The Flavors of Guatemala

A lot of people ask me about the food of Guatemala.  Is it good?  Is it spicy?  Is it different?  Most people assume I ate tacos every day.  “I’m sure you’re tired of Mexican food.”  I guess people think I was in Mexico?  Hmmm…

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Antigua, Guatemala

Check out the food of Guatemala!  Most food (comida) on my list originates from Guatemala, but not all of it.  There is a lot of Mayan influence in Guatemalan foods.  They also enjoy things spicy.  I’m definitely not a food expert, so please forgive me for not including too many details concerning how the dishes are prepared.  If you know me well enough, you know that I love to eat food, but I’m not really a fan of cooking it.  Even though I am not a food expert, I wanted to share these different foods with you, especially since so many of you have asked me about the food in Guatemala.

I am including a rating scale to help you better understand the taste aspect of these foods:  1-5 (one being Ew! and 5 being So Delicious!)  I’m also including recipes if you are interested, but please know that I have not tried these particular recipes.

 

Main Dishes (Platos Fuertes)

Pepián

Origin:  Guatemala          Rating:  5

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When you order pepián at a restaurant owned by Asians, you get chopsticks!

Pepián is a thick, meaty, and spicy stew cooked with a variety of vegetables such as potatoes, green beans, carrots, and guisquil.  It’s usually served with rice and tortillas.

Pepián was one of the first national dishes that I tried.  It has a different taste to it than I was used to, but I really enjoyed it.  The variety of veggies really gives it a nice flavor.

A recipe for Pepián

 

Hilachas

Origin:  Guatemala          Rating:  5

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And this is cafeteria food!

Hilachas is made of shredded beef and vegetables (potatoes and/or carrots) simmered in a tomato-based sauce. It’s basically a stew served with rice.  I really enjoyed this dish.

A recipe for Hilachas

 

Kak’Ik

Origin:  Guatemala          Rating:  4

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Kak’ik from the restaurant Casa Chapina

Kak’Ik is a spicy soup/stew made with turkey meat and many spices. This stew is the most unique-tasting food from Guatemala that I have tried.  The flavor of the soup was quite delicious, but the turkey did leave an odd aftertaste. My Kak’Ik was served with rice and a tamal, and I enjoyed dipping my tamal in the soup.  Yummy!  I also dumped my rice in the bowl of soup to thicken it up a bit.

A recipe for Kak’Ik

 

Jocón

Origin:  Guatemala          Rating:  5

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Don’t let the green sauce turn you off…it’s very tasty.

Yes, you are seeing the photo correctly.  That is a green sauce.  That’s what makes it Jocón!  Jocón is chicken simmered in a green sauce made from tomatillos, cilantro, green peppers, and onions.  It also includes ground sesame and pumpkin seeds and tortillas.  Odd combination?  Maybe.  But this dish was delicious.  It was also served with rice and tortillas.  Oh, and do you see those vegetables?  Yum, yum!  The green one is guisquil, and I can’t get enough of those!  Mmmmmm…

A recipe for Jocón

 

Tamales and Paches

Origin:  Mesoamerica          Rating:  5

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This tamale had green olives added for a different taste.

I had several opportunities to eat tamales and paches.  I love them both, but I do prefer paches if I have a choice.

Tamales are made with masa, pork or chicken, and a red sauce wrapped in plantain leaves and steamed in a large pot of water for about a couple of hours.

Paches are tamales made from potatoes.

Tamales are a staple in Guatemala.  You can eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  They are usually accompanied with bread.  Just be careful when you eat them- you don’t want to swallow a bone.

A recipe for Tamales

A recipe for Paches

 

Tamal de Elote

Origin:  Mesoamerica       Rating:  4

These tamales are different because they are sweet.  They are made with corn.  I decided to try these at the market one day because they smelled incredible.  I loved the sweet taste, but I will admit that it was a little dry in the middle.  It probably would have helped if I had something to drink with it.

Recipe for Tamales de Elote

 

Shuco

Origin:  Guatemala      Rating:  3

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Street Food is the best! I enjoyed my Sunday walks and eating shucos and granizadas in the park.

A shuco is a Guatemalan hotdog. They use a big, toasted bun and a little bit of a hotdog weenie.  Then they add the toppings:  guacamole, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, pico de gallo, hot sauce, cabbage, onions…you name it!

Even though the word “shuco” means “dirty,” don’t let that discourage you from trying one.  I think I would like them better with a few less ingredients, but shucos are very popular in Guatemala City.

A recipe for Shucos

 

Doblada

Origin:  Guatemala      Rating:  5

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You don’t even understand how amazing these are!

I discovered dobladas towards the end of my Guatemala adventure, and, boy, are they good!  I’m just sad it took me so long to discover them.  They are very similar to empanadas.  These are filled with meat, potatoes, and vegetables.  They are topped with a red sauce and cabbage and carrots.  Dobladas are seriously one of my faves!

Recipe for Dobladas

 

Taco

Origin:  Mexico   Rating:  5 (Duh!)

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Mouth-watering

Since everyone thinks I ate tacos every day, I thought I would include them in this list even though they do not originate in Guatemala.

Everyone knows how delicious tacos are, and it is no different in Guatemala.  I rarely found tacos with hard shells; instead most people eat tacos made with tortillas here.  People in Guatemala enjoy putting many different sauces on their tacos as well, and some are very spicy.

 

Guatemalan Enchilada

Origin: Guatemala     Rating:  1 (only because I despise beets)

When I was invited over for enchiladas, I was really excited…until I actually saw the enchiladas.  They were NOTHING like the enchiladas I am used to!

Guatemalan Enchiladas consist of a tostada topped with a pickled beets and vegetable mix (gag), ground beef with a tomato sauce, hard boiled eggs, and cheese sprinkled on top.  Even the thought of pickled beets makes me want to gag, but I was a trooper.  Not only did I eat one, I ate a second one so the cook wouldn’t know that I didn’t like them.

Recipe for Guatemalan Enchiladas

 

Churrasco

Origin:  Latin America    Rating:  5

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Yes, please!

Churrasco refers to beef or other meat that is grilled.  In Guatemala, it is usually served with a sauce called chirmol, grilled potatoes, beans, guacamole, grilled green onions, and either bread or tortillas.  My mouth is watering just thinking about this delicious meal!

Recipe for Churrasco

 

Fiambre

Origin:  Guatemala    Rating:  2

Fiambre is a very special meal in Guatemala.  It is served once a year on All Saints Day and is usually shared privately with close family and friends.  This is not a meal that is thrown together.  It takes a few days to make and is served cold.  You can have a red or white version of fiambre.  The red is made with beets, so naturally I tried the white fiambre.  I was going to list the ingredients, but there are SO MANY ingredients, I will just let you look at the recipe if you are that interested.

I liked fiambre when I took my first few bites, but the more I ate, the less I liked it.  It’s a very interesting meal, and I think it is neat to have a special once-a-year-meal, but it’s definitely something you have to get used to.  I loved the olives, baby corn, and eggs, but some of the meats and cheeses were a little strange.

Recipe for Fiambre Rojo

 

Pupusas

Origin:  El Salvador     Rating:  5

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#amazing

I had never heard of a pupusa before I came to Guatemala, but they are hands down my favorite food that I tried while in Guatemala.  Sorry, my Guatemala friends, my favorite food is not even from Guatemala.  What can a girl do?  I know what I like.

Pupusas are tortillas filled with cheese, beans, or chicharrón (finely ground pork).  My favorite pupusa is the pupusa revuelta which has all three fillings.  Yum, yum!  But the yumminess doesn’t end there.  Throw on a heap of cabbage slaw and some salsa, and you have a delicious meal!

My friends and I loved going to the pupusa place that was near where we lived.  The pupusas were always delicious, but they were also really cheap.  I would get three pupusas and a drink for Q28 ($3.74).  That made it even better!

 

Tostada

Origin: Mexico         Rating:  5

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My loaded tostada

I think most of us know about tostadas.  They are fried tortillas.  You can eat them with a single topping like beans or guacamole, or you can pile the toppings on like I did in the above picture.  They are good as a snack or as a meal.  Tostadas were even available at my school’s concession stand.

Weird fact:  Many people in Guatemala eat chow mien on a tostada.  It’s different for sure, but it did taste good.

 

Chile Relleno

Origin:  Mexico      Rating:  5

A chile relleno is a pepper stuffed with meat, vegetables, and spices and then dipped in batter and fried.  In Guatemala, chile rellenos usually come with tortillas that you can wrap around your chile relleno.

There’s a tortilleria close to the grocery store that I frequently went to, and they have the best chile rellenos. They would throw it into a little baggie along with a couple of tortillas.  I don’t remember how much it cost, but it was less than a dollar.  I don’t have any pictures of them because they were always gone before I made it back home.

A recipe for Chile Rellenos

 

Breakfast (Desayuno)

Desayuno Típico

Origin:  Guatemala     Rating:  5

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A beautiful breakfast from San Martin

A typical breakfast in Guatemala consists of eggs (huevos), sausage (salchicha), refried beans (frijoles), cheese or cream (queso o crema), tortillas or bread (pan), and fried plantains (plátanos fritos). The plantains are my favorite!

I’m adding a recipe for fried plantains, and you can eat them anytime.  I think they make a great dessert!

A recipe for Fried Plantains

 

Pan con Frijoles y Queso

Origin:  ?    Rating:  5

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My favorite breakfast at Village (besides donuts and pizza of course)

I don’t know where this delicious creation was first made, but I am glad it was.  This sandwich filled with refried beans and melted cheese is quite a delicious and filling breakfast.  I made my way to my school’s concession stand many times to get my hands on this yummy breakfast.

 

Mollete

Origin:  Mexico        Rating:  5

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Another beautiful breakfast from San Martin

Molletes are open-faced breakfast sandwiches topped with refried beans and cheese and then heated in the oven making the bread oh so crispy and yummy!  You can add other toppings, but the one I had was topped with avacado slices and fried tortilla strips.  Molletes are also served with salsa or pico de gallo.

A recipe for Molletes

 

 

Side Dishes (Acompañamientos)/ Appetizers (Antojitos)

Nachos

Origin:  Mexico     Rating:  5  (Duh!)

In Guatemala, I often saw (and ate) nachos that consisted of chips covered with pinto beans or with a refried bean sauce.  Both are delicious.

 

Sopa de Frijol

Origin: ?      Rating:  5

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I know this whole meal looks delicious, but focus on the soup, please.

This bean soup is AMAZING!  I know that may sound crazy, but I speak the truth.  Oh, and adding croutons to the soup is a must.

I couldn’t find the perfect recipe for this soup, sorry.

 

Tortillas

Origin:  Mesoamerica      Rating:  3

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Fresh tortillas at Casa Chapina

Tortillas.  24/7.

Brenda (my maid) tried to teach me how to shape a tortilla by hand, but I gave up and left it to the expert.  Maybe you will have better luck than me…or you can just use a tortilla press…

A recipe for Tortillas

 

Garnachas

Origin:  Guatemala     Rating:  5

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Oh, so yummy! From Casa Chapina

Look how cute they are!  And, yes, they taste as good as they look!  They are basically mini tostadas topped with shredded beef stew meat, salsa, cheese, and other goodies.  Most of the recipes I found included cabbage, but the ones I tried did not.

I’m adding a recipe that I found, but it is quite complicated (there weren’t very many in English).  If I ever make these, I would probably just use tortilla chips for the base.  Easy peasy.

A recipe for Garnachas

 

Chuchitos

Origin:  Guatemala    Rating:  5

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I could eat so many of these!

The word “chuchito” means “small dog.”  Chuchitos are indeed a smaller version of tamales.  I actually enjoy these better than the full-size tamales.  I feel like they have more flavor.

A recipe for Chuchitos

 

Pan (Bread)

Origin:  ?         Rating:  Usually a 5

We all know what bread is so I’ll skip a picture and a recipe.  I would like to note that most bread in Guatemala is made with milk instead of water (You discover things like this when you have a friend that is Vegan).  No wonder it tastes so good!

 

Plataninas

Origin: ?        Rating:  3

Apparently a lot of countries claim to be the first to create plantain chips, so I will just leave it with a question mark.  I found plataninas everywhere, but for some reason I don’t have a picture of them!  I apologize!  Click the link to see a picture.

A recipe for Plataninas

 

Elote Loco

Origin:  Latin America     Rating:  3

Crazy corn is definitely a perfect name for this food.  I love a good corn on the cob, but I never imagined that I would eat it covered in mayonnaise, ketchup, and cheese.  A lot of people also add hot sauce, but that’s where I drew the line.  It definitely had a unique taste, but really the ingredients make a good combination.  Don’t knock it until you try it!

A recipe for Elote Loco

 

Ejotes Envueltos

Origin:  Guatemala      Rating:  4

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Don’t these look beautiful?

This little treat consists of French beans “wrapped” in egg.  Interesting, right?  I loved grabbing these little bundles and taking a big bite.  I like the fluffy egg texture combined with the somewhat crunchy green bean texture.  This dish takes few ingredients and would definitely be something to try.

A recipe for Ejotes Envueltos

 

Chicharrónes

Origin: Spain      Rating:  4

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Chicarrónes

Carnitas

Origin: Mexico    Rating:  5

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Chicharrónes=pork skins/pork rinds.

A recipe for Chicharrones

Carnitas are the meatier parts of a pork rind.  Carnitas are usually served with sautéed onions, bell peppers, and jalapeños. Throw those bad babies in a tortilla and you have a yourself a meal.  I can’t even describe how delicious carnitas are!

I couldn’t find a Guatemalteca version of carnitas, so I added a link to the Mexican version.  I’m not sure of the differences, but I’m sure the Mexican version is good too.

A recipe for Carnitas

 

Guacamole

Origin:  Mesoamerica    Rating:  4 or 5 (depending on who makes it)

I’ll be honest; I was not a fan of guacamole before I moved to Guatemala.  I had a lot of opportunities to change my mind, and I did.  My maid made the best guacamole, but others came close.  Even my students knew how to make guacamole!

If only people back home (in Louisiana) would stop calling Guatemala “Guacamole.”  That would be great.

A recipe for Guacamole

 

Chirmol

Origin:  Guatemala    Rating:  5

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Chirmol goes great with guacamole.

Chirmol is Guatemalan salsa.  And who doesn’t love a good salsa?!

A recipe for Chirmol

 

Pico de Gallo

Origin:  Mexico   Rating:  5

I don’t think I have to explain what pico de gallo is.  Anyone who has ever been to a Mexican restaurant knows about this amazing salsa, uh, salad…well, whatever it is!  I would say it’s a cross between a salad and a salsa, and it is pretty much perfection (if you can get over the fact that the name translates to “rooster beak”).

A recipe for Pico de Gallo

 

Ceviche

Origin:  Spain     Rating:  4

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Ceviche is the perfect poolside dish.

Some people may turn their nose at this dish, and that’s okay.  You don’t have to like everything!

Ceviche is a seafood dish that is usually served as an appetizer.  It’s like a yummy seafood salsa.  You can just eat it out of the bowl or you can use it as dip.

A recipe for Ceviche

 

Chojín

Origin: Guatemala        Rating:  2

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Street markets always have the most interesting foods.

If you are looking for salad recipe that is quite different, then this is the dish for you. Chojín is a Guatemalan radish salad mixed with crumbled pork rinds. I know it sounds strange, but it works.  I only gave it a “2” because it isn’t very good once it gets soggy.  It is much better fresh.

A recipe for Chojín

 

Pan Dulce Guatemalteco

Origin:  Guatemala          Rating:  5

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Just walking into this bakery (Isopan) takes your breath away!

Two words.  Sweet bread.  One word.  Addictive.

 

 

Fruits (Frutas)

There’s an abundance of papayas, cocos (coconuts), piñas (pineapples), and mangos in Guatemala.  I absolutely love mangoes, but I’m not a fan of papayas. Oh, and Guatemalans LOVE to use limón (lemon) when cooking.

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The bees are big fans of fruit too!

I have also learned about some other fruit while here in Guatemala:  lichas (Rating:  4), zapotes (Rating:  2), paternas (Rating:  2), caimitos, and anonas.  I was unable to taste caimitos and anonas because they were out of season at the time.

 

Vegetables (Vegetales)

Of course the aguacate (avacado) is a staple in Guatemala, but I have been introduced to some new vegetables in Guatemala:  guisquil, hichintal, loroco, chipilin, anacate, and flor de izote.  I’m not sure if I have eaten all of these vegetables since I rarely cooked my own food, but I have had guisquil several times, and I absolutely love them.  They taste like squash, and I love squash.

 

Drinks (Bebidas)

Mosh

Origin:  Guatemala          Rating:  3

Mosh, or Guatemalan oatmeal, is a milky oatmeal beverage with a hint of cinnamon.  Although it is most commonly served for breakfast, I often enjoyed a nice cup of hot mosh in the evenings in my cold apartment.

I probably would have given this a higher rating, but my maid made it for me so many times that I got over it pretty fast.

A recipe for Mosh

 

Rosa de Jamaica (Also known as Hibiscus Tea)

Origin:   ?          Rating:  2

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Follow the arrow to the Rosa de Jamaica

I should probably give this drink an even lower rating since it almost killed me, but I won’t hold that against it.  Apparently I’m allergic to something in the drink, and it may or may not have made my throat close up.  True story.

All I can say is that it is made from the hibiscus flower, it tastes similar to cranberries, and it is pronounced rosa de “ha-mi-ka”.

A recipe for Rosa de Jamaica

 

Horchata 

Origin:   Mexico         Rating:  3

Horchata is a milky drink made with rice and cinnamon.  It’s basically rice pudding in a glass! Ha!

I know this may sound strange, but I really wanted to like this beverage.  I repeatedly tried it hoping to like it more than I actually did.  It looks and smells wonderful, but it was never something that I craved.

A recipe for Horchata

 

Agua de Tamarindo

Origin:  ?            Rating:  2

I’m sorry to give most of the drinks such low ratings, but you should know that I am pretty picky when it comes to beverages.

Although this drink looks like dirty water, it isn’t.  Oh, and I learned the hard way that people take offense when you ask if it is Guatemalan tap water.  Oops.

This drink is made with tamarinds and is served cold.  Not my favorite.

A recipe for Agua de Tamarindo

 

Granizada

Origin:  Latin America     Rating:  5

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Don’t you want one of these?!

I should probably put granizadas under the dessert category, but I won’t.  A granizada is a shaved ice treat with various toppings.  You can get sweet or savory.  I go for sweet every time.  My two favorites are ChocoOreo and Fresa con Leche.  A ChocoOreo granizada is shaved ice topped with Hershey’s chocolate syrup, sweetened condensed milk, Oreos, and sometimes sprinkles.  Fresa con Leche is just what it is named:  shaved ice with strawberries and sweetened condensed milk on top.

Others get savory and that just seems wrong to me.  A popular savory granizada is limón.  This granizada is shaved ice topped with lime juice, chicken broth powder, salt, chili powder, pepitoria, and/or soy sauce. Now you see why I never tried that one?!

 

Licuado

Origin:  Latin America        Rating:  5

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My friend Andrea and I enjoying licuados at a market

A licuado is basically a milkshake, but it is made with either milk or water, not ice cream.  They became quite addictive.  I bought strawberry licuados everywhere I went.  They range from Q5-Q10 ($0.67-$1.33).  They really hit the spot!

 

Café (coffee)

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Even Starbucks uses coffee beans from Guatemala…just sayin’.

Because I despise even the smell of coffee, I did not try the coffee from Guatemala.  I hear it’s pretty special though.

 

Atol de Elote

Origin:  Mesoamerica    Rating:  4

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So creamy!

Yep.  That’s a drink made from corn.  But it works.  Don’t ask why because I don’t know the answer.  This hot drink is really great on a cold day.  It’s thick, sweet, and yummy.  What else can I say?

A recipe for Atol de Elote

 

Chocolate Caliente (Hot Chocolate)…the Guatemala version

Origin:  Guatemala          Rating:  4

Even though you can buy Swiss Miss hot chocolate at pretty much any grocery store, Guatemala has their own hot chocolate, and it is rich and delicious.  I am really a fan of their hot chocolate.  Since it usually comes in a bar, I would sometimes just break off a piece and eat it like a candy bar.  As far as hot chocolate goes, it’s a win for richness, but it is a little gritty if that sort of thing puts you off.

Oh, and if hearing “hot chocolate” doesn’t make you snicker, then you need to read my old post Funny Stories.

 

 

Desserts/Candies (Postres/Dulces)

Rellenitos de Plátano

Origin:  Guatemala            Rating:  4

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Trying to eat three of these at one sitting is a bad idea.

This looks pretty delicious, right?  Well, I’m about to blow your mind.  What you are looking at is puréed plantains filled with sweetened bean paste (yes, bean paste) that have been fried and topped with sugar.  I hope this doesn’t turn you off because this is quite a delicious treat…just don’t eat too many like I usually do.

There is also a version of this sweet treat that uses manjar (a sweet custard) instead of beans.  I like that version even better!  Sorry, I couldn’t find a recipe for that one in English.

A recipe for Rellenitos de Plátanos

 

Guatemalan Buñuelos

Origin:  Guatemala          Rating:  4

When I taught first grade, one of our stories mentioned buñuelos, which are basically fried tortillas covered with cinnamon sugar.  We had these every year when we read the story, so when my friend wanted to order buñuelos at a Colombian restaurant, I was excited…until they came out.  They were nothing like the Mexican buñuelos from my first grade story.  They were balls and tasted more like cheesy hush puppies. Then, they served Guatemalan buñuelos at school one day, and once again, they were different.  Guatemalan buñuelos are similar to fried donut balls and are topped with a delicious syrup.  All three versions are winners in my book, but having the same name is confusing.

I somehow didn’t take a picture of the Guatemalan buñuelos, but you can follow the link to see what they look like.

A recipe for Buñuelos

 

Torreja

Origin:  Guatemala         Rating:  3

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This dessert is so sweet that you may want to share it with someone.

This dessert reminds me of a mixture of French toast and bread pudding.  I really enjoyed the cinnamon flavor of this dish, but the soggy texture of the edges was just too much for me to handle, so I just ate the inside of it. Ha!

There is a popular dessert in Guatemala similar to torrejas, but it has a French cream filling.  They are called molletes. Please don’t confuse it with the Mexican breakfast sandwich with the same name.

A recipe for Torrejas

 

Plantanos en Gloria

Origin:  ?     Rating:  4

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Platanos en Gloria at a restaurant in Antigua

Okay, my Louisiana friends, this dessert so reminds me of bananas Foster minus the ice cream.  Speaking of, this would be amazing served with ice cream.  Hmmm…

If you like really sweet desserts, then you will love these plantains cooked in a cinnamon sugar sauce.

A recipe for Plátanos en Gloria

 

Plantanos en Mole

Origin:  Guatemala     Rating:  3

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Plantains in a chocolate sauce

No, this isn’t Chinese food.  I had a hard time enjoying this dish because I couldn’t get over the fact that is looked so much like a Chinese chicken dish.  Ew.

This Guatemalan specialty consists of plantains in a chocolate sauce sprinkled with sesame seeds.  It’s very rich, making it difficult to eat a lot of it.

A recipe for Plátanos en Mole

 

Quesadilla

Origin:  Guatemala          Rating:  4

No, this isn’t like the quesadilla you are thinking of.  This is a typical Guatemalan sweet cake made with cheese.  The one I tasted was a little dry, but it had a good flavor.

A recipe for Guatemalan Quesadilla

 

Chocobananos

Origin:  ?        Rating:  5

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I had to take my friends to my favorite chocobanano place when they came to visit.

Come on.  You know that you want one.  These frozen bananas dipped in chocolate and rolled in your favorite topping are just as amazing as they look.  The fact that they cost less than a dollar is also a reason why I ate so many of these!

Funny side note:  I had my first chocobanano during my first week in Guatemala.  Spanish was very new to me.  Instead of asking for a “chocobanano,” I asked for a “cocobanano” (coconut banana).  I’m glad that they didn’t have any coconut there because that would have been gross.  I also tried a chocofresa (chocolate strawberries), but it wasn’t nearly as good as the banana.

A recipe for Chocobananos

 

Camote en Miel (or Camote en Dulce)

Origin:  ?          Rating:  5

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I ABSOLUTELY love sweet potatoes, so when I saw these beauties at the market, I had to have one.  Let’s say that I was not disappointed!  These candied sweet potatoes are just AMAZING!

I’m sorry to say that I could not find a recipe for the Guatemalan version of this sweet treat…at least not in English.

 

Dulce de Leche

Origin:  Argentina?          Rating:  5

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The front half of the donuts are covered with dulce de leche.

Dulce de leche.  Look at it.  Doesn’t it make your mouth water?  Dulce de leche is similar to caramel, but the main difference is that it is made with milk instead of water.  You can pretty much use it as a topping on anything.  Aside from these donuts, it’s wonderful as an ice cream topping and for a fruit dip.  Yes, please!

A recipe for dulce de leche

 

Obleas

Origin:  Colombia          Rating:  5

My friend Andrea introduced me to obleas.  My first thought was that they looked like giant communion wafers!  To correctly make an oblea, spread arequipe (pretty much dulce de leche) on a wafer with a knife, and then put another wafer on top, making a sandwich of sorts.

This was one of my favorite after dinner treats.  They were so convenient because you can buy them prepackaged, making them last a while.

My friends took a box home to Louisiana after they visited me during Spring Break.  I was tickled when they sent me pictures of everyone sampling them.  They were a hit!

 

Churros

Origin:  ?         Rating:  5

A churro is a strip of dough fried and coated with cinnamon sugar, so you know it’s good!  Drizzle chocolate on top and you are in heaven!

Churros are the funnel cake and elephant ear of fair food.

A recipe for Churros

 

Flan

Origin:  Rome          Rating:  4

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Delicious flan from the cafeteria

The school cafeteria made flan for the dessert quite often, and I never got tired of it.  And of course, many times dulce de leche was used as a topping.

A recipe for Guatemalan Flan

 

Turrón

Origin:   Guatemala         Rating:  4

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I learned about this delicious Guatemalan treat at a special event at school.

I only had turrón once during my time in Guatemala.  How disappointing.  That stuff is good!  I reminded me of a mixture between meringue and marshmallow creme, so you know that’s good…and sweet!

A recipe for Turrón

 

Higos en Miel (or Higos en Dulce)

Origin:  ?         Rating:  5

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Can you see the candied figs? Doesn’t everything look so yummy?

Candied figs don’t look good or sound good, but they taste amazing!  This is one recipe I plan on trying out even though it takes forever.

A recipe for Higos en Miel

 

Canillas de Leche

Origin:  Guatemala           Rating:  5

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🎵My Milk Legs bring all the boys to the yard…🎵

I pretty much had to buy canillas de leche every time I went to the market or the grocery store.  These sweet treats translated “milk legs” are super addictive.  I also designated “canillas de leche” as my new nickname since it means milk legs. Ha! The ones in the picture are a darker version because honey was added.

Making this traditional treat takes a lot of work, but luckily I found a shortcut recipe (I hope it’s good because I would like to try it).

A recipe for Canillas de Leche

 

Colochos de Guayaba

Origin:  Guatemala          Rating:  5

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These curls have my heart.

Colochos de Guayaba are a candy made from the guava fruit.  The name means guava curls.  They are sweet and delicious and I could eat a whole container of them in one sitting.

Sorry, finding a recipe in English for some of these typical foods can be quite impossible.

 

Other Typical Sweets (Otros Dulces Típicos)

This post would never end if I wrote about every type of Guatemalan candy.  It’s an endless list, and I didn’t even get to try everything.  If you are interested, please look up these goodies.  Some are yummy while some aren’t; some I never tried.

Champurradas- Guatemalan sesame cookies.

Corbatas (neckties)- strips of twisted puff pastry cooked until crispy.

Espumillas– a crunchy meringue.

Dulce de Coco- coconut candy

Alborotos, Mazapan, Chilacayote…the list goes on.  I read somewhere that there are over 90 popular varieties of traditional Guatemalan candy.  I believe it!

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about various foods that are popular in Guatemala.  Guatemala has so much to offer, and the food is no exception.  And this isn’t even all of the foods!

Creating this post took a lot of time and research.  I hope all of my information is accurate since the internet lies sometimes.  As far as origins go, I tried my best to learn where the dishes originated from.  If there is a question mark, it means that either I couldn’t find the origin or that multiple countries claim that dish.

Thank you Guatemala, for keeping my taste buds happy.  Thank you, Claudia, for always helping me with my research.  Thank you to my friends for the food adventures!

Now get to cooking!  ¡Buen provecho!

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Author: thetravelingteacher413

Hello, everyone! My name is Lisa and I am from West Monroe, Louisiana, where I have lived my entire life. I recently moved to Guatemala City, Guatemala, to pursue a new adventure! I have taught elementary and middle school during my nine year teaching career. Years number ten and eleven will be spent teaching fourth grade English Language Arts (ELA) at a private school in Guatemala City. This is going to be interesting!

2 thoughts on “The Flavors of Guatemala”

  1. I think I could definitely survive on the food there. I agree with you on the beets, thumbs down…ack-ack-ack! very interesting information. I feel like i could recreate some of this!

    On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 4:21 PM, The Traveling Teacher wrote:

    > thetravelingteacher413 posted: “A lot of people ask me about the food of > Guatemala. Is it good? Is it spicy? Is it different? Most people assume > I ate tacos every day. “I’m sure you’re tired of Mexican food.” I guess > people think I was in Mexico? Hmmm… Check out the food of ” >

    Like

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