Antigua is also for Eating

Guatemala isn’t just pretty buildings, awe-inspiring ruins and breathtaking scenery.
Let’s not lie, those are amazing things to do and see … Between meals.
Food anywhere is a journey in itself and Guatemala is no exception.
So just what does a country that can claim an important role in creating chocolate and grows some of the the best coffee in the world ear?

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It was going to be a supreme sacrifice to find out, but a challenge I was willing to accept relying obviously on only the deepest and detailed research I could for something so very important.

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I even took to class learning to cook one of the traditional dishes called Chiles Rellenos.
Guatemala’s food is similar to the rest of Central America with dishes mainly built around rice, corn and beans but I found more vegetables present in traditional dishes, probably because they are able to grow more than in the Tropics.

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Chiles Rellenos uses those veggies with minced chicken to create stuffing for the often locally used peppers of chiles … But with a twist.
All those veggies required a lot of chopping and completely showed up my reliance on a food processor back home.

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The twist shows both the Spanish and Mayan influence often found in traditional dishes here. The chiles are dipped and coated in a mixture of stiff egg whites mixed with yolks and then

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A kind of taco, if you like. Obviously best served with salsa and rice. Get the recipe on the el frijoles Felix Cooking School website hereNAND definitely add them to your to-do list when in Antigua.

One of the best things about traveling is seeing the unique elements and uniting threads running through cultures around the world and none more so than around a table.
So imagine my surprise in discovering that Guatemalans are also fond of cooking meat on an open fire. But then who isn’t?

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It’s the same structure as what we would call back home (in South Africa) a shisa nyama i.e.basically a giant barbecue where you can get a plate of meat with various sides to eat usually in a tent or backyard on plastic chairs. Here on the other side of the world the table clothes were noticeably colorful and salsa and rice replaced atcha and pap but the vibe was unmistakable.

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And here there is a new boss of the braai.
It’s the tortilla lady, taking the heat over this giant griddle and literally slapping out millions throughout the afternoon.

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Now who could mess with her!

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