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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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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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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Hydroponic Farming in Guatemala

Hydroponic systems expert Guy Christopher inspects some crops

“Modern Farmer” explains, “In a hydroponic system, a nutrient-dense water solution circulates through the plants’ roots and replaces the need for soil and traditional fertilizers. This technique allows farmers and gardeners to grow food in kitchens and basements, on windowsills and roofs.” The system, long ago embraced by indoor pot growers, may go mainstream as farmers in drought-stricken areas, particularly […]

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Guatemalan Cuisine Overview

food-overview-collage-feature

by chef and author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard. (AmaliaLLC.com). Located in the heart of Mesoamerica, Guatemala is the cradle of the Mayan civilization and as such it was an important agricultural and cultural hub. Many key species of crops emerged, including corn, tomatoes, chilis, squash, beans, potatoes and chocolate. Guatemalan indigenous cuisine incorporated the food of the ancient Mayas prepared according to rustic […]

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The Evolution of the Tortilla

tortilla-corn-1200

text and photos by Louise Wisechild. The savory tortilla, made from ground maize (corn), is Guatemala’s favorite food staple. Maize itself plays an important cultural and spiritual role in Mayan cosmology. In the Maya creation story, people were fashioned from yellow and white maize. Maize is the foundation of the Mayan diet and culture. Maize is also one of the […]

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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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AMALIA’S KITCHEN Guatemalan Cuisine

Chicken with Loroco Flower Buds and Cream Sauce

Discover the Succulent Loroco. text & photos by chef and author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard. (AmaliaLLC.com) There are many luscious edible flowers in Guatemala, but loroco is at the top of the list. This delicate, flavorful and aromatic flower bud is native to Guatemala and neighboring El Salvador. It is used in tamales, stews, empanadas (baked or fried pockets made with a variety of doughs […]

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AMALIA’S KITCHEN – Guatemalan Cuisine

Caldo-de-Res

A TRIBUTE TO CALDO DE RES text & photos by chef and author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard. (AmaliaLLC.com) Caldo de res (beef and vegetable soup) is possibly the most popular soup in the region surrounding Guatemala City. While delicious and nutritious, this soup has some history behind it and a lot in common with the soups of other countries. Soup in Guatemala is sopa […]

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Key Lime

Key_Lime

Sensuous Guatemala by Ken Veronda. With highly acidic taste, a strong aroma and yellow-to-green color shades, the limes in Guatemala hit several senses—including touch, especially if a sharp spine pricks you while picking some off a tree. Those spines let you know these are Key limes, not the Persian lime more common in other parts of the world. The pungent […]

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Churrasco! A Guatemalan Barbecue Experience

amalia-sept-churrasco

text, recipes & photos by chef and author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard. (AmaliaLLC.com) Churrasco is a special Guatemalan experience that refers to cooking meats and other foods outdoors on a parrilla (grill) during gatherings where friends and family get together to celebrate special events or simply share good times. My dad’s very large family (12 brothers and sisters) had many such churrasco celebrations, and […]

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Real Dining at Las Velas

a-ENSALADA-CESAR-CON-CAMARON

by Shannon McCullough. Camino Real’s chef Walter Martínez has created an exciting new menu. There are so many wonderful restaurants in La Antigua Guatemala, you could spend a month dining out every day or night of the week. Camino Real’s Las Velas restaurant has been on my list so a few weeks ago my partner and I decided to go there […]

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