Sunday, February 19, 2012


Dieta: diet

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that prior to coming to Nicaragua, I was one of those people who thought all food in Central America was like Mexican food. I was so excited to eat here, because I thought I’d be eating spicy jalapeños and melty cheese all semester long.

Well, I quickly found out I was wrong. There’s really not a lot to food in Nica. While there are some local cuisines that I’ll certainly miss, on the whole, it’s pretty boring. That being said, I’m loving how incredibly cheap it is to eat here. A nicer meal out costs between 5 and 7 U.S. dollars. I rarely eat out except for lunch, and when I do, I usually only pay a little less than 3 U.S. dollars. However, overall, the diet here is far from healthy. Nicaraguans deep fry nearly everything, and vegetables are few and far between. I’ll do my best to demonstrate the cuisine with the help of Google images.

I eat some form of rice and beans at least once a day, frequently twice a day. Probably the most famous Nicaraguan food is gallo pinto.

Not all rice and beans is gallo pinto. I like gallo pinto, and there are certainly many foods out there that would be worse as staples to your diet. But it’s a little bland. It’s exactly what it looks like and nothing more: beans and rice. It’s made better with a little hot sauce, but even the hot sauce here isn’t spicy by my standards.

Nicaragua is also famous for its quesillos, a corn tortilla filled with a little lettuce, vinegar, cheese, hot sauce and a splash of cream. Sounds strange? I know. I was a little skeptical too.

But it’s actually a lot better than expected. They’re a great little street snack, and super cheap. They run around 10 cordobas, which is somewhere around 50 cents. One great thing about them: it’s the spiciest food I’ve had in Nicaragua, hands down.

Nicaraguans also love their pizza. But it’s hardly a reminder of home.

Nicaraguan pizza is not my taste, to be honest. It’s thicker than U.S. pizza and the sauce is pretty flavorless. It’s very cheesy. It’s not a bad dinner; it just certainly won’t solve your craving for pizza.

However, one drink that I’ll miss a lot is the Nicaraguan cacao.

It’s similar to chocolate milk, but it’s a little less sweet. It’s milk with cocoa powder and little chocolate flakes, and it’s sold at a local panaderia out of bags. It’s super cool and refreshing, perfect for the insanely hot Nicaraguan weather.

This will surely not be my last blog about the food here. Eating here is always an adventure.

Also, I leave early Tuesday morning to spend a week at a campesina in Northern, rural Nicaragua. I know very little about it except that I need thick rubber work boots and I’ll be doing a lot of manual labor. I have no idea if there will be any access to Internet, so it might be a little while until my next entry.


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  2. OMG that bagged yumminess! Northwest in Honduras teniamos horchata en bolsitas cada ves que veniamos al pueblo de Yorito.