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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All Saints Day in Guatemala, A Photographic Essay

All Saints Day in Guatemala, A Photographic Essay by Geovin Morales

In Guatemala Día de Todos Los Santos (All Saints Day) is celebrated on November 1 and Día de Los Fieles Difuntos (Day of the Dead) on November 2. For these holidays Guatemalans prepare a very special once-a-year meal that goes by the name of fiambre. Guatemalans also spend time with the family at the cemetery remembering their dead. They also […]

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Paab’ Ank

The Traditional Mayan Feast Central to the life of each and every Mayan community in Guatemala are the activities of the cofradía, the traditional religious-political brotherhood, which is in reality a parallel government with its own elected officials and mayors. In many respects the cofradía has more authority than the “official” federal government. It is the cofradía that organizes and […]

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Halloween Night in Antigua Guatemala

Halloween Night in Antigua Guatemala by Nelo Mijangos

Here’s a photographic gallery of Halloween Night in Antigua Guatemala at the different venues and at Calle del Arco where locals and visitors alike dressed up in costumes. There were many people that came from Guatemala City and abroad, the streets were filled with trick-a-treaters who were having a great time on the streets of Antigua Guatemala or one of […]

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ZAPOTE

Written by. Dr. Nicholas M. Hellmuth and Daniela Da’Costa Franco The popular name represents many diverse edible fruits of Guatemala One of the tree fruits raised by the Maya long ago that is still enjoyed today is the zapote. Although there are several fruits of the same name, the popular nomenclature is pure chaos. Some of the “zapote” fruits belong […]

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PEPPER(S)

Piper auritum cordoncillo, high safrol content

Piper species — “Pepper” (as in “salt & pepper”) and Chili “Peppers” Written by. Dr. Nicholas M. Hellmuth Our salt-and-pepper pepper is Piper nigrum, which originated in India. There are actually three completely different kinds of native plants in Guatemala named “pepper” (or pimienta): pepper leaf (flavoring from leaf, seed or flower stick), pepper vegetables and pepper spice (flavoring from […]

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The Nance Tree

Seven Macaw is the False Sun deity, featured in the Mayan myth of the Popol Vuh. His name in the K’iche’ Mayan language of Guatemala is Vukub-Cakix. The perch and favorite food of Seven Macaw is specifically identified as a nance tree in most translations of the Popol Vuh. “This is the great tree of Seven Macaw, a nance, and […]

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Ilegal Mezcal

Potent spirit opens new chapter for Antigua outpost by Brendan Byrne Not unlike its original customers, or more honestly its booze-filled reprobates turned employees, Café No Sé in La Antigua Guatemala has truly grown up over the last years. This change is fourfold. Firstly and ironically, some of the infantile antics and genuine boyish bonhomie that epitomized this legendary watering […]

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Guatemalan Bananas

by Kevin García There are many varieties of bananas in Guatemala. Bananas are very tasty, complete fruits; they are easy to digest and have many nutrients, such as vitamins A, B, C, E, calcium, magnesium, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, iron and sodium. They are particularly rich in vitamin B6, folic acid and potassium. The bananas most commonly found in Guatemala are Cavendish […]

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ORGANICA: A discovery center for amazing products

With two stores in Guatemala City, Organica has opened a location in La Antigua Guatemala. It’s like a discovery center for amazing products! Looking for Bragg all-purpose seasoning—look no further! Eco-friendly cleaning supplies, dish and laundry detergent, body washes, hygiene, toothpaste—they have it. Healthy cereals and almond milk—in stock! DEET-free bug repellant—check! Natural energy drinks? Yep, they carry several brands […]

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Food Festival in July

Presentations at last year’s food festival

2nd Annual Sacatepéquez Festival Gastronómico Culinary fiends beware! Prepare your taste buds and tummy for a feasting, as July 17 is La Antigua Guatemala’s annual Festival Gastronómico in celebration of its patron saint, Santiago Apóstol (St. James the Apostle). The event, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m., takes place at The Cultural Center César Brañas on 5a […]

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Red Dragons in the Market

Pitaya season is here (photo by Rudy Girón)

Pitaya season is here They are sweet, spiny and flaming red, rushing into your local markets by the dozens. Red dragons—in fruit form—are in season. Pitaya (dragon fruit) is common throughout Mexico and Central and South America, but is more popular in consumption in Asia (Vietnam, Thailand, Japan and China). The fruit looks like a prehistoric orb, a painted artichoke, […]

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The Sacred Red Bean

But not from a vine, from a tree — the Palo de Pito The palo de pito tree is commonly found throughout the Highlands of Guatemala. It produces a bright red bean, which is used for divination by Maya shamans. The book of Popol Vuh is very clear about the red beans from this tree being used by the gods […]

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Mangostino, Anyone?

Strange and Delicious Fruits of June Regardless of location, farmers’ markets throughout Guatemala provide a grand opportunity to experience new flavors, textures and colors in fruits foreign to the extranjero tongue. If you’re worried about consuming raw fruits here in Guatemala, remember that a couple minutes soaked in low strength bleach water will kill anything looming on the skin of […]

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Asociación Manos Abiertas

written by Hannah Freiwald Asociación Manos Abiertas (AMA) was founded in March 2008 in response to the urgent need for reproductive health services in Ciudad Vieja. Our mission is to offer a safe and welcoming place where health services are provided for women by women, in a respectful and confidential manner without discrimination. We strive to treat the woman as […]

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Where Food Meets Fashion

There was a time when food was just food. Saucepans were saucepans, cutlery was cutlery and kitchens were just … well … kitchens. But things are changing. Guatemala City’s popular household and garden store House & Green is fast turning local cocinas into catwalks where trashcans and wooden spoons deserve their place on the culinary runway. Since its opening nearly […]

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