Sunday, 14 June 2015

Central American food

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Traditional dish of rice and beans
When you're starving hungry in Central America, there's no better dish than rice and beans with chicken in a tasty sauce, coleslaw, plantain and tortillas. Simple, wholesome food. This was just the ticket in La Fortuna when we stopped at a typical "Truckers" roadside bar opposite our hotel.

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Nacatamal
I tried two local dishes in Granada. The first was Nacatamal, which is a dough prepared with ground corn and butter. This is then filled up with a big piece of pork still on the bone, rice, sliced potatoes, tomatoes, onion and pepper. The mixture is packed in plantain tree leaves (not edible) and tightened with a small thread that makes it look like a tiny pillow. It's boiled for 5 hours and cooks inside the leaves. I have to say this wasn't my favourite. The dough was a little on the thick side and tasted bland.

The second dish was pronounced like a throated "Bowel" - sounds really appetising doesn't it, b
ut it was so tasty. However, I can't find it on the web. The nearest I get is Vigoron which originated from Granada. This dish is a plate covered with part of a plantain tree leaf with yucca, chicharrĂ³n (pork rind) and a salad made out of cabbage and tomato placed on top. The dish we had was similar, but included carrot and onion in the salad and the meat was "melt in your mouth" beef, not pork rind.

 
After trying local dishes in Granada, it was time for a hot dog, fries and a coke!

 
As well as tortillas, burritos, quesadillas, fajitas, tacos and enchiladas, there was also fast food like Maccy Ds, Wendys and Dominos.

 
Here are some more dishes and food items taken on my trip:

 
When I wasn't enjoying a glass bottled coca cola every few days, I was indulging in a banana milkshake instead - another love of mine. Seriously, one of the best things about Central America is the freshly squeezed fruit juices, smoothies and milkshakes you can buy everywhere - and such an array of mysterious, tropical fruits on offer with names I'd never ever heard of!

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Banana milkshake with cinnamon sprinkles
Talking of drinks, don't expect to get a decent cup of tea unless you bring your own teabags, but even then, getting just a cup of hot water to dunk the tea bag in and then asking for milk is a mission - as one girl on our tour found out. Cafe con lecha (coffee with milk) doesn't seem to be the done thing either, unless you're at a proper coffee house.