¿Y la comida?

14

A lot of you are curi­ous about the food in Mex­ico, Belize and Guatemala. Rest assured: there is some and we are not starv­ing. Quite the oppo­site actually.

First of all, food is gen­er­ally cheap. Much cheaper than it was in Aus­tralia last year—I still shud­der to think of these $5 muffins Down Under! Sec­ond, it’s fairly “ordi­nary”:  you can actu­ally rec­og­nize the ingre­di­ents and it’s not “exotic” the way Chi­nese food can be for instance.

So where do we eat? Some­times in restau­rants, some­times in cheap come­dores in the street. We don’t cook because most hotels don’t have a kitchen (unlike Aus­tralia, Canada or the U.S., there isn’t an exten­sive net­works of hos­tels for back­pack­ers) and because it’s not worth the has­sle money-wise.

Break­fast, aka desayuno, looks more like the Amer­i­can break­fast than the light con­ti­nen­tal break­fast. It often includes eggs, beans, plan­tains (fried bananas), rice, tor­tilla or what­ever com­bi­na­tion of that. More gringo-ish options, such as pan­cakes or toasts, are often available.

Lunch, aka almuerzo, often includes the tra­di­tional “pollo, arroz y fri­joles” (chicken, rice and beans). Gen­er­ally speak­ing, chicken is the most pop­u­lar kind of meat. And trust me, con­sid­er­ing how annoy­ing gal­los (roost­ers) can be in the morn­ing, you are quite happy to eat their kind. Rice and beans are very pop­u­lar. Bread is replaced by tor­tillas, thin corn­meal pan­cakes, that usu­ally come hot and in stack of three to ten.

Din­ner, aka cena, fea­tures pretty much the same basic ingredient—chicken, rice and beans. We haven’t been on the coast much so far so we haven’t had a lot of seafood.

Typ­i­cal dishes we have eaten so far include:

  • Gordi­tas (in Mex­ico): small corn­meal pock­ets stuffed with bean, cheese, meat etc.
  • Pupusas (in Guatemala, but it’s a Sal­vado­rian dish): corn­meal mass stuffed with beans, cheese or really any­thing you want.
  • Que­sadil­las (in Mex­ico): large tor­tillas filled with cheese, chicken, bell pep­per etc.
  • Gua­camole (Mex­ico): mashed avo­ca­does mixed with onions and tomatoes.

As for the sweets, well, we are never far from a panadería (bak­ery). Deli­cious (and cheap!) bread include cin­na­mon rolls, apple turnover, sweet bread, banana and choco­late bread etc. Items are usu­ally fairly small and local are quick to fill a tray with them! Other street del­i­ca­cies include thin waf­fles (pop­u­lar in Mex­ico) with Nutella, or more sur­pris­ingly cheese and choco­late (I ditched the cheese and asked for choco­late only!).

Drinks are fairly unimag­i­na­tive. The big names here are Coke and Pepsi, usu­ally drank in old-style glass bot­tles. Other soda brands are avail­able but they are rarer. Even Diet Coke or Coke Zero (my drink of choice) are hard to find in Guatemala for instance.

Licua­dos or aguas de fru­tas (milk­shakes and fruit-flavoured drinks) are also pop­u­lar, espe­cially orange and pineap­ple. Beer, such as Gallo (Guatemala) and Belikin (Belize) is wildly avail­able and is gen­er­ally cheap but not that great—apparently (I’m not a beer drinker), it does the job and that’s it.

Comida Tipíca in Mexico

Comida Tipíca in Mexico

Que­sadil­las in Mexico

Chicken, Rice and Beans in Mexico

Flan­tas in Mexico

Street Food in Mexico

Pupusas in Guatemala

Chicken, Rice and Veg­gies in Belize

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

14 Comments

  1. Food, won­der­ful food. My under­stand­ing is that the major­ity of Cen­tral and South Amer­ica lives on a steady diet of beans, rice, and chicken. Actu­ally the food in your pho­tos looks won­der­ful with lots of cheese and veges for vari­ety. I sus­pect that after a month in Cen­tral Amer­ica you will have expe­ri­enced an amaz­ing vari­ety of ways to cook beans, rice, and chicken, all good. Thanks for remem­ber­ing the food­ies in your read­ers. I am enjoy­ing your trip.

    • That post was fo you! :-)

      When­ever we are sick of the beans, chicken and rice, we can always have gringo food like pasta. It´s actu­ally quite pop­u­lar here. And we had pizza a cou­ple of times too. If any­thing, the food get a bit bland, not much spices.

  2. I’m dying of hunger in front of my com­puter! I just love this kind food esp. the black beans and unfor­tu­nately it’s not pop­u­lar at all in France!

  3. What about orchata de chuffa or almen­dra? I thought you could find it in cen­tral amer­ica too but it seems to be only in spain?

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