Nayarit’s traditional gastronomy declared Intangible Cultural Heritage

  • The plenary session of the local Congress unanimously approved the Law Decree of an initiative promoted by the Nayarit Academy of Gastronomy.

Nayarit is rejoicing: The State Congress approved the Law Decree that elevates the gastronomy of the state to the level of Intangible Cultural Heritage for the state of Nayarit, now the fifth Mexican entity whose culinary tradition can claim this important recognition.

The gastronomy of Nayarit begins in the countryside with the milpa, or cornfield, and extends all along the beautiful coastline by the Pacific Ocean, which yields invaluable ingredients such as fish and seafood. Combined with the magic of the corn, it creates a unique fusion and a live heritage for the people.

From the preparation of the traditional tlaxtihuil, a delicious shrimp broth with corn dough, to the fermentation of corn with sweet piloncillo sugar to create the refreshing tejuino, Nayarit’s culinary arts include within its flavor a historical heritage, family memories, and invaluable community traditions. Its processes entail a series of rituals that have been handed down from generation to generation and are loaded with the pre-Hispanic worldview that exalts nature, paying close attention to tradition, and creating unique dishes. The latter include the pescado zarandeado, an iconic dish of grilled fish whose texture and aroma embody the region’s love of gastronomy.

Pescado zarandeado.

Nayarit Academy of Gastronomy

In order to achieve this honor, the Nayarit Academy of Gastronomy promoted the initiative with which it proved the state’s culinary tradition complies with the characteristics established by the UNESCO regarding intangible heritage. It is a fundamental part of the historic and cultural wealth of the state.

“Nayarit’s gastronomy is a treasure we must commit ourselves to conserve and disseminate since it’s wealth provides our community with a sense of identity and contributes to the management of our natural environment. Not only does it generate income, but it also generates social well-being,” said Dora Julieta González, founder and current president of the Nayarit Academy of Gastronomy.

Nayarit’s gastronomy has been recognized for safeguarding corn

as an indispensable ingredient for its dishes.

The Academy is a non-profit collegiate body, whose social purpose is to contribute to the research, rescue, safeguarding, and promotion of the State of Nayarit’s gastronomic heritage. The entity is comprised of: Betty Vázquez González, honorary president; Dora Julieta González Robles, president; Alondra Maldonado Rodriguera, vice president; Marco Valdivia, treasurer; and Leonor González Cortés, secretary, together with intellectuals, researchers, tourism and gastronomy professionals, academics, businessmen, and promoters of the state of Nayarit. They have all worked together as of March 31, 2017, to take this proposal to its successful conclusion.


According to the World Tourism Organization’s report on gastronomic tourism, this segment is a potential engine for the advancement of local economies, and, with that, it also allows the regions to promote sustainability and inclusion. It prevents young people from emigrating and losing the sense of belonging to their native land. Therefore, this distinction not only conserves, disseminates, and showcases the cultural wealth of Nayarit via its traditional cuisine, but it also provides a greater boost to the region’s gastronomic tourism, permitting more people to enjoy its riches and savor Nayarit’s gastronomic legacy.


The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Bahía de Banderas Hotel and Motel Association (AHMBB) continue to work together to advance the region, strengthening its promotion and helping position Mexico’s Pacific Treasure on the international gastronomic map with the support of the Government of the State of Nayarit via the Tourism Promotion Trust (Fiprotur).