Living and eating in Guatemala – recipes
I plan to add any recipes here that I learn while staying in Guatemala or a few months
I hope anyone with Guaemalan recipes will also add theirs to this thread
COCINEMOS CON RECETAS DE ORO
One of the odd things in so many Guatealan cookbooks is that many of the dishes people eat daily are missing. None of the books has a recipe for ensalada Rusa. Magdelenas (orange bundt cakes) and zepelins (banana bread) which are found in almost every corner panaderia are nowhere to be found in Guatemalan cookbooks old and new.
Although I found online recipes when the ladies of the house wanted to bake a magdelena, I wanted a cookbook with it. The only one was in the Recepies of Gold cookbook series, volume 1.
The author, Olga Pérez Guisasola de Cáceres, appears to be the Betty Crocker or Fanny Farmer of Guatemala. The book which is in the 7th printing, not only contains Gautemalan standards but also general standard recipes.
Like the Betty Crocker books, you'll find recipes for lasagna, quiche, canapes, gelatin salads, goulsh, black forest cake, etc. Hey, people make this stuff in Guatemala too It's not all pepian and tortillas.
It is the strongest book I have on Guatemalan baked goods. In addition to the magdalena there are recipes for pan Frances, cubiletes (Guatemalan muffins), savory pies (the word for crust in Spanish is pasta), pan dulce and much, much more.
It has turned out to be the go-to cookbook for the family.
This Google link has a peek inside the book with the table of contents. Surprisingly, you can see almost half of the over 700 recipes by clicking on the name. It is in Spanish.
While looking for info about the author (not much), I came across this interesting tiny blog by a missionary priest in Guatemala. He has a 19th century recipe for pepian
Perhaps the reason for the deficits you note in most cookbooks is that in the case of the things households eat every day, it is assumed people know how to cook them and will have learned from others (much as was the case in the US until the 20th century, and probably longer in rural areas), and in the case of the baked goods available at every corner panaderia, because the vast majority buy them rather than bake them at home.
It looks like you hit the jackpot in finding the encyclopedia of Guatemalan standards.
re: Caitlin McGrath
I was thinking just that in terms of ensalada Rusa. It is just peas, carrots, potatoes and mayo ... with additions on your own personal tastes. Still there are recipes for radish salad which is just minced radish and lemon juice and maybe a herb or two.
I can understand the breads. As you said, why bake when it is so easy and available to buy. Also, unless you get into a city, most people only have stovetops and not the oven part. So unless it is cooked in a pot, fried or grilled on an open fire, it isn't made at home.
I didn't know we had an oven for the first few months I lived here. It is just too hot to use it. It was used for storage. When the holidays approached it was hauled into the kitchen and hooked up.
It seems there is a cool month here ... December. That didn't last long.
I didn't find the book actually, the nice people at the bookstore in the Oakland mall found it. After going through 20 -25 Gautemalan cookbooks, I asked. I didn't check this one out since the auther was born in Mexico and I assumed it was a Mexican cookbook. Great store They looked again through all those cookbooks for me and found this one. I'm going to have to check out volume 2. Maybe it has ensalada Rusa.
This information has been extremely useful. Thank you for documenting your experience. I am taking a college Spanish class and have a presentation assignment which covers food and religion so both subjects were well addressed in your blog and I will discuss with my class. Wonderful idea!
Tamales de Guatemala Fiesta y tradición envueltas en hojas
This has got to be one of the cutest cookbooks I ever bought. In fact, I bought it just because it was cute. I had no clue what was inside because it was sealed in plastic.
It turns out it is really good.
The book is packaged like a tamal. It is tied with a tamal string. The book itself is inside a little box that you open like a tamal leaf. Too, too cute.
The photos are beautiful. There are nice sections about
- different types of tamal wrappers (green corn husks, tusas (dried corn husks), plantano leaves, maxan leaves (from the palmyra palm tree) , green guisquil leaves for boxboles, and string to tie the tamales (cibaque made from maxan leaves). Photos of each.
- step by step photos on filling and folding tamales
- step by step photos on filling and folding chuchitos
If anyone is interested, since there is no index in the book or on line recipes include
- bollitos (they look like pork tamales with tomato sauce)
- boxboles (wrapped in squash leaves from the El Quiche region)
- tamales rojos de día sábado (Saturday red tamales)
- tamales rojos de día festival (special holiday red tamales)
- itchiles (a pork tamal from the Peten region
- Tamal torteado (a regional tamal from Alta Verapaz, Coban)
- Shepes (tamales with whole piloyes beans … they look really cool)
- Shuptes (a tamale with mashed bean filling that look like turnovers)
- paches de la capital (tamales with potatoes instead of masa, Guatemala City version)
- paches de xela
- Tamal blanco dulce (sweet white tamales with raisins, prunes, almonds, egg yolks)
- Tamales negros (black tamales made with chocolate, pork and dried fruit)
- Tamalito común de masa (there’s cheese in it)
- Chuchitos (like a half-sized Mexican tamal. The masa is drier than the GT version)
- Tamalitos de Cambray (regional tamal with anis, cheese and dried fruit)
- Tamalitos de chiplin (chiplin is a Gautemalan green)
- Tamalitos de loroco (loroco is a small white flower)
- Tamales de arroz (made with rice flour and a little regular maiz)
- Tamalitos de elote (made with corn)
- tamalitos espireles de frijol (very cool looking round tamales with beans that look like pinwheel cookies when sliced)
While I don’t cook, it is an education in some of the tamales of Guatemala with nice photos to go along with it. I’ll seek some of these out. The book is in Spanish.
Celebrity Guatemalan chef Mirciny Moliviatis has her own cooking show, El Sabor de mi Tierra. She also owns restaurante 7 Caldos, be cafe, be catering.
The site for the show has recipes for classiic regional dishes. updated for the modern kitchen as well as recipes using Guatemalan ingredients in a fresh, new way
From Zacapata she pairs quesadilla cheese bread with green grape cream and melon soup.
More about classic Central American quesadillas here
From Antigua she uses two popular sweets, canillitas de leche and chilacayote, to create a dessert crepe
Crepas de queso crema y chilacayote en dulce con caramelo de canillitas de leche y canela
Xela buñuelos get an orange and achiote creme Ingles
Taking advatage of the tropical fruits from the South Coast, she has a fruit brochette with cashew fruit and yogurt shaved ice topped with pineapple sauce
Even in downtown Guatemala City there are still shepards roaming the streets with flocks of goats. They sell milk at your door direct from the goat. She uses this as an inspiration for goat cheese cheesecake with dragonfruit coulis
She uses the renowned chiles de Coban for a vegetable escabeche
Each region has 3 or four recipes. I like her presentation of chojin, a chopped radish salad that I love. She puts it in a martini glass topped with a garnish of chicharoon
The chicken burger with lorrocco flowers and a sauce of tomato, onion and chile served with yucca chips is just such a clever innovation on the hamburger, claiming it for Guatemala. There is little that is more Guatemalan than chicken, lorocco, tomatoes, onion, peppers and yucca.
There should be more episodes added to the site as she seems to be wildly popular locallyl.
Here are the video clips for each show on youtube. This is the zacapa show and other clips are on the right
They are really brief promos but the short clips which have excellent ediiing, IMO, have fleeting glimpses of each region and the dishes being prepared. Each clip is followed by the next show. For the Central Region show there is even a quick .. really quick ... shot of the goats in the Central Market ,,, it is the shot in the plaza with the pigeons.
Just got around to watching this clip which is a compilation of all the shows and much longer. Again, very cool photos of Gt and the food.
A little peek into the food of Christmas. BTW, you don't want to be standing near those street fire works as they can take an eye out.
The Gringo Chapin
I was looking for an online recipe for chiltepe sauce and came across this blog
It is an American who married a Guatemalan and also fell in love with the food. Due to so few Guatemalan cookbooks in English, he started a blog about learning to cook typical Guatemalan cuisine.
He is from Boston, so the blog also has just general stuff about Boston in there but there are a lot of good Gautemalan recipes as well such as
Kaq ik (Mayan spicy turkey stew)
Some of the recipes have nice stories with them and good descriptions of how the dishes are eaten. That Sopa de Res, beef soup, is a perfect example.
I've been reading about some of the amazing farms in Guatemala and this recipe discusses buying veggies at a farm stand and sharing the dish with families and friends. It is so true to the dish ... which is wonderful ... and the country ... down to the trucks hauling sugar cane and the road conditions.
Page 52 of Cocina regional Gautemalteca. They are from the Central region in the Department of Guatemala ... I have to say this whole "Guatemala" thing is confusing. The country name, department name and city name. Crossing the border my friend pointed out a road to Guatemala. "We just crossed the border INTO Guatemala? Where are we?"
I was going to write the ingredients ... but it is half a page long and makes 50 ... you need a big chicken and lots of tomatoes amoung other things. Looks delicious
I googled and came up with this
This seems to be the recipe that always turns up on most of those hits
2 libras de carne de cerdo (1 kg)
3 libras de arroz (1 ½ kg)
1 cucharadita de azafrán
1 libra de manteca (½ kg)
sal al gusto
hojas de plátano
Para el recado: (tostar cada cosa por separado)
2 onzas de pepitoria (56 g)
1 onza de ajonjolí (28 g)
2 chiles pasa grandes
2 libras de tomate (1 kg)
6 chiles pimiento rojos
6 chiles guaque grandes
2 manojos de cibaque
1 raja de canela
Para el adorno:
35 Chiles piminentos cortados en tiras
I used that as my template for the ingredient list from the book which is much more elaborate ... there's only so much Spanish I can type at this time.
1 libra de maiz blanco *
3 libras de arroz
1 gallina grand o 4 libras de carne de marrano (pig) *
4 onzas de jamon crudo *
4 onzas de almendras *
1/2 cucharadita de azafrán
Un pedazo de achiote *
1 libre de ciruelas seca *
1/2 libre de pasas
2 latas de chiles pimiento
12 onzas de miltomate pequeno *
2 chiles guaque
3 chiles secos *
3 chiles piminentos
1/2 chiles mexicano (pasa) grandes
3 onzas de pepitoria
2 onzas de ajonjolí
1 tazo de migra de pan *
polvo de pimienta *
1 libra de manteca para la masa
1 libra de manteca para el recado
Running that through an online translator and correcting stuff was wrong
1 pound white corn *
3 pounds of rice
Large hen or four pounds pork *
4 ounces of raw ham *
4 ounces almonds *
1 / 2 teaspoon saffron
A piece of achiote *
1 pound of prunes *
1 / 2 pound of raisins
2 cans of chili peppers
12 ounces small tomatillos*
2 guaque chiles
3 dried chiles *
3 chiles piminentos
1 / 2 Mexican chile (pasa) large
3 ounces pepitoria (ground squash seeds
)2 ounces sesame seeds
1 cup of bread crumbs*
pepper powder *
1 pound of lard for the masa
1 pound of lard for the recado *
* Extra items in the book that are not in the online recipe. I didn't * if only the measurements were different ... which they almost all are
I'm translating manteca as lard, not butter, but could be. In GT they are usually specific about what type of manteca ... manteca de cerdo = lard, manteca de ... um, cow = butter
I'm not sure what they mean about white corn ... They just say it is cooked and makes masa, so I'm guessing you could use white corn masa
As to the instructions, buy the book if you are really interested or use the online recipe as a guide. The instructions take up almost a page in Spanish.
I've been going nuts doing my own search for info on exactly what patines from the department of Soloano were. There's fish, tomatoes, onions, etc. The word translates as skates. FINALLY I found that 'el patin' is a minnow specific to Lake Atilan where the department of Solano is located. So patines is tomato-based sauce served with pescaditos, small fish from Lake Atitlán wrapped in leaves.. Will seek it out when I get up that way. I got the general idea reading the recipe, but the specifics were unclear.
THEN there was the search for tayuyos from San Marcos which seem to be tortillas with beans ... but I think in the masa. Here's a cool site with photos on making them, but no real instructions (scroll down to tayuyo teacher)
Cocina Regional Guatemalteca by Aurora Sierra Franco de Alvarez
I went to Artemis Edinter, the bookstore at the toney Oakland Mall in Guatemala City. Think Barnes and Noble.
I was looking for history of Guatemala, specifically the Swiss and Chinese presence, to explain a little more about the cuisine. I read they had some books in English but it was only a few shelves with a handful of classics such as Frankenstein or contemporary-ish paperbacks such as the Devil Wears Prada, Tom Clancy and the like.
While there I took a look at the cookbooks and found an excellent cookbook with 610 Gautemala recipes broken down by region.
I know book is good because I asked the ladies of the house to review it and they proclaimed it excellent.
What I find praticularily good about the book is that you can see the regional variables in certain dishes. A dish I like quite a lot, chojin, or diced radishes has these variations (for all the main ingredient is chopped radish)
- Gautemala City, central region: with pig's stomach (panza)
- Sacatepequez (Antigua area): with chicharrones
- Quiche: tomatoes, dry cheese, chicharrones, parsely
- Huehuetaemango: cow stomach, I think (buche), cubed cheese, chile pimiento, chile verde, parsly, tomatoes
In Retalhuleu ... no radishes ... just beef (carne de res), onions, onions, chile Cobaneros, achiote and potatoes (optional).
There are even three regional recipes for iguana to supplement my recent experience
How do you cook your iguana?
As to quesadillas, a type of bread with cheese that reminds me of cornbread (but made with rice flour) , there are four recipes from the two big cheese-making regions -
- Jalapa: quezadilla de invierno (winter)
- Jalapa: quezadilla de verano (summer)
- Zacapa: quezadillas de Zacapa No 1
- Zacapa: quezadillas de arroz Zacapaneca No 2
There are all sorts of dishes that I have not heard or read about yet such as tayuyos, cambrayes, cojolin, patines, chanfaina, shepes, etc, etc, etc
There's also a simple map for each region with brief information. For example
Population 794, 491 (as of 2006 when the book was published)
Languages: Mam, Sektiteko, sipakapense, Spanish
Indigenous groups: 48%
Non indigenous: 52%
Size: 3791 km
Number of municipalities: 29
It goes on to speak about the various climates in that region, what produce is grown, what foods they produce, what foods they prefer in that region, etc.
It is in Spanish, but the recipes are straight forward. My still fledgling Spanish gets me through the book, using a translator here and there.
The only nit I have is that the recipes are only listed by region and there is no alphabetical index in the book which makes finding a specific dish amoung the 610 a bit of a challenge
Anyway, very much recommended. Here's the Amazon link
Some other interesting cookbooks
- False tongues and Sunday bread: A Guatemalan and Mayan cookbook by Copeland Marks
- COCINA GUATEMALTECA. RECETAS TIPICAS by publisher Aretemis Edinter
- How to Cook a Tapir: A Memoir of Belize (At Table) by Joan Fry
False tongues and Sunday bread: A Guatemalan and Mayan cookbook by Copeland Marks
JoanN mentioned this earlier in the thread. It is a wealth of info in English. Amazon lets you look inside and the index is impressive. Published in 1985, it went out of print. However it was republished " in a fine copy with a sewn binding and laminated pictorial boards for durablility and long-life." The price is a heart-stopping $301.72 ... seriously, that is USD. Amazon doesn't deal in quetzales. There are used editions from $39.
COCINA GUATEMALTECA. RECETAS TIPICAS by publisher Aretemis Edinter
I found this at the bookstore Aretemis Edinter. There are quite a few recipes, but they are not extensive as others. What I did like was the excellent color photos with each recipe
How to Cook a Tapir: A Memoir of Belize (At Table) by Joan Fry
Searching Amazon for other Guatemalan cookbooks, I came across this book by a young American bride who lives for a year with her anthropologist husband in Belize. This sentence from the product description had me giggling ... maybe a tad too hysterically ... about her " Naively consenting to a year-long “working honeymoon” in British Honduras (now Belize). Yeah ... naive is the operating word there.
Some of the product description
"she soon found herself living in a remote Kekchi village deep in the rainforest. Because Fry had no cooking or housekeeping experience, the romance of living in a hut and learning to cook on a makeshift stove quickly faded. Guided by the village women and their children, this twenty-year-old American who had never made more than instant coffee came eventually to love the people and the food that at first had seemed so foreign ... Fry learned to teach, to barter and negotiate, to hold her ground, and to share her space—and, perhaps most important, she learned to cook.
This is the funny, heartfelt, and provocative story of how Fry painstakingly baked and boiled her way up the food chain, from instant oatmeal and flour tortillas to bush-green soup, agouti (a big rodent), gibnut (a bigger rodent), and, finally, something even the locals wouldn’t tackle: a “mountain cow,” or tapir. Fry’s efforts to win over her neighbors and hair-pulling students offers a rare and insightful picture of the Kekchi Maya of Belize, even as this unique culture was disappearing before her eyes. "
From a review by Fodor’s Belize
“Reading and relishing Joan Fry’s wonderfully vivid memoir of her time among the Maya, I can almost smell the ripe mangos on the ground and the smoke of the Colonials in the air. I can taste the escabeche and tortillas. How to Cook a Tapir brings Belize to life.”
A review by Janet Burroway
“Here is the very unsentimental education of an American bride, who is extraordinarily quick and bright but ordinarily squeamish about dirt, bugs, bare breasts, and chicken feet in her tamale. Her transformation into a woman who can cook on a stove made of river stones, pave a dirt floor with a paste of ash, slice a tarantula with a machete, and bond with her Maya neighbors even as she cools toward her anthropologist husband stunningly honest, moving, and convincing."
Yeah, encountering a tarantula or two ... the honeymoon's over. A good way to test if that marriage is going to last.
I have got to get that book.
I was reading the San Marcos section of Cocina Regional Guatemalteca. It seems this is Gautemala's garden of Eden growing a huge range of produce.
Anyway, painfully translating and looking up a lot of the stuff they grow that is unfamiliar to me I came across flor de yance or madrecocoa or flor de yance.
It is a fast-growing tree, a hardwood like mahogany. It is often used to shade coffee groves. I've seen them, I just didn't know what they were. When they flower, the blossoms are edible and often mixed with eggs. The photos on the web are beautiful, here’s more info with photos of the lovely purple flowers.
I also came across a recipe for croquettes. I figure … how often are you going to see that? Here’s the link to the recipe and the ingredients.
1 lb madrecacao Flower (Gliricidia sepium) cooked and drained.
½ Lb. of ground beef
¼ cup cornmeal
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 envelope beef bouillon
Ground black pepper
Oil for frying
In case I screwed up the translation ... in the original Spanish
1 lb de Flores de Madrecacao (Gliricidia sepium) cocidas y escurridas.
½ Lb. de Carne molida de res
¼ taza de harina de maíz
1 cebolla picada
1 diente de ajo picado
1 sobre de consomé de res
Pimienta negro molida
Aciete para freir
Whatever you do, NEVER use the bark for tea. It is used as rat poison.
FYI, San Marcos’ primary crop is coffee but other produce grown includes amaranth (bledo / quilete), apples, avocados, bananas, barley (cebada), beans, beets (remolacha), broad beans (haba), blackberries (moras), cacao, caimito, carrots, cauliflower, chard (acelga), chermoya (anona), chile (many varieties), grapefruit, guinte (flor de izote), chayote (guisquil), chincuya, coconut, corn, garlic, grapes, green beans (ejote), hierba mora, ishpulula, jocote, limes, loquat (nispero), madrecocoa (flor de yance), malanga, mango, maranon (cashew fruit), melon, mucun, oats, (avena), onions, oranges, pacaya, palmito, papaya, peaches, peas (arveha),pears, peppers, peppers, plantains, pomegranate (granada), potatoes, pumpkin (guicoy), quishtan, sessame (ajonjoli), squash (ayote), strawberries, sugar cane, sweet potatoes (camote), tomatoes, watermelon, wheat (trigo) …
Stuff in quotes is just for me .. the terms that are new to me or I keep forgetting ... like ejote. I don't know why that word continues to surprise me everytime I hear it.
I don't think I've seen caimito yet. However the photo on wiki is stunning
I've set up a spreadsheet so I could index the recipes of Cocina Regional Guatemalteca alphabetically. As I'm adding a few entries a day, I'm looking on the web for information about dishes unfamiliar to me. It also takes me into finding information about history, travel sites, etc. For me, a fun way to learn about Guatemala and up my Spanish skills.
Anyway, I came across this great article about the cuisine of the department of Izabel. Here it is in Spanish and in PDF format
It goes on an on for the first 20 pages about food in general from the invention of cooking on fire. Then it discusses Guatemalan food from as long as people have occupied this area to present day. That goes on another 20 pages. Then there's about 20 more pages about Izabel in general before getting to the meat of the cuisine of Izabel starting on page 66.
One of the resources used is the cookbook Cocina regional Guatemalteca and the recipes from that book in the Izabel area are included
I was looking for info on Mochilá, a boiled banana drink flavored with cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg and coconut. It seems like people drink it after eating the local seafood stew called tapado which has a wide range of seafood with bananas and plantanos cooked in coconut milk. I've had this soup and it is fabulous.
Recipes in the pdf file from the book also includ
- Pan de Camote
- Pan de Coco
- Cazabe http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/734096
- Pescado envuelto en huevo
- Morales y Los Amates
- Tapado simple
- Sopa de Camaroncillo
- Tapado de Coco
- Pescado en Barbacoa Garífuna
- Arroz y frijoles
- Tapado estilo Aurora
- Tortillas de maíz
While looking for information about Gautemalan candy, I came across this site with the recipes for many of those sweets. They are in the comments and in Spanish. Still, I haven't seen these types of recipes anywhere else on the web.
Here's the list of the sweets with recipes
AYOTE EN DULCE
BOCADILLOS DE COCO
BOCADILLOS DE PEPITORIA
Buñuelos de calabaza
BUNUELOS DE MAIS
BUNUELOS DE PLATANO
BUNUELOS DE YUCA
CANILLITAS DE LECHE
Cocadas de Miel
COLOCHOS DE GUAYABA
Crema o Nata Batida
DULCES DE COCO
DULCE DE PAPAYA
DULCES DE TAMARINDOS (BOLITAS
)Dulces típicos de leche
DULCES DE ZANAHORIA CON NARANJA
dulce de zapote
halli te va
JALEA DE GUAYABA
Macarrones de leche
Mazapán de Almendras
MAZAPAN DE PEPITORIA
MAZAPAN DE YUCA
Mostachones de leche
Pastel Borracho con Piña
PASTEL DE FRUTAS (Guatemala)
Pulpa de tamarindo
Rosca de Reyes
Tartaritas con dulce de leche
Here's my link on the General Board describing a lot of the above, many with photos.
I had pepian this week.
Ir is described in this link as "It is based on recado, a tomato, chillies and spices sauce, and some vegetables like potatoes and güisquil (chayote is the Mexican name and most people recognize by this name) along either beef or chicken. I imagine the original recipe calls for Turkey, which what most indigenous recipes use for meat."
If you read the comments on that link it seems there are many versions of pipian, even a sweet version. One poster commented that pepian negro was the most common version.
Here is a link to lots of Guatemalan recipes that includes pepian (in Spanish though)
What is also cool about that site is they have recipes for fiambre an elaborate and gorgeous salad made on Nov 1st and 2nd. In once sense I hope I'll be here long enough to get to try it. Here are some gorgeous photos and info about fiambre
Colorful Fiambre Chapín
I've had pepian often, both homemade and in restaurants. It had always been my understanding that a pepian, no matter the other ingredients, contained pumpkin seeds. But I see in False Tongues and Sunday Bread that not all of them do. That seems odd to me because I thought that was essentially the definition of a pepian and I've never had one that didn't have the seeds in the sauce.
False Tongues, by the way, has a recipe for the pepian negro (which contains both pumpkin and sesame seeds) and says that it's a a particular specialty of Huehuetenango.
I've been in Guate on All Saint's Day and participated in the making of a Fiambre. The one I helped made was a small one--meant to serve only about 30 people. Each adult in the family was in charge of preparing different ingredients and then we all got together to arrange the platters. Must say, though, that I don't recall any blue food being a part of it. It's a marvelous experience. Perhaps if you don't get a chance to participate this time, you will on another occasion.
Ah, sorry about that. Looking for something else today, I found the article. The format wasn't messed up like the link from yesterday.
Anyway, both Marks and Tartine's chef once taught cooking classes at a store owned by Wilson, who the article is about.. seriously the formatting was really messed up.
I'm glad I found this. There's some fascinating stuff in there about cooking.
"Although her grandparents built one of the first modern homes in Guatemala, designed by a protégé of the well-known French architect Le Corbusier, Carole’s grandmother insisted upon building a poyo into her kitchen. There, alongside her modern appliances, the traditional poyo burned coals on its surface. On top of these coals, meat and a variety of vegetable were boiled together, producing the delicious broth of a cocido. A dos fuegos was used to produce a roasted meal. Food would be placed in a pan on top of the coals of the poyo. Another pan, also with coals in it, would be placed on top of the first, providing heat from both top and bottom."
We don't have a poyo, but a lot of the neighbors do. One of the most amazing cups of coffee that I ever had in my life was made on a poyo. It was brewed for hours and the smoke from the fire permeated the brew giving it wonderful flavor.
I would imagine whatever is cooked on one would also have that extra flavor incorporated.
It was a similar situation. The relative had every modern appliance, but there was a poyo in the back yard.
Hmmm ... a new term for me in that article
tinaja - jug with a small mouth Further googling shows it was used to keep drinking water fresh... so that is what those are called.
Some other recipes in that link
- Refresco de Chan
- Piloyada Antigüeña
I only read about piloyada (a local red bean with white stripes) this week when Antigua Daily Photo published a photo. Now I seem to be stumbling across mentions of them wherever I search.
The article says Cafe Ana serves chinchivi. I'll have to stop by and try it .. also straight-up suchiles to see if it as as bad as the first version I tried. It is the only Gautemalan food or beverage that I have ever hated so far ... and I've eaten iguanas and sea snails
The first time I tried a Russian drink called kvass (made of fermented bread), it was the most god-awful thing I ever tasted. Then I tried another version and I am a fan.
I'll give suchiles two or three tries before I write it off.
Thanks for the recommendation for False Tongues. It was my Christmast gift to myself.
Lots of thoughts on the book.
It is an odd and interesting cookbook, more of a snapshot of the past and a historical document. That is not to say having the English explanation of ingredients and some recipes hasn’t been a huge help to lazy me who gravitates to English rather than trying to figure out Spanish cookbooks.
There lots of obscure dishes that I’ll keep an eye out for when traveling in different parts of Guatemala. I wonder why he left out such standards as kak’ik and subanik. What is nice is that it covers some street food that most books don’t … such as dobladas and tostadas. It is the only book I have with a recipe for butifarra, a sausage from Antigua.
It was interesting to read about how the food differs in surrounding countries.
“Guatemala, with the largest number of Indians, the home of the Maya, has logically developed its cooking in direct proportion to their number, leaning heavily on the turkey and the fruits and vegetables that originated botanically in Central America. Next came El Salvador and Honduras, with some Indian tribes or villages but with less Indian influence on the cookery, which depends more on Spanish ideas. Nicaragua, with its Miskito Indians, a Caribbean coastal group, has a mixture of foods that can be considered eclectic. Costa Rica, is an almost exclusively non-Indian nation and the cooking is based on the fertile tropical countryside and indigenous adaptations of the foods, both old and new of the region”
The whole ceremonial tie to turkey was interesting. Christmas week there was not a turkey to be found in the stores. Either they were used for tamales or other turkey dishes. The religious affiliation is different, but there is that strong connection of the turkey to special holidays.
Nice note about chiles in general and their use. Loved the description of diente de perro chiles (dog’s tooth) didn’t have to do so much with a fang shape as with the “ferocious” hot bite they have.
There are so many complaints on the board that Guatemalan food is boring and not flavorful. But I have found it is the addition of salsa or fresh chiles on the side that brings them to life. Marks notes that without them the food is “insipid and without character”. That can often be true.
I think with the use of modern appliances … stove, blender, pressure cookers … a key element of Guatemalan cooking gets lost … smoke from the fire. The dishes I’ve eaten cooked on a wood-fueled poyo take on another smoky dimension. It is the dishes from the grill that are the stars here.
What was also nice is that Marks mentioned the poyo, a cooking area with cinderblocks and a wood fire in the middle. I was beginning to think I imagined the term.
I’ve been curious why so many homes here have pressure cookers. I’ve been chalking it up to the 1950’s time machine in Guatemala. So much here, food, culture, etc, is very mid-20th century.
Marks notes the pressure cooker replaces the long stewing time over an open fire of some of the leaner, tougher meat … due to it really being free range and developing muscles.
In all the homes I’ve eaten, the blender has replaced the piedra, or grinding stone. However, it was interesting to note that the end result from the rolled piedra method produces a different flavor than the circular cut of a blender … I guess, not enough to trump the convenience. .
I finally have the difference between huicoy (winter squash, like Hubbard) and huisquil (summer squash or chayote).
I’m going to have to be on the lookout for black beans from the Parramos district and see if they are superior. There are a few minor errors in the book such as calling piloyes kidney beans. That was my first impression but they are bigger and everything I’ve read elsewhere indicates they are scarlet runner beans
It was interesting to learn that Nacatamals of Nicaragua translates as “bad food” … as in they are so good they are bad … so that phrase isn’t so contemporary after all.
Love trivia such as the loroco is a member of the periwinkle family
While it doesn’t state it directly, it was an insight about why honey is called miel de abajos or miel blanco de abajos. My question was always … regular or white … honey is always from bees. In a country that loves linguistic short cuts, why the long name.
It seems miel is also a term used when describing sugar-based syrup for a dish such as buñuelos en miel. I think though that Marks missed, well, the mark in not noting there is also white honey from bees. When I first brought up white honey, everyone was quick to point out they were a different type of bee
I learned some new names
- Perulero is the name for those white chayote … tho the family just calls them chayote.
- Camaroncillos – dried shrimp
It was the first I heard of rapidura (panela) a local brown sugar with a little more character than the boxed stuff. A digression, but sugar is burned before being cut. Some people are not thrilled about this as small animals get caught and burned up as well. One story goes that brown sugar, the first processing, is that color because it hasn’t had all the dead critters removed yet … and has more protein. Just a story, but one I can’t forget every time I look at brown sugar now.
Yes, it seems best used as a referenece ... though for me, all my cookbooks are that.
I have a single table with all my Gautemalan cookbook recipes so if I'm looking for something, I can find it quickly, su I was just entering all the recipes into that and reading along. So that makes me pay closer attention.
Also, I noted in this, and other GT cookbooks, the origin of the recipe, if available. So if I'm traveling to that region, I know what that area specializes in and what to look for food-wise.
False Tounges often differed from other books in terms of origin ... which makes sense since I'm guessing few of these dishes are region-specific.
Anyway thantks. Great reference.
It seems someone has restated a lot of Copeland Marks recipes here
From the few I compared, they really did go through the trouble of restating though the ingredients are the same.
I might take it back about the book not having kak'ik. He calls it chunto which seems is another Guatemalan term for turkey, in this case meaning house-raised and not farm-raised, the turkey equivalent of criollo chicken.
This site has photos of the Q’eqchi’ Mayas killing a turkey and making kak'ik. It is really graphic so don't click on it if that sort of thing bothers you. It is also very realistic ... down to the requisite Guatemala dogs hanging around to get a taste of the droppings and blood. For all those people into the latest trend of doing in their own poultry, they should review this first.
A rather intersting link (run through a translator) about chunto or kak'ik
They quote the cultural heritage site by the Ministry of Culture as follows: "the regional dish Maya Q'eqchi 'known as Kak'ik "is an ancient food Hispanic descent, so has the red color somewhat reminiscent blood of the ancestors in ritual ceremonies. "
This week I had a dish new to me - Ejotes Forrados con huevo - grreen beans in an egg batter. This site gives a recipe for Ejotes Envueltos which seems the same
"This light vegetarian treat is very easy to prepare, especially if you possess an electric whisk .... It’s also a very typical local dish"
Writing about a dish called hilachas, there is a mention that the recipe will be posted in the upcoming Recipes from Guatemala web site which should be opening its doors in May.
Finally has something totally new to me - Revolcado de Panza
The above link describes it as "a sort of tomato-based curry with spices and cow’s underbelly "
The revolcado I had for breakfast looked more like this picture and there was organ meat like liver and I am almost certain the conversation in Spanish about it mentioned pig's head
Here's a few recipes I found on the web ... in Spanish
This site in English is great and has the sometimes gory details ... warning it contains photos of pig parts such as the head ... " Revolcado, which means taken down (as in a tackle), is a thick gravy-like soup that features the ground-up remains of a whole pig’s head. Yes, picture Porky Pig being decapitated and then his head being forced through a meat-grinder and into a steaming pot of soup and voila, you have revolcado!"
Yesterday there was a discussion about tongue at supper. Not catching it all, I was assumng cow's tongue.
I thought it was pretty good. It isn't as intimidating as menudo. It is a pleasant mild soup, not really spicy ... but that might just be the version I had.
I'm thinking this was bought from one of the people who sell food such as tamales, chicharron, etc as the only action I saw in the kitchen was the the revolcado being heated.