Nicaragua is fast becoming to hottest destination in Latin America. The Central American country is flanked on both sides by the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans, and is known for its dramatic landscapes of towering smoky volcanoes, golden sand beaches, and glistening lakes. It also has a rich history, and glorious Spanish colonial architecture, particularly in the southern city of Granada. We’ve just launched the country as a new destination, so to celebrate we’ll be publishing a series of articles on the culture and history. Most are unsure about what Nicaraguan food is all about, so here’s a typical day in food.
Breakfast in Nicaragua
Breakfast in Nicaragua is a hearty affair. Typically, gallo pinto is the stable breakfast dish found in very restaurant across the land. Translating to ‘spotted roster’, gallo pinto is simply rice and beans cooked with fried onions and garlic. On the Caribbean coast, the rice is cooked in coconut milk. It’s served with fried or scrambled eggs, and sometimes comes with Nicaraguan cheese, fried plantain, and tortillas. On Sundays, be sure to try nacatamales, traditional cornmeal tamales wrapped in banana leaves and filled with pork, rice, and vegetables. They are usually found being sold from people’s homes. If you’re staying in a hotel or you visit an upmarket restaurant, your breakfast will usually come with plenty of exotic fresh fruit and juices. Wash everything down with plenty of Nicaraguan black coffee.
Lunch in Nicaragua
Nicaraguans take the time for a big lunch, and there are plenty of dishes to choose from. If you’re near the coast or Lake Ometepe, try the guapote, deep fried while fish covered in mango, tomatoes, and lime. Alternatively, try vigorón, shredded cabbage mixed with tomatoes, onions, chilis, vinegar, and salt. This is topped with boiled yuca and chicharones (fried pork belly). Corn is another stable in Nicaragua, so if you’re looking for something light for lunch, try the grilled corn on the cob sold from vendors on every street corner, delicious covered with lime salt. Quesadillas, tortillas stuffed with cheese, are also popular street snacks.
Dinner in Nicaragua
In the evening try indio viejo, a mouth watering stew of meat, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and mint. Usually mobbed up with plenty of warm tortillas. Sopa de mondongo is a hearty soup made from cow tripe, onions, achiote chilies, ayote, garlic, yucca, and sour oranges. Even if you aren’t a fan of tripe (stomach lining), give this a go. It might just change your mind. Wash all this down with cold cervezas. Try the local Nicaraguan Tona or La Victoria Bufalo, both of which are excellent. Alternatively, el macua is a popular cocktail made from rum, lemon juice, guavas, and sugar. A must try for an visit to the country. Before you go to bed, try a pinolillo, a hot chocolate drink made from toasted corn, cacao power, milk, sugar, and spiced with cinnamon and cloves.
Would you like to try the food in Nicaragua? To start planning your trip to the country, take a look at our Nicaraguan suggested tours, call one of our travel experts on +44 (0) 207 407 1478, or email us here.