The Evolution of the Tortilla

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Ponche

A Recipe for Your Guatemalan Christmas Noche Buena in Antigua—a time for family and firecrackers, midnight mass and a bounty of tamales. Festivities last long into the night and as the clock ticks closer to 1:00 (or 4:00) o’clock in the morning, many celebrants need a little splash of life to keep the party going. For Guatemalans, that little splash […]

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Pumpkin

No frost on the pumpkin in Guatemala. No frost anywhere in this springtime-all-year land, except atop the highest mountain chains. Not many pumpkins, either, though the plant is native to Central America, and many are grown on the south coast and lowlands. Pumpkins are cooked and eaten here like other squash, as a vegetable, but rarely in pies or sweets. […]

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Guatemala’s First Organic Market

What is normally a fairly toxic section of Avenida las Americas was converted into a haven of health last month as Guatemala’s first Organic Farmers’ Market came to town. The event, held at Plaza Mexico during the capital’s popular Sunday activity Pasos y Pedales, showcased a diverse selection of natural and organically grown Guatemalan produce and opened with a short […]

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Fiambre

A History of Guatemalan Family and Tradition To appreciate fiambre, you need a brief history lesson. 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 […]

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Golden Fork Award

Christian Rossell (photo: Isaac Castellanos, courtesy of febos productions)

Christian Rossell voted Chef of the Year, 2012 The name Christian Rossell has long been synonymous with fine Italian dining: in 2005, the chef opened the doors of his first restaurant, Pecorino, before unveiling a chain of deli’s, and then launching the exquisite pizzeria Romano’s, which introduced Guatemala to thin-crust pizzas. But this year, the name is also synonymous with […]

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Tapado

Coconut milk and boat-fresh seafood creates a Río Dulce specialty and the garífuna’s most beloved dish With an abundance of impossibly fresh seafood and locally grown, tropical produce—from bright green plantains to coffee-brown coconuts—it is no wonder food on Guatemala’s Caribbean coast is distinctive from platos típicos found on the interior. Aside from ingredients, the major culinary influence at the […]

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