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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The Art of Absinthe

Legendary liquid spreads to La Antigua A drink of legend and mystique, absinthe is making a global comeback that’s also reached Guatemala. Said to be the spirit that induced Van Gogh to lop off his ear and perhaps tainted the captain of the Titanic, absinthe was concocted in the 1790s by a French doctor living in Switzerland and promoted as […]

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2nd Annual Noche de los Chefs

Featuring exquisite, al-fresco dining, the second annual “Noche de los Chefs: 10 Restaurants Under a Summer Sky” is coming to Convento de Capuchinas in La Antigua on Saturday, March 26, 6:30-11:30 p.m. With proceeds benefitting the child-serving NGO CasaSito, the event includes eight chefs from Antigua restaurants and two from Guatemala City. In addition to fundraising for a good cause, […]

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Christmas Punch

Christmas Punch

A traditional recipe from: The Doña Luisa Xicotencatl, Antigua Cookbook (Spanish/English) 1 pineapple, cubed 1 papaya, cubed 1 coconut, grated 4 ounces raisins 4 ounces prunes 1 cinnamon stick ½ pound sugar Put one gallon of water in a pot and add the cinnamon. When the water begins to boil, add all the other ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. […]

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Farming Organically

written by Dianne Carofino photos: George Carofino What makes a farm “organic,” one that grows organic produce? We put that question to Alex Kronick as we tour Caoba Farms, his five-acre organic farm on the outskirts of La Antigua Guatemala. Alex began his business six years ago, originally selling organic produce to one restaurant, and then quickly adding a second. […]

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How ‘bout a Coffee?

Schumann, Wagner and Goethe met frequently to chat at Coffé Baum in Leipzig, Germany. Established in 1694 and Germany’s oldest coffee house, Coffé Baum still serves satisfied customers and includes a popular coffee museum on the third floor. In his spare time from his duties as choirmaster at Thomas Church in Leipzig, J.S. Bach composed his Coffee Cantata in 1732, […]

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16 Appealing Appetizers

Shrimp Cocktail

Cheese Poker a tart made from four Italian cheeses: mascarpone, gorgonzola, ricotta and parmesan; on walnut bread, green apples, blackberry sauce with the aroma of raspberry vinegar. —El Pescador Italiano Nachos Supreme double cheese and guacamole, beans, sour cream, pico de gallo. —Fridas Baked Jalapeño Peppers filled with melted cream cheese and bacon. —La Canoa Dedos de Pollo strips of […]

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8 Delectable Desserts

Flan antigüeño (photo by Rudy Giron -

Banoffee Pie sweet honey biscuit base covered in a thick layer of caramel and slices of fresh banana, topped with a generous helping of fluffy cream, dusted with chocolate powder. —Rainbow Café White Chocolate Ice Cream topped with blackberry sauce. —Welten Capuccino Pie dark espresso folded into whipped cream, piled into a cookie-crumb crust. —Café Condesa Merengue a la Crema […]

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8 Breakout Beverages


Coconut Lemonade a blended concoction of coconut, lemonade and spices… with or without a double shot of rum. —La Peña de Sol Latino Krishna Milk a blend of hot milk, honey, vanilla and a fresh banana. —Rainbow Café Café Glacé a delicious combination of ice cream and expresso topped with cinnamon. —Doña Luisa Xicotencatl Basilico tequila, basil, sugar, lime juice, […]

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Market Management

Irma and Alma at Irma’s stall in the mercado

written by Dianne Carofino photos by George Carofino No visitor to La Antigua—no matter for how short or long a stay— has savored the flavor of the city without a visit to the local mercado, with its stalls of colorful and sometimes unfamiliar fruits and vegetables, all separated by narrow, crowded aisles. It can be an enticing but bewildering experience. […]

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8 Vegetarian Dishes

Hector's Quiche (photo by Rudy Giron -

Grilled Veggie Wrap veggies slightly grilled with olive oil, wrapped in a soft flour tortilla with lettuce, avocado & cheese —Las Palmas Gratin de Portobello Portobello mushrooms au gratin with Créme Royal and goat cheese, vegetables and rice —Mesón Panza Verde Vegetable Soup, Everything we found at the market except the goldfish. Served with cheese and avocado. —Café No Sé […]

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8 Pleasing Pastas

Fetuccini Al Fruti di Mare (photo by Rudy Giron -

Fettuccini with shrimp and crabmeat served with a delicious white sauce and garlic bread —Posada de Don Rodrigo Ragú de la Abuelita with spaghetti, beef, tomato sauce, herbs and white wine —El Sabor del Tiempo Ravioles de Salmón ravioles stuffed with salmon —La Casserole Espaguetti Marinara Calamari, chopped tomato, onions, basil and olive oil —Personajes Pasta del Día daily menu […]

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8 Savory Sandwiches

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich (photo by Rudy Giron -

Leonardo Da Veggie garlic/herb cream cheese, avocado, onion, sweet peppers, tomato and cucumber —Bagel Barn Carnívoro delicious seasoned beef fillet grilled and smothered with melted cheese and fried onions —La Sin Ventura Restaurant Panino Mar y Montaña salsa panza verde, cheese, Italian salami, olive oil and anchovies —Caffé Opera Monte Cristo with turkey breast, ham and swiss cheese and house […]

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8 Bountiful Breakfast in Antigua Guatemala

Guatemalan Breakfast (photo by Rudy Giron -

Bohemian Breakfast — two eggs, country potatoes and bacon scramble, served with a toasted bagel and your choice of a cigarette or a multivitamin at Bagel Barn (inside front cover) Típico Panchoy — eggs ranchero, refried beans, sausage or ham, white cheese, fried plantains, cream, orange juice, bread or tortillas, coffee or tea at Café Panchoy (page 73) Pancakes Andrés […]

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First Vintage

Chateau DeFay

A rewarding excursion to Guatemala’s first winery to produce wine from locally-grown grapes since colonial times text and photos by Ira Lewis Hidden behind a coffee finca on the lower slopes of volcano El Agua is the first winery to produce wine from Guatemalan-grown grapes since colonial times: Chateau DeFay. Jacques and Angie DeFay recently presented their first vintage after […]

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A Spoonful of Honey

Honey comb

2nd in a series by Judy Cohen The natural healing properties of honey cover a wide range of ailments, and more uses are still being discovered. Doña Gavi’s tienda, located on 3a avenida behind the cathedral in La Antigua Guatemala, carries all-natural products, including several types of honey. Her favorite is gravilea, which she buys from nearby farms. I learned […]

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Güisquil in Guatemala

text, photos and recipe by Victoria Stone Güisquil (pronounced “weeskeel”) is one of the most common vegetables throughout Mexico, Central America and parts of South America. It has been famously described as a vegetable that looks like an avocado and tastes like a potato. The plant originated in Mexico, where it was known to the Aztecs as chayolt. It is […]

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