July 7, 2010


I'm back from Guatemala/Nicaragua and gearing up to work on my thesis (a book of poetry) and plan my fall class (Holocaust Representation), while enjoying the boiling desert heat. I meant to take pictures of my meals while I was in Central America (a la Robert Alan Wendeborn), but I pretty much forgot. I ate well when I was there, though: a lot of avocado, beans, rice, chicken, and various vegetables seasoned with lime juice. I stayed with a host family associated with this Spanish school in Antigua, where I ate three huge delicious meals a day. There were two little girls (ages 7 and 9) in the family, and we had a lot of fun pretending lychee shells were aliens (extraterrestres!) at lunch.

I'm not a big meat eater and it was surprisingly easy to get by without eating much meat, especially in Antigua. One day I was craving red meat, so I ordered a cheeseburger and the waiter asked me if I wanted it "con jamon (ham) and queso (cheese)." I said I didn't want ham, so I received a hamburger bun with a smear of mayonnaise and a slice of American cheese (American cheese is everywhere). I also had a bad encounter with quesadillas made from canned cheese. I guess the lesson here is that Guatemala is really not a good place to go if you like decent cheese. Aside from that, the majority of the food I ate was good and cheap--really cheap, about $3-$4 a meal, especially outside of the cities. Huge portions, relatively healthy (despite the rampant popularity of fried chicken), and amazingly spicy.

Anyway, if you're ever in Antigua, Guatemala I recommend Rainbow Cafe; it's a bar, bookstore and restaurant (with live music every night of the week). I bought and traded so many books during my two weeks there that the bookstore clerk knew me by name! They also have lectures on Tuesdays at 5:30: I went to a really interesting one given by MuJER, an organization that provides support to Guatemalan sex workers.

I was itching to cook once I got back, especially now that so many vegetables are in season; tomatoes, zucchini, squash, everything good, really. I made this awesome recipe last night, and tonight I made a concoction of couscous, chicken, spinach and asparagus. Look for the recipe in the next few days. For now, here are a few pictures from my trip:

man with 4 dogs on his bike
the ruins at tikal in northern guatemala

market in chichicastenango

how tortillas are traditionally made

little girls in a village on lake atitlan


  1. wow, it looks like such an amazing trip! and reading about all of that delicious food has got me thinking that maybe i should actually cook something for dinner tonight!

  2. thanks! i love your blog. stay tuned for more recipe posts!

  3. Looks/sounds like quite an adventure -- aside from the disappointing quesadilla! Just typing that has made me hungry...


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