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Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
Guatemala is known as a country of corn and their staple foods are corn, tomatoes, peppers, beans, tomatillos, sweet potato, and squash. You can hear the clapping sound of women making tortillas in every corner of town. They take some dough and rub it to make a ball between their palms and spread it by tapping with both hands until the shape becomes a circle. The tapping sounds like clapping. I imitated what they were doing when I passed their shop. The girls always gave me big smile.
These are the foods I tasted:
I got this steamed corn in the Chichicastenango market, the biggest and oldest market in Central America. The lady in the background is the seller. As you see in the photo, the each ear of corn was like a jewel! It was very tasty.
Frijoles negros volteados: blackbean paste (it’s not the black bean paste for Korean jjajangmyun!) on the left, and a bowl of hilachas (it’s made of cooked and shredded beef in tomato sauce). I love it. It’s not spicy at all, kinda bland.
A famous restaurant that sells their traditional local food in Antigua. They keep the soup warm in earthenware jars. You can choose one of the soup and 3 more side dishes. They took the dish I chose to a table inside of the restaurant. Even though I could not understand any of Spanish language, I got what I wanted. : ) Body language is powerful!
Chuchito, steamed ground corn with a chunk of meat in sauce, beautifully wrapped in corn husk, got my attention a lot during my trip. I learned how to make it. I have an idea of using this method in Korean cuisine.
I bought precious eggs twice that came from Guatemalan free range chickens! I boiled them with my electric kettle and enjoyed it! As you see the egg yolk, the taste was totally different from the taste of usual hard boiled eggs. The egg yolk was almost orange color and the taste was thick and a little chewy. I felt like I was eating rice cake! : ) It was a good decision to take my small electric kettle during this trip so that I could taste their eggs and beans.
I got these tropical fruits: blackberries, rambutan, and jokotes in the market in Antigua. It was the first time for me to taste jokotes. It has one large seed inside, but the flavor was so good. It reminds me of mango flavor. I bought the fruits a couple of times during my trip. Delicious!
I ordered this in a famous restaurant a day before I left. The name of this food is just nachos, but you can see this could be a heavy meal. Big chunks of grilled chicken breast on top, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, black bean paste, and more vegetables! I could not finish it.
I was lucky to taste this real authentic Spanish paella made by a spanish chef Miguel running a restaurant in San Pedro. To eat this, I had to reserve one day before. It was very good! It reminded me of kimchi bokkeumbap! : )
They called this “picante“. This simple salad tasted like not yet fermented kimchi. The ingredients look very simple: shredded cabbage, chili peppers, and carrot. The chili pepper gives this spiciness. I did not miss kimchi during my trip because their “picante” helped!
Guatemalan special food kak’ik, turkey soup-stew made with a variety of spices. The turkey was chewy but not that tough. Loved it. The orange earthenware bowl and plate was beautiful. So guess what I did?
hmm, anyone guesses I stole it? no way! I bought them and brought home in my carry on bag. : )
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