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Cuisine in Nicaragua
 
 
 

Cuisine in Nicaragua is a mixture of criollo food and dishes of pre-Columbian origin. The Spaniards found that the Creole people had incorporated local foods available in the area into their cuisine. Traditional cuisine changes from the Pacific to the Caribbean coast; while the Pacific coast's main staple revolves around local fruits and corn, the Caribbean coast cuisine makes use of seafood and the coconut.

There are some culinary differences in Nicaragua between the rural and the urban areas. In the capital of Managua, the selection of foods is much wider and there are various international restaurants that provide food from all the continents, including specialised menus with low calories, Spanish cuisine and French food or seafood specialities. In the villages, the options are more limited regarding the international cuisine, but there are more traditional dishes.

As in many other Latin American countries, corn is a main staple. Corn is used in many of the widely consumed dishes, such as the nacatamal, and indio viejo. Corn is also an ingredient for drinks such as pinolillo and chicha as well as sweets and desserts. Many drinks are also made from grains, and seeds, mixed with milk, water, sugar and ice.

In addition to corn, rice and beans are eaten very often. Gallopinto, Nicaragua's national dish, is made with white rice and red beans that are cooked separately and then fried together. The dish has several variations including the addition of coconut oil and/or grated coconut on the Caribbean coast. Most Nicaraguans begin and end every day with gallopinto.

Many of Nicaragua's dishes include indigenous fruits and vegetables such as jocote, mango, papaya, tamarindo, pipian, banana, avocado, yuca, and herbs such as cilantro, oregano and achiote. Nicaraguans also eat guinea pigs, tapirs, iguanas and turtle eggs.

Nicaraguan cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbours and developed from their own traditional dishes. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for colouring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Nicaragua is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colours and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Nicaragua’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Nicaraguan dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

 

 
 

 



 


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