“My husband said I would get bored with Guatemalan food because it is too simple,” says rworange, who moved to Guatemala with her husband for a few months. “After my first few meals, though I doubt I will get bored, I understood what he meant.” Guatemalan cuisine is simple, “but honest, fresh, tasty and good,” says rworange. There’s melon agua fresca and papaya licuado to drink, as well as Central American Coca Cola, made with sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. The sugar “gives it a more balanced, mellow taste and is not as overly sweet and cloying as Coke in the U.S.,” says rworange.
Food is simple and reminds rworange of the American cuisine of decades ago. “Substitute potatoes (mashed, fried, etc.) for beans, white bread for tortillas and lemonade for agua frescas [and] it is basically American ’50s food.” Eggs are topped with beans, crushed tomatoes, and crema pura, and they’re not just for breakfast. A dish of chicken in “soupy red sauce” served with rice or a thin, fried steak with grilled onions and tomatoes might be lunch. rworange likes the tropical produce—fresh papaya, or tiny finger-sized bananas with a hint of strawberry flavor.
Vendors deliver fresh fish, produce, and other foods directly to your door—very ’50s, as rworange notes. “The family was a bit distressed that these vendors pulling up to the house were not available in the U.S. Ah, for the days when the milkman delivered not only milk, but cheese and other dairy items to your doors.”
Discuss: Living and eating in Guatemala