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

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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Savoring Cuaresma

Pescado en Escabeche

(Recipe for Pescado en Escabeche) by Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard  AmaliaLLC.com Lent (Cuaresma), the time leading up to Holy Week and Easter, is celebrated by about 1.2 billion Christians worldwide. In Guatemala around 60 percent of the population, or 8.2 million Roman Catholics, observe it in a very solemn manner. This is especially so in La Antigua Guatemala, where you’ll find […]

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Smilax

Smilax

An ethnobotanical with interesting properties Smilax is a crucial ingredient in Mayan ethnobotanical recipes, both from Guatemala and Mexico. However, it is notable that, in general, Mayanists know very little about this seemingly bizarre plant. I have studied plants of the Maya since the 1970s, and I must admit I never heard of this plant until four years ago. And […]

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Fiambre!

Fiambre de Guatemala (image by photos.rudy giron.com) image by photos.rudygiron.com

The Traditional Dish of November To appreciate fiambre imagine it is the middle of the eighth century. Until this time, All Saints Day was celebrated on May 13 and experts believed that rituals were deeply rooted in a similar pagan celebration, Feast of the Lemures, a day when evil spirits were mollified by Earth-dwellers. Pope Gregory III consecrated a new […]

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Q & A with Rafael del Cid

Organic tomatoes

by Shannon McCullough Rafael del Cid is the owner of Organica, a unique market stocked with organic and natural food, supplements, lactose free products, gluten free products, beauty and personal care, ecological products and much more. When did you open Organica Guatemala? The first store opened in 2008 in zone 10, Guatemala City. The high demand for our products led […]

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Postcards from American Kitchens

Delicious freshly made burgers

I recently returned from a long-overdue, 20-day journey to the United States. I spent the first 10 days in my hometown of Los Angeles and the remainder of time at a family reunion at our family lakeside home in Priest Lake, Idaho. Los Angeles has changed immensely since I last lived there. I found it astonishing at the amount of […]

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Peach

Peach

Peach tastes and peach tones are challenging to find in Guatemala, but it’s worth taking the challenge and seeing what you can discover. Peach tones—those orangy, reddish, yellowish, pale shades that decorators like—aren’t around gardens or weavings as are so many brighter colors. Luscious peach fruit and juice are in our markets, but not all that common, which is a […]

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Eating an Inflorescence

Flowers in the Mayan Diet

Flowers in the Mayan Diet While in a hotel in Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, we were photographing a beautiful peace lily flower, of the Spathiphyllum genus. Our Q’eqchi’ translator immediately told us that this flower is edible. Our photo assistant also said that his family incorporated these flowers in their meals. He is from the Guatemala-Mexico border area in the […]

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Island Cooking-Roatan

by Monish Welcome Dine on fresh seafood as you look out over the clear blue Caribbean Sea; sip a cool, tropical drink as you watch the sunset burst into an explosion of pastel blues, pinks and yellows; or enjoy a delicious island-inspired meal under the stars. The culinary cuisine of Roatan is an amazing blend of tropical tastes and multicultural […]

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A Kitchen Chat with House & Green store manager Beatriz de Castillo

Text/Photo by Shannon McCullough What kitchenware is most in demand at House & Green? There is a wide spectrum of cooks that shop at House & Green. For example, for those who like to bake, we have a large variety of cake and cupcake molds; cookie sheets; decorating tubes; and many other items that add to the joy of baking. […]

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Edible Flowers in the Mayan Diet

The focus this month is on an edible flower from the tree referred to as muc in the Q’eqchi’ language; orejuela in local Spanish of Guatemala. The scientific name is Cymbopetalum penduliflorum (Donal) Bail. Family: Annonaceae. Flowers played a major role in Mayan culture, as sacred flowers, as perfume, as seasoning, as food and as medicine. The flower from the […]

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Honduras Cuisine

by Monish Welcome From corn to the most delicious refried beans in Central America, Honduran food is typically described as a regional variation of what is known around the world as Mexican food. This is due to the common cultural heritage of Mesoamerica during pre-Columbian times. For flavorings, Honduran cooks rely heavily on spices such as cumin, curry, allspice, and […]

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Canal Clamming

The most fun you can have with your feet! “Vamos!” My friend Doña Irma was excited as she told me that clamming season was here on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. Clams (almejas) exist in Guatemala? I hadn’t heard of anyone clam digging in Guatemala; however, I had seen them served every now and then in the famous caldo de […]

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The Taste of Artisan Food Products

by Shannon McCullough “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Personally, I would prefer a fresh lemon tart or a jar of artisan lemon curd. I long for baskets of delicious lemons in markets that are so plentiful in other parts of the world. In the Highlands of San Martin large yellow lemons, with sweet citrus flavors, are grown on […]

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