Guatemala: the Food
I’m just going to start this off by saying that the food we had in Antigua was so good. Just thinking about it makes me hungry and I finished dinner only ten minutes ago! With that, let’s get started.
A typical breakfast is eggs, fried plantains, beans, sour cream, fresh cheese, and bread or tortillas.
I could eat this for breakfast every morning for a month and not get tired of it. When I was in Ghana I ate fried plantains, beans, and rice every afternoon for lunch for several weeks and I never ordered anything else. I don’t know why, but I just love myself some fried plantains and beans! Tack on eggs, sour cream, and soft fresh cheese, and I couldn’t be happier.
For lunch most restaurants have a fixed menu where you pay a certain amount of money, and then you get soup, an entree, a drink, and maybe dessert. We walked by a little hole-in-the-wall with three tables and you could see the women in the back with big steaming vats of food. We sat down and got soup, grilled chicken, salad, and all-we-could-eat corn tortillas. It was homey tasty food that cost less than $8 for two people.
If we didn’t feel like going to a restaurant for lunch, there were plenty of street vendors by one of the cathedrals with lots of different food options. We just picked the vendor with the longest line of Guatemalans, and then ordered what everyone else was ordering. We wound up with a pupusa (which isn’t actually Guatemalan food- it’s El Salvadorean) and a huge plate of grilled meat, veggies, and tortillas. I only managed to get a picture of the pupusa since Nate demolished the meat before I remembered to take out the camera.
A pupusa is basically a thick cornmeal pancake stuffed with cheese, which can be topped with pickled cabbage and a tomato sauce. Among the street vendors was also a woman selling enormous mangoes on a stick. She peeled the mangoes and then cut them so you could pull off the juicy chunks.
I don’t know if you can see how big those mangoes are, but they were massive. They were also perfectly ripe and very sweet. I’ll spare you the photo Nate took of me trying to eat one… it was impossible to eat it and not get mango everywhere. Street food is always the best!
One of our favorite restaurants was this place where you look at all the various stews in pots, decide which one looks tastiest, and then that’s your main dish. Here were our options:
After that you pick two sides from all the different options on display. The food was amazing, and so filling. Nate couldn’t even eat my leftovers, and that’s saying something!
We were exploring near our hotel and found a little candy shop that specializes in making traditional sweets. They explained the ingredients in each type of candy, and then I bought a wide variety to snack on as we strolled along.
My favorite is the one in the top-most right corner, the medium-sized brown ovals (made out of shredded coconut and sweetened condensed milk). Nate’s favorite was the one in front of that one, the little brown logs with a dark brown dot in the middle, which were made out of coffee and sweetened condensed milk. The little brown dot is actually a coffee bean.
As you can see, we loved the food in Antigua. It was a bit spicier and more flavorful than other places I’ve been to in Central/South America. Hopefully we’ll get to go back and see more of the country and, as usual, to eat even more!