Cassie and I love the food here in Nicaragua and for that we are very thankful as we imagine that life would be more challenging if we did not. Of course there are many food items that remind us of home and we do make the occasional purchase of products imported from the States. However, generally we have enjoyed our adventure into Nicaraguan cuisine; so come along for the ride!
The basics and staples are sold in bulk in our local market. There are many varieties of rice, corn and beans to choose from as long as a host of spices and nuts. The national dish gallo pinto (rice and beans), from market to pot.
Even though we don’t eat a lot of meat, Nicaraguans do it quite well. We also find ourselves living the closest to the ocean than we ever have. On Tuesdays we usually head to our market to have our pick of the local and fresh catch.
Coffee, from farm to cup. I have spent time working in the coffee fields, continue to roast our own beans for personal consumption and both Cassie and I have taken every opportunity to visit the coffee plantations and taste the various varieties available in Nicaragua.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, which we not only love to eat, but also love to juice and make into smoothies. Not only do we have the opportunity to try many fruits that we have never had available to us, but we are also getting to enjoy some of the freshest, flavorful fruit in our lives.
Nothing hits the spot on a hot day like a cold Ice-cream — okay I was eating an ice cream every day (its hot here!) until my jeans started to shrink. I have cut back, but we also have discovered Helados Jinotepinos, a gem of a creamery that has been serving up a cool cream since the 40’s. Our favorite flavors are coffee and almond.
Street food is always tempting as you walk and smell the different flavors of the street. From full meals to snacks, they serve it all. Pictured are some typical Nicaraguan street food: Raspados (think snow cone but with flavors you most likely have never thought about when thinking about snow cones) and Tajadas (platanos sliced thin, fried and then served with pickled cabbage and cheese).
To finish this off, our all time favorite, the quesillo which consists of tortilla, pickled onions, sour cream, Nicaraguan cheese and salt. We add a bit of chili and it is delicious.