Nicaragua´s traditional food has been historically linked since early times with corn. This essential staple was widely grown by indigenous groups such as Aztecs, Mayans and the Nicaraguan Chorotegas.
Nowadays Nicaragua´s cuisine is a mix of indigenous and Spanish dishes and ingredients, but a wide variety of Nicaraguan dishes are still prepared using “maize”. A delicious meal is “the Nacatamal”, a succulent weekend breakfast which main ingredients are corn dough, pork, potatoes, rice, tomatoes, etc. Another famous meal is “Vigoron”, found widely in the pacific region of Nicaragua but especially in the colonial city of Granada. This traditional meal consists of boiled cassava topped with crunchy pork rinds and cabbage salad. Probably “Gallo Pinto” is the most famous everyday breakfast in Nicaraguan homes, which is prepared with a mix of re-fried beans and rice.
Due to its geographic position in Central America, Nicaragua is surrounded by the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, as well containing inland big lakes and rivers. Seafood is also part of the everyday diet of the “Nicas”. Succulent whole fried fish, either red snapper or the freshwater fish “guapote”, is commonly served in restaurants or cooked at homes. Usually seafood soup including fish, shrimp, lobster, shell, crab and mussels is very popular, frequently locally called “raising-dead soup”.
Other way to discover the Nicaraguan food is through the popular eateries called “fritangas”, which are street barbecues run by families who prepare grilled chicken, pork and beef and deep fried snacks such as cheese, enchiladas, crunchy tacos filled with chicken or beef and fried ripe or green plantains.
Of course we cannot omit the delicious local dessert called “almibar”. Especially during “Easter” celebrations most Nicaraguans prepare at home a mix of local fruits such as mangoes, papayas and jocote along with cinnamon and “atado de dulce”, a hard piece of boiled sugar juice. Other popular sweets are “cajetas” which are made out of coconut, papaya and grape fruit.
Nicaragua also boasts to have different types of tropical fresh fruits year round such as mangoes, bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe, plums, avocadoes, dragon fruits, zapotes, nisperos, starfruits, passion fruits, and others.
Certainly we cannot forget about beer and rum which is also part of Nicaraguan life. Internationally renowned “Flor de Caña” is the traditional rum of Nicaragua and this smooth tasting spirit can be sipped either on the rocks or with soda. “Toña” and “Victoria” are the two most popular beers.
Definitely one of the best ways to discover the Nicaraguan culture is through its cuisines and great variety of meal choices. Come and enjoy the tropical flavors of a different country.