop at roadside fruit stands for fresh coconut water, and to browse the shelves of locally produced sweets and preserved fruits.

One of the pleasures of tasting Riviera Nayarit is the pleasure and quality at high and low price ranges. A traveler can part with a dollar or two and have a quick and delicious fish taco lunch from a vendor on the beach in Sayulita, or dine in high style at one of the sophisticated resort restaurants in Punta de Mita.

“Visitors to Riviera Nayarit should try everything on the menu,” “Go for the flavors that will help you understand the people and traditions of our region.”

Source: USA Today

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