Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Katok

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Today by chance I happened to stop for a quick bite at Katok.
Katok was a landmark restaurant on the highway to Guatemala’s Highlands. It was a lonely restaurant for decades, and now, after their great success, there are about a dozen restaurants on the highway around them.
And this success led them to open new locations all around Guatemala City and its suburbs.

You got to try this!
Their Hamon Serrano, a Spaniard style cured ham, cured at on the dry highlands of Guatemala, is served on thin slices and that’s all you need.
After you try this, trust me, you’ll be coming back as often as you can.

Hammon Serrano

Hammon Serrano

Chinese Food

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Chinese Food is popular in Guatemala (where it is not?) and there are all kinds of options.
And you won’t believe prices!
For example, you can get a plate of this for less than $8 U.S.A. Dollars.

Chinese Food

Chinese Food

San Marcos Delights

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

San Marcos is a Guatemalan province bordering Mexico. Land of contrast, at one edge it touches the Pacific Ocean, at the other end is the land of Guatemala’s two highest Volcanoes, Tajumulco and Tacana.

Living a urban life in this globalized economy deprives you of many things. Like me, many people rely on supermarkets to get their groceries, where most of the foods are treated with preservatives, hormones, etc., fruits and vegetables are full of pesticides and who knows what.

That’s why I once a month I get a fresh delivery from San Marcos.
San Marcos has a terroir perfect for growing apples, though this has not been exploited at a commercial level. There are apple trees on a lot of house and they are completely free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. You can’t get better than this! There is not a big variety of apples but I like those one can get, they are a little acidic, and that’s how I like them.

Getting fresh cheese, free of preservatives and other unnatural ingredients is rather a luxury here in the city.
That’s why I have a freshly made cheese delivered from San Marcos. They don’t use artificial coagulant in the cheese making process, they use a live culture from the cow’s stomach. Yeah, I’ve seen the entire process and that’s why I love it. And when it is done, it is wrapped on plantain leaves.

Habas, Broad Beans -Vicia Faba-
are grown on the highlands. Once dried on the patios or the roofs, they get place on the stove to roast. Your remove the hard and burned skin and bite the hard inner part. They are full of proteins and other goodies for your body. Surprisingly, we don’t see “Habas” in Guatemala City. For some reason they don’t get commercialized here, despite San Marcos producing tons them.

San Marcos is one of the main producer of potatoes in Guatemala.
Buying your potatoes from a supermarket is not the same as getting a bag of freshly harvested potatoes from San Marcos, and these ones are free of pesticides and preservatives; directly from the land to my fridge.

And my fav: Tortillas de Harina
These flour tortillas are somewhat unique to San Marcos, well, I’ve not seen them made like this anywhere else yet.
They make these large flour tortillas with a very simple mixture of water, flour, free roaming hen eggs, salt and sugar.
they are left on the “comal” (hotplate) until they are crisp.

All this makes me wonder: Why the hell am I living in Guatemala City?

Gastronomy from Petén

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Las Mesitas Festival Gastronomico

Las Mesitas Festival Gastronomico

Allow me to show you something that got me very excited today!
I found a small note on a gastronomic festival in Petén, Guatemala’s largest province and with the largest remaining forests.

I’ll sum it up for you

In the spring of 1525, Hernan Cortes (one of the Conquistadors) army en route to Honduras crossed the Petén region, where they were fed by the surrounding jungle; they ate Zapotes. In Tayazal, capitol city of the Itza they were invited by King Canek to a banquet where they ate palmito soup, coshan asado, empanadas de siquinche, tamales, bollitos de chaya, caldo de chayuco, tortillas de ramon mixed with majunches, deer meat, tepezquintle, armadillo, iguana, pizote, mapache, wild boar and different birds meat and local fish and of course frijoles (beans) to finish the meal with a local tobacco cigar.
In 1847, as a result of a war in the Yucatan Peninsula, there was a migration to the Petén lands from the Yucatan, and this came to influence Petén’s gastronomy: Stomach (cow’s) bouillon, gallina en col, gandinga, estofado, salpicon, escabeche de costilla de cerdo (pig’s rib), tepezcuintle en pibil (barbecue), atole de macal, biscotela, longaniza, etc.

This 7 December, in the towns of Flores, and San Francisco, Petén, there is a gastronomic festival called Las Mesitas, where you can find all kinds of these regional dishes and drinks.

From Guatemala’s news paper Prensa Libre.

The only thing I have to regret is not having known about this gastronomic festival last December I was in Petén.
For sure I will not miss this one. Who’s coming!?

Shuco Eating Contest

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Yesterday was Guatemala’s first Shuco eating contest.
What are shucos? Shucos are a variation of hot dogs; they are much larger and are prepared with different meats and or cold cuts.
Shuco is a Guatemalan slang word for dirty, and there is a story behind the name.
A young female who used to frequent this area of Guatemala City, where shucos are sold in every corner, was once invited to try them “hot dogs” or “panes”, she replied with disgust: I’m not eating that, they are so “shucos” dirty!
Every time she was in the area, the people who sold them shucos asked her if she wanted to try them shucos, and eventually she decided to try them and she loved them! From them on the name Shuco was used to refer to them.
It was a difficult fight! The winner ended up eating ten of these fully loaded shucos. There were 10 people on second places, they managed to eat 9 of them.
How many can you handle?
Oh, by the way, shucos for the contest came fully loaded with steamed cabbage, guacamole, mayonnaise, mustard and the sausages.

Flor de Izote

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Flor de Izote is the flower of the Yucca Gigantea, an obiquitous plant here in Guatemala.  This flower is a local delight, prepared with curries or bouillons or tamales.
This plant does not flower often or under a determined schedule. I saw this one this morning in my neighborhood while I went to run so errands. When I came back an hour later, there was already  someone cutting it down.

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Hot Dogs El Chino

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Hot Dogs El Chino is Guatemala City’s most famous hot dogs joint.
Of course no one calls them by their given name, they called them Shucos de Liceo, Shuco being a slang for hot dog and Liceo is very famous college across the street.
They are delicious and can’t get any better for less than $3.

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No horses allowed any more.

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Food Delivery

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Thumbs up for Pollo Brujo!

Very smart, planet friendly food delivery.
Got something like this in your city?

Pollo Brujo

Pollo Brujo

The Hood

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

One of the things I love about living in an older neighborhood is that there are no building codes, no regulations for businesses and this leads to the neighborhood to have more character and uniqueness. On the opposite site we have newer residential complexes were no business are allowed, and these are reserved for the wealthier families of Guatemala.
Here where I live we have more than twenty five “tiendas”, small informal convenience stores, in fact; most business are not registered and lack proper business permits, but that’s how things work here in Guatemala. We have this many tiendas for a gated community of no more than 600 houses; that’s about one tienda for every 24 or so houses.
One thing I love about living in a neighborhood like this one is that people can still opt for fresher groceries: if you want fresh eggs, you don’t go to your local tienda, you go to “La Huevera”, the woman who sells eggs, they are fresher and sometimes cheaper too. You can get fresh cheese and other dairy products here too.
Same happens when you want fresher fruits or vegetables; you can buy them at your local tienda but if you want fresher you go to a “verdureria”, a place where fruits and vegetables are sold. Here in the hood we also have a business dedicated to selling chicken and only chicken, there is a butcher shop too, you can buy chicken here as well, but for better quality and freshness, you go to your “polleria”, the place dedicated to selling chicken.
One more thing ubiquitous in older neighborhoods in Guatemala are “panaderias”, local bakeries. Guatemalas eat a lot of bread; for breakfast, late lunch or the afternoon coffee break, but Guatemalans got to have the freshest bread. At these panaderias they bake bread twice a day, no Guatemala likes to eat morning bread with their afternoon coffee. It has to be freshly made!
Oh, you can buy bread at your local tienda too, but always fresher at the panaderia.

Authentic Guatemalan Food

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

I’ve always complained about the lack of authentic regional food at our supermarkets, where most of the food available resembles an U.S.A. supermarket’s
Surprisingly, I found this supermarket version of a Guatemalan Deligt, you top these fried plantains with sour cream and sugar for a simple and yet tasteful snack. And they are lpcally made! I hope to see more ideas like this one..

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Argentine food in Guatemala City

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

My wife watches a TV show every night and they constantly announce an Argentine restaurant. Well, we decided to go check it out, and here is the verdict: First we tried their “Empanadas”, Latin American style pasties. They feature two kinds; beef or chicken, we tried them both. They are incredibly tasty, stuffed with egg yolks and other spices. In my opinion, the best were the chicken ones, and the sauce they come with is the perfect combination.
Next we had a side of the barbecue chicken wings, they were great too, though I rather not focus on USA style foods.
And I as a main course I decided to try their Milanesa a la Parmesana, Chicken Parmesan, Oh man, this really hit the spot!
You just have to have it with a bottle of wine and that’s all you’ll need to start a great night.
Oh, by the way, I really love the decor at this restaurant, check’em out next time you are craving something tasty around Guatemala City’s Zone 10.
And the empanadas are 3 for Q30/$3.90. If you have a small appetite you’ll only need the empanadas, and they come with a green salad. The Milanesa a la Parmesana was Q40/$5.20 and a bottle of wine for less than $10 dollars. What else do you need?

Bon appetite at La Salteña!

Argentine Empanadas in Guatemala

Friday, March 21st, 2014

I’m on the run right now, but I’ll have a full review of the place where I had them tomorrow…

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