Africa – The other side of Latin Cuisine?

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The similarity between the cuisine of eastern Africa to that of Latin America. Traveling is perhaps one of the best ways to rediscover ourselves and our own cultures. During a recent trip to Tanzania and Kenya, I expected fantastic wildlife and outstanding scenery, but an unexpected surprise was to experience the similarity between the cuisine of eastern Africa to that […]

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Cuban Gastronomic Delights

Cuba's Gastronomic Delights

The Cuba that you may not know. Perhaps what most people associate with Cuba is communism, the embargo, or that it is an off-limits place for Americans, yet tourism is booming with visitors from Canada, Europe, Asia and elsewhere. Old Havana is beautiful. The food is delicious. There’s live music everywhere and the music is hot! and the music is hot. […]

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Amalia’s Kitchen – Eating Healthier, Calories are not created equal

Amalia's Kitchen

Calories are not created equal.  Eating healthier the old-fashioned way in Latin America was the way of our grandmothers, mothers, aunts and home cooks, who were not nutritionists or calorie freaks, but wise women with much common sense in the kitchen. This is the way I grew up, shopping at the mercado with my abuela (grandma) for fresh ingredients and […]

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Eating Healthier to Prevent a 21st Century Epidemic – Amalia’s Kitchen

Eating healthy to prevent A 21st Century Epidemic

Type 2 diabetes is a 21st century epidemic – the one that can be prevented through healthy eating education. Growing up in Guatemala taught me good eating habits for life. After all, fruits and vegetables, plentiful and wide-ranging, grow naturally in fertile soil under the Guatemalan sun. Home- cooked meals are inherently balanced, containing plenty of locally grown crops. Having […]

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Guatemalan Hospitality at its Best

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Every time I visit Guatemala I rediscover the magic of its people. As I write this article, I find myself surrounded by spring-like weather and mesmerizing scenery in La Antigua Guatemala. As Lent approaches, I have been carefully observing the preparations for the big celebration, from the specially decorated floats and devoted volunteers signing up to carry them, to the […]

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Amalia’s Kitchen – A Latin Culinary Romance

Amalia's Kitchen

My curiosity and love of food have often taken me to new and exciting places. This winter, I traveled to South America and the Caribbean. I tasted familiar and different dishes worthy of celebrating. February marks the right time, wherever you may be, to rejoice on delicious cuisine with friends, family or that special someone. While in Buenos Aires, Argentina, […]

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The Perfect Holiday Turkey

The Perfect Holiday Turkey

Turkey is quite possibly the most delicious main dish of the holiday kitchen. In the United States, it is consumed year-round in sandwiches and other preparations and it reaches a higher status at the Thanksgiving table. In Guatemala, turkey is the key ingredient of Kack Ik, a Mayan stew from the region of Coban, and of festive meals during the […]

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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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Kaq’ik

kaq'ik

Kaq’ik is a spicy Guatemalan Turkey Soup. In the predominantly Kekchi-speaking Maya municipality of Cobán, Alta Verapaz, I recently had the very good fortune of experiencing some of Guatemala’s most ancient and traditional food dishes. One of these dishes, Kaq’ik, is a savory and spicy red broth made from puréed tomatoes, tomatillos, lots of natural herbs and chilies that are […]

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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

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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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