Falling for Squash in Guatemala

Falling for Squash in Guatemala

I grew up eating squash in Guatemala and learned to appreciate the local varieties because they are part of many preparations, from soups and stews to candied styles. Cooking with squash is easy, as the fruit lends itself to many preparations from savory and sour, to sweet. Squash is available year-round in the U.S., but I love fall harvest season […]

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Ayurvedically Speaking, following an Ayurvedic diet in Guatemala

Aryuvedically Speaking

Ayurvedically  Speaking, you are what you digest. Following an Ayurvedic diet in Guatemala is so easy! The markets are brimming with beautiful produce, farm-fresh milk and butter are still available, and for locals, lunch is the biggest meal of the day. Though Ayurveda, the 5,000+-year-old traditional approach to health and wellness was established in India, this does not mean eating […]

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AMALIA’S KITCHEN – Guatemalan Cuisine

feature-Fiambre

text & photos by chef and author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard. (AmaliaLLC.com) The Joy of Fiambre. Many Latin countries celebrate the Day of the Dead — and in Guatemala, it is taken to the next level. Friends and families in Guatemala come together every year to prepare and eat fiambre on Nov. 1, All Saints Day (Day of the Dead). Fiambre is an […]

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Celebrating Latin Heritage: Amalia’s Kitchen

Latin Heritage

Sept. 15 marked the beginning of a month-long celebration of Latin culture in the United States – and what a great way to commemorate it with healthy, delicious cuisine. In this article we are celebrating Latin heritage with a recipe for Spicy Seafood Pasta. The weeklong observation began in 1968 by mandate of President Lyndon Johnson, and President Ronald Reagan […]

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Chapin Cookout

Chapin Cookout

Amalia’s Kitchen. A Fun Way to entertain Guatemalan style. It sure is that time of year in the United States when family and friends gather to enjoy the warm weather months cooking outdoors. In Guatemala, thankfully, this happens all year long! In Guatemala, a cookout is called a churrasco, and like the English word barbecue, it can refer to either grilled […]

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The Magic Of Aromatic Herbs

The Magic Of Aromatic Herbs

I call vegetables the stars of my kitchen and aromatic herbs (and spices), superstars because they elevate a dish to a higher level, both in flavor, aroma and eye appeal. Imagine a caldo de res (beef soup) or a kaq ik (turkey soup from Coban) without aromatic herbs and vegetables. A typical caldo de res contains anywhere from 5-15 ingredients […]

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Amalia’s Kitchen – Boosting Flavor while cutting Calories

Amalia's Kitchen

The healthier eating trend is stronger than ever in the United States. Native and African Americans and Hispanics are at the top of the risk group for Type 2 diabetes in America, according to the American Diabetes Association. This trend will have a ripple effect on neighboring countries in the coming years, as chronic diseases related to poor eating habits […]

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LOBSTER FEST 2017

Lobster Fest 2017

Now that the rainy season has officially arrived in Guatemala, a trip to the beach for an island party may sound like a nice escape. Why not check out neighboring Belize and plan your trip around a lively and delicious June tradition – the Lobster Fest. Three towns in Belize take part in Lobster Fest: San Pedro (Ambergris Caye), Caye […]

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Amalia’s Kitchen Delicious Moments in Nicaragua

amalia's kitchen

While my heart and soul and culinary core are deeply Guatemalan, my desire and curiosity to learn about the synergies of all Latin cultures is only natural — after all, we share so many traits. From north to south and east to west, Latin America is rich not only in culture, but in unique cuisines. Recently, I traveled to a […]

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Guatemala style cuisine for neophytes

Book-alert-carole

BOOK ALERT: “El Poyo, la Piedra y el Nixtamal: Cocina al estilo de Guatemala para neófitos.” New cookbook that explains Guatemala-style cuisine for neophytes. When author Carole Wilson was a child, she spent hours in her grandmother’s kitchen. While the house was ultramodern for the time, her grandmother insisted on having a poyo, an old-fashioned, masonry, wood and charcoal burning stove. […]

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Guatemalan Cheeses

Guatemalan Cheeses

Behold the power of cheese! There’s a reason for this: Cheese can seduce the most discriminating tastes, and Guatemalan cheeses rise to the challenge in any kitchen. There are many styles and methods of making cheese, however, Guatemalan artisan cheeses are the country’s favorites. When was the last time that you tried a queso fresco (fresh cheese)? In contrast to […]

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Sugar Mills of Guatemala

Sugar mills Guatemala

Many things have definitely changed in Guatemala, but in some rural areas, time seems to be at a standstill. That is the case of the molienda, the old-fashioned sugar mills powered by oxen. During a trip to Esquipulas and Quezaltepeque in eastern Guatemala not too long ago, I visited a molienda. While sugar processed commercially is one of the top […]

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Holiday Ponche Guatemala

Holiday Ponche

Ponche, or punch in English, is the quintessential holiday drink in Guatemala and other Latin countries. I must say that some of the best ponches I have ever tasted have been at people’s homes during the Dec. 16-24 posada season (Las Posadas), which recreates Mary and Joseph’s pilgrimage in Bethlehem. When I think of ponche—it’s like rewinding and playing back […]

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AMALIA’S KITCHEN Desserts with Heart

Amalias kitchen Guatemala

Sweets are the perfect ending of a great meal, especially if they are near and dear to our hearts. Although I don’t claim to have a very sweet tooth, when I do eat dessert I naturally gravitate to fruit-based tarts or fresh fruit salads, but when a special craving sets in, I often reminisce about the desserts I ate while […]

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Teaching Traditional Guatemalan Cuisine

Mayan cuisine Guatemala

Visitors curious about traditional Mayan cuisine should add the Ixiim Cooking School to their to-do list. San Pedro La Laguna, situated on the shores of Lake Atitlán, is a popular destination featuring dramatic scenery, breathtaking hiking trails and waterfalls, numerous yoga centers, Spanish schools and lively nightlife. Visitors curious about traditional Mayan cuisine should add the Ixiim Cooking School to […]

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AMALIA’S KITCHEN: Chirmol without Boundaries

food in Guatemala

Chirmol is a healthy delicious chunky sauce that can accompany a variety of foods. When you are in Guatemala, you are bound to hear the word “chirmol” used in various contexts, be it culinary or cultural. A group of friends can be chirmoleando or gossiping about something or someone. Chirmol can also refer to a mess or a mix-up, and a […]

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AMALIA’S KITCHEN: Frescos

Antigua Guatemala food

Fresco in Guatemala is not the art of painting on wet plaster, but the art of making a wholesome fresh drink. Fresco in Spanish means fresh. Guatemalans accompany everyday meals with refreshing and wholesome fresh fruit drinks or roasted seed-based drinks. Soda is often an afterthought and something they serve for special occasions; sodas could never take the place of […]

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Spotlight on Dining — Samsara Tea Lounge & Gallery

Guatemala food

When deciding where to live in Central America any doubt was erased when I arrived in La Antigua Guatemala. Though I’m not saying that discovering a fabulous restaurant in town that features a lot of vegan dishes was a deciding factor, but certainly Samsara played a role. With the slogan “a place to feed your body and mind,” Samsara has […]

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AMALIA’S KITCHEN: Squash It!

Guatemala food

Though they contain seeds, squash is a vegetable belonging to the cucurbitaceae family native to the North American and Mesoamerican regions. Within the five domesticated species there are many varieties from the United States to Central America. In Guatemala, there are diversities that are still not known elsewhere. Pear-shaped, dark-green-skinned güisquil and its albino cousin, perulero, are some of the […]

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AMALIA’S KITCHEN: Lent — Smørrebrød

Smørrebrød

Lenten season is also an opportunity to explore foods outside the normal realm of traditional choices. Cooking or eating out during season of Lent does not have to be difficult, it just takes a bit of awareness and creativity. Every year many Christians observe special diets during 40 days. As I listened to the priest’s sermon one recent morning at […]

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Italian Week at Mesón Panza Verde

Guatemala food

Featuring Italian Cuisine prepared by Chef Noé Sicán Known for his exquisitely prepared fresh pastas served daily, Mesón Panza Verde Chef Noé Sicán has been named the “Best Italian-Inspired Chef in Guatemala” by the Italian Club in Guatemala City. To celebrate Chef Noé’s culinary accomplishment, Mesón Panza Verde offers Italian Week, March 2-9, for both lunch and dinner seating. See […]

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AMALIA’S KITCHEN: Family, Love and Guatemalan Chocolate

Guatemalan chocolate

I surely had a blast this past holiday season with family and friends visiting me for two weeks from Guatemala and Denmark. As we move into the New Year, and Valentine’s Day (día del Cariño) on the 14th, I want to share a dessert recipe that I made for them during their visit. I created classic chocolate-covered strawberries as an […]

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Guatemalan Chocolate, a Sweet Love Affair

Guatemalan chocolate

For chocolate lovers, Guatemala is a sweet place to be on Valentine’s Day. This is especially true if you visit La Antigua Guatemala, where chocoholics can indulge in so many delightful ways. Luscious chocolate bars, exquisite truffles and liquor-filled bonbons are but a few of the beautiful chocolate concoctions that are available at the many artisanal sweet shops scattered throughout […]

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AMALIA’S KITCHEN: Latin Gluten-Free and Vegetarian Delights

Latin gluten free food

Guatemalan and Latin cuisine offer many suggestions for making traditional dishes in healthy ways without compromising flavor and quality. My food philosophy is practical and healthy. I grew up eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, lean proteins, unprocessed foods and healthy oils, such as canola and olive oil. Some Guatemalan cooking uses lard, but my grandmother avoided it […]

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AMALIA’S KITCHEN: Wholesome Resolutions (recipes included)

Wholesome burger with fries

New Year’s resolutions come in many ways and forms. Mine usually include sticking to healthy cooking and eating habits for health and well being. Cooking healthy doesn’t have to be bland, difficult, or boring. Guatemalan cuisine, like other cuisines, has its own distinct cooking techniques. Today people are more aware about food than ever as the sharing of information has […]

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AMALIA’S KITCHEN: Festive Desserts for the Holidays from Guatemala

Desserts Guatemala

When you have a sweet tooth, Guatemala has plenty of options to offer, from decadent desserts to lighter, fruit-based treats. I must admit that I have a weakness for some sweets made either with fresh fruits or dark chocolate. While growing up in Guatemala, I got used to this because my mother and grandmother rarely made heavy desserts. When I […]

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San Martín Bakery Opens New Location in La Antigua Guatemala

Left, 1978 and above, 2015

From one small shop that opened in 1974, San Martín Bakery has just opened in La Antigua Guatemala—its 39th location. With a dream to be the best, the bakery had a modest presence at first, but, loving their work, its bakers always kept striving for perfection.                 This desire, still part of the […]

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