Central American Foods
Central America includes the diverse lands of Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. There is a delicious range of food and drinks that are popular in these countries. Let's take a little journey together.
If you were to wake up in Guatemala, you would enjoy a simple breakfast, typically tortillas, eggs, beans and plantains. Also, there are delicious fruits including bananas, papaya, mangoes and avocado. Guatemalans also grow coffee, which is known for it's rich taste.
For the remainder of the day, you could enjoy tamales, nachos, and enchiladas. Chiles rellenos is a meal where peppers are stuffed with rice, meat, cheese and vegetables.
If you were to order a roast chicken at a restaurant, you may find that the feet are still attached. They also enjoy eating caldos (meat stews) and sopas (soups).
For dessert Guatemalans love creamy flan and Tres Leches Cake, which is a cake soaked in three kinds of milk.
El Salvador food is quite distinctive from the others lands of Central America. They serve platanos fritos (fried plantains), huevos picados (eggs scrambled with vegetables) and cheeses for breakfast with local fruit.
Since El Salvador borders the sea, seafood is very popular. They also enjoy thick corn tortillas which are stuffed with meat, cheese and squash. Empanadas are pastries made of flour and filled with meat and potatoes with cheese. A popular soup is Sopa de Pata, made with corn, plantains, and meat. A favorite is tamales which are made from corn dough and filled with meat or sweet corn.
A snack may include pacalla which are palm flowers breaded in cornmeal and fried. Curtido is much like sauerkraut, made with cabbage, carrots and other vegetables mixed with vinegar and spices.
Some of Central America's most varied food is to be found in Belize. It has a melting pot of cultures which can be seen in the food they eat.
Breakfast in Belize boasts a popular deep-fried dough called the Fry Jack. Also yummy Belizean biscuits and Johnny cakes with butter and jam are served besides the local fruits, tortillas, beans, eggs and cheese.
The Belizeans have abundant seafood including lobster, shrimp, and snapper. They also enjoy barbecued chicken served with beans, rice and coleslaw. They rub chicken or fish with red recado and slow cook it in broth and serve it over rice and beans.
A delicious favorite is Hodut, which is fish cooked in coconut and served with mashed plantains. Coconut is also used in many Belize desserts. They make delicious coconut fudge, coconut cake and coconut ice cream.
A typical breakfast in Honduras would include tortillas, beans and eggs. You can find many American dishes in Honduras plus burritas (not to be confused with burritos) which contain shredded meats, beans, cheese and avacado rolled in flour tortillas.
In Honduras, tamales can include a variety of vegetables as well as meat. A snack very popular in the coastal regions is Ceviche. It is raw fish and shrimp mixed with onions, cilatro and tomatoes and marinated in lime juice. This is served with tortilla chips.
A Honduran dessert utilizes rice soaked in warm milk with sugar, cinnamon and other spices added. It is called Arroz con Leche.
Food in Costa Rica is similar to American food, however, there are a few exceptions. They love to add onions and tomatoes stirred into scrambled eggs for breakfast. It is served with beans and rice, plantains and tortillas. Their typical dish is called a casado (meaning married) since it is a delicious mingling of flavors.
Costa Ricans prepare a black bean soup which is served with boiled egg and heart of palm salad. They love to drizzle a spicy dressing on their food called Chilera made from pickled onions, peppers and vegetables.
Like some other lands in Central America, they love Res Leches Cake, Arroz con Leche and flan for dessert. They also make fruit smoothies with milk or water called refrescos.
Several cuisines influence Nicaragua food. The breakfast is similar to those in other Central American countries, and includes plantains, corn tortillas, eggs, cheese with juice or coffee.
Seafood is abundant and it is served with corn, beans, yucca, peppers and plantain. Chicken and pork are also popular. They made a deep-fried salt pork skin called Chicharoones. They also enjoy cabbage salads.
Nicaragua fix an elaborate stew with shredded meat, tomatoes, onions and peppers thinned with orange juice and broth. Mint is used as a garnish.
A yummy snack is Quesillo which is made with a stuffed tortilla including cheese, onions, chiles and vinegar.
A unique dessert in Nicaragua is Cajeta de coco which is made with yucca and caramelized strings of coconut.
Exotic or familiar foods can be found in Panama. Heavy breakfasts include fried meat, corn tortillas, and eggs. They also eat local fruits and Panamanian coffee.
For a main meal, the people of Panama eat meat, coconut rice and beans. They typically eat squash, plantains and yucca as their vegetables.
Empanadas are pastries filled with meat, cheese and potatoes are popular. A fried yucca roll stuffed with boiled eggs and meat is called a Carimanola. They utilize their plantains in different ways, including fried, baked and ripened.
A typical Panamanian treat is a snow cone topped with condensed milk and sweet syrup.