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Food in Central America and Mexico
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Food in Central America and Mexico


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This is a description of different foods eaten in the area.

This is a description of different foods eaten in the area.

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  • 1. Food Of Central America and Mexico (All pictures are from google images)
  • 2. Glossary
    • Tortilla- thin cornmeal pancake
    • Masa dough- dough made from corn
    • Hominy- dried corn kernels
    • Tripe- made from an animal’s stomach
    • Plantains- a type of banana
    • Siesta- long nap/rest
    Corn tortilla hominy plantains
  • 3. Mexico - Diet
    • tortas (hollow rolls stuffed with meat, cheese, or beans)
    • tamales (masa dough, made of corn, wrapped in a corn husk)
    • quesadillas (tortillas baked with fried cheese)
    • tacos (folded tortilla with meat and vegetables inside)
    • salsa (a dipping sauce made of green or red chiles and green or red tomatoes, and salt, water, and cilantro)
    • mole (a chile chocolate sauce that can be poured over chicken)
    • posol (a soup-like dish with hominy and pork, white cabbage, salsa, or lemon)
    • menuda (similar to posole, but with cow stomach instead of hominy and pork)
    Pictured: tamales
  • 4. Mexico - Etiquette and Facts
    • Most meals are eaten as a family.
    • Food bought at a street vendor is eaten at the stand; it is considered rude to walk down the street while eating
  • 5. Guatemala - Diet
    • Tamalitos (similar to Mexico’s tamales)
    • Fried pl atanos (bananas) are eaten with honey, cream, or black beans.
    • Meat is usually stewed
    • Sauces are an important part of the meal
    • Coffee is served with lots of cream and sugar.
    Pictured: fried platanos
  • 6. Guatemala - Etiquette and Facts
    • Most people eat three meals a day, but poorer families may only eat one, and snack on tortillas the rest of the day. Dinner is usually light, and eaten after 7 p.m.
    • The entire extended family gathers for the main meal (midday) on weekends. Sometimes, women serve the meal and eat later.
    • Many people eat sweetbread and coffee at 4 p.m.; schoolchildren are served hot cereal at 10 a.m.
    • After the meal, everyone says muchas gracias (many thanks), to which all reply buen provencho (good appetite).
    • One must always finish the food on their plate, but wait to be offered more (not ask for it themselves).
  • 7. El Salvador - Diet
    • Food has much less spice than other Central American countries
    • Most people eat frijoles (red beans), cooked in different ways
    • thicker corn tortillas
    • pupusas (tortillas stuffed with meat, beans, and cheese).
    • Meat is mostly eaten by the wealthy, while poorer families eat their own livestock, and only every once in a while
    Pictured: pupusas
  • 8. El Salvador - Etiquette and Facts
    • Guests compliment the host’s food
    • The host will continue to offer more food until the guest declines; in a poorer family’s home, a guest is not expected to accept more food
    • In rural families, the wife eats alone, after the guests
    • Men stand when a woman leaves the table.
  • 9. Honduras - Diet
    • tapado (beef stew with vegetables and coconut milk)
    • mondongo (tripe and beef knuckles)
    • nacatamales (pork tamales)
    • torrejas (similar to French toast) served at Christmas)
    • Topogios or charamuscas (frozen fruit juice in plastic bags) are very popular in the summer months.
    • Coffee is served with the main meal of the day.
    • Soft drinks are popular, and North American fast food restaurants are prevalent in big cities.
    Pictured: topado
  • 10. Honduras - Etiquette and Facts
    • Fork is held in right hand, knife in left.
    • Coffee breaks are taken in the late morning and mid-afternoon.
  • 11. Nicaragua - Diet
    • oil is used frequently in cooking
    • gallo pinto (fried rice and beans) is eaten for breakfast and dinner in many families.
    • enchiladas (tortilla dipped in oil is filled and topped with cheese, sauce, etc.)
    • nacatamales (tamales in a banana leaf)
    • mondongo
    • vigoron (vegetables with pork skin)
    • baho (meat, vegetables, and plantains)
    • fried platanos
    Pictured: enchiladas
  • 12. Nicaragua - Etiquette and Facts
    • The midday meal is followed by a siesta .
    • Breakfast is eaten very early to allow the workday to start earlier
    • Rural families eat together most of the time, but urban families are usually only able to do this on holidays and weekends
  • 13. Costa Rica - Diet
    • gallo pinto are eaten at virtually every meal
    • casado (beans, salad or eggs, meat, and plantains) is a common lunch
    • olla de carne (beef stew)
    • Tamales, made with meat, vegetables and cornmeal, wrapped in a plantain leaf, and stewed (served at Easter and Christmas)
    • lengua en salsa (beef tongue in sauce)
    • Mondongo
    • empanadas (turnovers)
    • arroz con pollo (rice with chicken)
    • gallos (tortillas with meat and vegetable filling).
    • Coffee is very popular; adults often take 2-3 coffee breaks per day.
    Pictured: arroz con pollo
  • 14. Costa Rica - Etiquette and Facts
    • Mealtime is to be enjoyed, and is extended by conversation
  • 15. Panama - Diet
    • It is said in Panama that “if one hasn't had rice, then they haven't really eaten a meal”, as rice is served with nearly every meal
    • Fish is common, sometimes in soups
    • For a snack, people will eat a piece of fruit
    • Coffee is served throughout the day
    • C hicha is another popular drink, made from water, sugar, and fresh fruit. sancocho (chicken soup)
    • guacho (rice soup)
    • bollo (corn mush boiled in the husk)
    • carne guisado (stewed beef with tomatoes and spices)
    • arroz con pollo (but only on special occasions)
    • In urban areas, there is a fusion of traditional dishes and international foods.
  • 16. Panama - Etiquette and Facts
    • Food is served in the following order: guests, men, children, women/cook.