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Pepián - an authentic Guatemalan dish


No one (only vegetarians may be excused!) should come to Guatemala without trying Pepián, one of its most typical dishes. Made here for centuries and summing up the blend of European and Mayan influences on comida guatemalteca, this dish traditionally comes with chicken or turkey (native to Central America), but on some menus you will also find pork or beef, plus rice and güisquil (a green potato-like fleshy vegetable). All this is smothered in recardo, a rich gravy-like sauce made from roasted tomatoes, chilies, sesame and squash seeds, and cinnamon. At first glace it may look like Mexican mole but it is distinctly Guatemalan. And, there is always a basket of warm, freshly made corn tortillas (maize being a Mayan staple) to soak up the extra sauce, which should never go to waste. Generally, it is not very spicy but you can always ask for the heat to be turned up, on a rare chilly evening in Antigua.

Food can vary across Guatemala’s 22 departments, from coast to mountains, but Pepián knows no boundaries; you will find this dish right across Guatemala. You can sample this delicious meal from street-side stalls to comedors serving almuerzo ejecutivo to high-end restaurants. Some may reserve this dish for special occasions, such as birthdays and holidays, whereas others will lap it up any day of the week. And while fast food may be growing in popularity, Guatemalans still love fresh home cooked meals, so make the most of it.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Guatemala: Communications, Photography, When To Go, Town Overview , When To Go, Major Health Problems In Guatemala, Minor Health Problems In Guatemala and Media.

By Joanne Sykes

Born and raised in Yorkshire, England, Jo is currently working as a freelance travel writer in Latin America. With degrees in...

15 Sep 2009

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