Guatemalan Food: Iguana

Food in Guatemala, as in many globalized countries, has become overly Westernized. In our urban centers, any food that does not come out of the processing facility is seen as controversial, as taboo.

I recently started a controversy by showing an image of a charbroiled iguana. It was being prepared into a delicious Guatemalan dish called Iguana en Iwaxte. A lot of people were offended by the explicit image. Well, there is a famous restaurant in Guatemala known for its delicious pig products. At this restaurant on weekends a whole pig is grilled in the middle of the dinning room, it has never created controversy, as far as I know. How many of us have seen a photograph of a baked turkey, I am sure it has rarely offended anyone, including devoted vegetarians. How about fish, when served the entire fish? There are hundreds of dishes were the animal is presented in the same manner.
Eli will anything that moves, as long as the species is not in danger.

Fish (Blanco) at the Town of San Miguel, Petén.

© 2015, Eli Orozco. All rights reserved.

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  • NYChapin

    OMG ! I cant believe you guys did no get enough of FB and dragged this unpleasant conversation into ADP and Guatemala Monthly Photo ( yes, that is a formal complaint by a loyal reader!)

    Dude, I was eating Corn Flakes and Aunt Jemima Pancakes in Guatemala over 40 years ago. So I don’t understand your beef ( pun intended) with ” westernized” this and that. It has been over 500 years of diet changes in the Americas.

    Moreover, the green Iguana is not listed as an “endangered” species, but it is listed as an species that must have its international trade regulated, before it threatens the environment. ( And you know how tough we are in Guatemala about enforcing environmental laws, or any other law for that matter !)

    I personally think that the reaction was more over the sensibility of many to a defenseless cute animal ( which many in the US keep as pets) charred to death and exhibited as a trophy, rather than the consumption of its meat.

    Last, Rudy quotes you in ADP as having tasted the ” incredibly tasty ” dish, but in FB you said that you did not. What Gives?

    • Elí Orozco

      Hello once again NYChapin. “This dish is incredibly tasty “, I’ve tried this dish in two different occasions, not that specific time shown on the photograph. That’s how I know the flavor of this dish.

      Yeah, I give you that, it might be seen as a “trophy”, but that was not intended; I just snapped the photo as the iguana was laying on the table. But what cooked animal isn’t? When we humans take a turkey out of the oven and presented to guest on the table, aren’t we presenting it as a trophy?

      We after all, evolved from hunters who brought their prey to the village as trophies; and I guess some of us have to evolved pass that stage yet.

    • Wait a minute, the only one that scolded on FB was Elí. I actually got some pretty good responses from my followers. Of course you have been eating corn flakes and Aunt Jemina pancakes since you are a gringo who happened to grow in Guatemala. 😉
      BTW, let’s see if Elí respond to your formal complaint about the irregular updates on GDP, I am almost certain he is not going to touch the subject.

      • Elí Orozco

        I was thinking on asking the developer to change the url to Guatemalamonthlyphoto…

      • NYChapin

        Rudy, maybe if Eli continues to post photos of charred animals he will be inspired to post daily. Never mind all the great stuff happening in Guate everyday.

        And as far as being Guatemalan, I like what Pollo Campero says: yo soy ” tan autentico como tu”