Discover Your Typical Recipe Nicaragua!
- Our Nicaraguan culinary art dates back to pre-Columbian times, as indicated by their names - El Nacatamal and El Indio Viejo are some of your more popular local dishes. With the Spanish and the merger of two races and two cultures it gave way to a Creole varied and creative menu, in which we can find local ingredients forming an important part from soups, main courses, and desserts.
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The indigenous Nicaraguan food are these local ingredients widely used in the Nica kitchen: fruits as the jocote, papaya, tamarindo, banana (plantain), pipián, and avocado. Tubers similar to the yucca are widely used in the typical kitchen, the quequisque. Herbs like the culantro (called also coriander), oregano, or achiote.
Nicaragua is a typical Latin-American country: with rice, beans, tortillas, plugs and meat forming the diet staples. The national plate is El Gallo Pinto, a plate of rice and beans. In the majority of the rural homes Gallo Pinto is the fundamental sustenance of the nourishment, beside being present in the breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will find plantains (a type banana with a similar taste to potatoes) in all parts of the country. They are usually served sliced length ways and fried. When slices are circular, fried, and served a bit of cheese and a toothpick, as sandwiches, they are known as tostones.
Often it is better not to know what one eats. For example, with beef certain plates are prepared using the tail, udder, stomach, brains,and testicles are used. With the pig there is used the skin is used to make chicharrón, the guts and blood to make moronga. Suffice it is to say that the meat of an animal is very well taken advantage by the Nicaraguans.
Lucky, Nicaragua has a variety of restaurants for any taste. From snack food up to the French haute cuisine and from the gallo pinto up to the chop suey in the Chinese restaurants. The majority of lines of international restaurants are in the capital. Outside of Managua, in the departments there are more national restaurants and eateries.
In Nicaragua you are not customary to leave gratuity in the most economic restaurants. In those of major restaurants you are expected of leaving up to 10 % of your bill. Some restaurants will automatically include a gratuity for service, which is clearly on the invoice. However do not confuse the gratuity with the amount of 15 % of VAT (the Governments Value Added Tax) that appears detailed in every invoice. In the case that the gratuity is not included in the price, it is appropriate to leave 10 % of gratuity.
Because of the poor economic conditions you will find many persons selling the typical Nica food as well as juices in the streets. They have small shops or simply they are pushing their carts with natural fruit juices there trying earn enough for their daily bread. These persons beside offering a very inexpensive sandwich, I boast, also offer the real flavor of the local kitchen.
We are the Maize (Corn) Children
Maize (corn) has represented the fundamental base of the Nicaraguan gastronomy from her roots. With its diverse uses maize constitutes the major culinary inheritance from the indigenous cultures. Because closeness between the typical Nicaraguan food and that of the neighboring countries Central American and Mexico. We all know as children of the maize (corn).
The maize (corn), as ingredient, has an infinity of uses: from the Tortilla in its many forms, to drinks as the traditional maize drink (chicha), the posol and the Pinol; strong plates like the Nacatamal, the Indio Viejo, Sopa de Albóndiga (Meatball soap); and sandwiches or desserts as the Atolillo, the Perrereque, the delicious Buñuelos with Honey, the Doughnuts, the Hojaldras, the Viejitas, Rellenas, known as " the oven thing".
Try and Savor these Nicaraguan Recipes
For some foreigners, the Nicaraguan food appears to be a bit strange and visually bland.
There is a story of a Gringo (North American) who was eating a nacatamal. On having ended, someone asked him what he thought of it. He answered:"It is rich, but the lettuce is very bitter". Yes, it looked like a lettuce leaf but it was the banana leaf that the nacatamal wrapped, and that, certainly is not eatable!
You are encouraged to savor these plates of delicious and varied typical food of Nicaragua.
Typical National Dishes
There exists a variety of traditional local dishes of Nicaragua. Every region, according to the cultural particularities and geography, has produced several dishes, drinks or sweets which are now considered national. Some cities still support the authorship of their dishes, and specialize in them, but the majority already have a national character. Let's see now which are the more common dishes. We have just given you a brief description here. Please click on the name for the complete recipe.
Recipe Nicaragua El Gallo Pinto: Is eaten in all the homes of this country and has almost become a national symbol. It consists of a mixture of fried rice, onion, chiltoma (acquaintance like pepper) and red beans cooked with garlic. Each prepared individually, then mixed and refried as a whole.
Recipe Nicaragua El Nacatamal (The Nacatamal): A dough is prepared with ground maize (corn) and melted butter. Rolled flat filled with cubed pork or chicken, rice, you eat, tomato, onions, chiltomas, corners folded together. Next wrap it in banana leaves (not eatable) tied with mecate (string), similar to a pillow. Then the nacatamal is boiled for five hours and served hot.
Recipe Nicaragua El Vigorón (The Vigorón): This plate has its origin in the city of Granada, where they are prepared in a covered plate of a banana leaf, cooked yucca is placed, chicharrón and a salad of cabbage and tomato.
Recipe Nicaragua El Indio Viejo (The Indian Viejo): Cook beef with onion, garlic, chiltoma and tomato; save the broth for later. Wet several tortillas with water and break up to form a mace. The meat is crumbled and fried together with the vegetables and the mass. Add the juice of a tart orange and cook in the broth.
Recipe Nicaragua El Quesillo (The Quesillo): This plate is originally from the municipalities of La Paz Centro and Nagarote, in the Department of León. It is simple to prepare: in a tortilla, place quesillo, then wrap and on top sprinkle a bit of onion and cabbage salad, drizzle with sour cream.
Recipe Nicaragua La Sopa de Mondongo (The Soup of Entrails): This is a specialty of Masatepe's municipality, in Masaya's department. The entrails wash very well with bicarbonate, orange embitters and lemon, and then cut in small chunks and cooked with onion, chiltoma and a ruffle. When the entrails are soft, add rice molido and cubed vegetables quequisque, chayote, chiltomas, onions, elote, chilotes and continue cooking until the vegetables are el donte. The soup is ready. This you eat with avocado and cheese.
Recipe Nicaragua El fresco de Arroz con Piña (The Drink of Rice with Pineapple): For this drink they bring to a boil the rind of the pineapple and the rice, until the latter bursts. Then it is left to cool and is liquefied adding more water, and later strain the liquid. Add a bit of vanilla, raspberry and sugar to the taste.
Recipe Nicaragua La Chicha de Maíz (The Maize Drink): This drink takes several days. The maize (corn) is soaked in water over night. On the following day it is ground and placed in water, add red food colouring and cook. Once cooled, add sugar and more water. On the following day one adds more water and sugar.
Recipe Nicaragua El Tres Leches (Three Milks): It is a milk based dessert, using condensed milk and fresh cream. A cake is prepared with flour and eggs, and this one soaks with prepared in three milk. Finally the cake is crowned with a meringue.
Recipe Nicaragua La Cajeta de Coco (The Coconut Candy): Combine coconut milk, yucca and sugar. The coconut and the yucca are grated. The milk of coconut and the sugar are cooked to form a honey to which one adds him grated of coconut and yucca, and are mixed to form the case.
Recipe Nicaragua Las Rosquillas (The Rosquillas): Exquisite donuts, of good texture and excellent combinations they are a specialty of Rivas's city, in department of Rivas, to the south of Nicaragua. Combine mass of maize (corn) with grated cheese, egg, butter, melted beef lard and pork lard. It is baked until brown and circular in shape.
Flavors of the Caribbean
The culture of Nicaragua changes from one coast to the other. The Caribbean contribution of traditional plates includes another important ingredient - the coconut.
Recipe Nicaragua El Rondón (The Rondón): It is the traditional plate of the city of Bluefields. It is prepared with tortoise meat, fish, beef, or wild bore. Often they combine two of these meats. In the preparation, boil the meat with pepper, chile, nargan (mushroom), onion, chiltoma, banana, yucca and quequisque.
Recipe Nicaragua El Guabul (The Guabul): This is a drink of the Nicaraguan Caribbean coast, little known in other parts of Nicaragua. Mix green cooked banana with cow's milk and coconut milk, stir in water, add sugar to taste.
Recipe Nicaragua El Rice and Beans (Rice and Beans): It is the same gallo pinto and the same process: rice and red beans, the only difference is you fry with coconut oil, which gives a different and special taste.
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