Mas México USA

Acamaya, the Mexican delicacy that abounds in rivers

Acamaya is a freshwater crustacean similar to shrimp that abounds during the rainy season in rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico.

These are considered a delicacy in some parts of our country, mainly in Tabasco, Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas. Its consumption dates back to pre-Hispanic times and can be served in endless dishes. But, its main presentations are fried, mojo de ajo, enchipocladas, grilled, in cebiches or in green sauce.

Check this out: “Traveling photographer, witness of the past”

Shrimp-like acamaya

Acamaya is a freshwater crustacean similar to shrimp, but with a more robust body. Its color is somewhat pale with blue tones, it measures approximately 8 centimeters. But, it can measure up to 18 cm.

Regarding the flavor, it can be said that it has intense but soft notes, it is abundant in meat and its consistency is firm like that of shrimp or lobster.


Acamaya comes from the Nahuatl word Acatl Maitl, which means cane hand. They are also known as piguas, and can be found in the Huasteca Potosina or in the Sierra de Puebla. Despite the fact that the inhabitants of the Gulf region consider it a delicacy. The majority of the population ignores its existence, or confuses them with prawns.

The best places to consume them are always those found on the banks of the rivers. Veracruz has some of the best places to consume acamaya. San Rafael, Coatepec, Jalcomulco and Cempoala are famous for the quality of their dishes.

Its consumption may vary in different parts of the country. For example, while in Veracruz they stand out for their preparation with pipián, in Oaxaca they prepare them in adobo sauce with guajillo chile. On the other hand, in the Puebla version (Cuetzalan) we can find them in a type of grilled sticks.

Although for reasons such as pollution and overfishing, the supply in the city is usually scarcer, you can still visit some of the places that we mention, and discover why the acamaya are considered “a delicacy”.

Did you like this article?

In Más México we have a great team of professionals who seek to bring * you * the best and most current positive information about Mexico. During this difficult time, your support is very important to us. With your contribution, whatever the amount, you help us to continue showing you how wonderful this country is. And, at the same time, you contribute to spread the word about every individual that makes Mexico better with their talent. #WeAreMásMéxico #WeArePepePérez #BuyLocal

Alejandra Casas

Add comment

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular