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Culinary Vocabulary

Traditional rice and beans, along with corn, form the staples of the Nicaraguan diet. The addition of locally grown fruits and vegetables like jacote, mango, papaya, tamarind, pipian, bananas and avocados means that the food of Nicaragua is both varied and delicious.

However, the cuisine can also be a challenge. The Nicaraguan culture frowns upon wastefulness, so typically the entire pig, cow or chicken will be used in a dish (including the stomach, hoofs and tail).

Some Traditional Dishes

Gallo Pinto: Eaten as a daily staple, this is mixture of fried rice with onion, sweet pepper and red beans boiled with garlic. On the coast coconut is added to the dish.

Indio Viejo: This is a soup made with tortillas, long strips of meat, onions, garlic, sweet pepper and tomato.

Nacatamal: Dough made from ground corn is filled with pieces of pork or chicken, rice, potatoes, tomatoes, onion and sweet pepper and then packed into plantain tree leaves (which are not eaten) and cooked.

Quesillo: A piece of cheese called quesillo is placed inside a tortilla, which is then wrapped up in a plastic bag. Onions, vinegar, fresh cream and a bit of salt are added.

Arroz-con-piña: Pineapple and rice is boiled then cooled and blended with a little vanilla, strawberry and sugar to make a sweet drink.

Rosquillas: Dough made from corn is combined with cheese, egg, butter, lard and then cut into circles and baked until crisp.

Tres Leches: Prepared with milk, condensed milk and cream, this dairy- filled cake is then topped with meringue.

By Michelle Lillie
I am currently living on my fourth continent. I think that backpacks are one of the greatest inventions of all times. I adhere to the idea that if...
11 Mar 2009

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