I thought I'd share few details about the food we've enjoyed while we're here in Nicaragua (recall, Laura and I are here with a team of eyecare professionals giving free eye exams in several villages here in the country).
First, the food is really good here. Really good. Simple, straightforward, unpretentious and delicious. We've had gallo pinto (simple beans and rice) with nearly every meal, whether morning, noon or night, and we've really grown used to this wonderful comfort food. I have to find out a way to copy the special way they make it here.
Another common food here is vigaron: cabbage salad. It's thinly sliced cabbage in a light vinegar sauce that's found alongside nearly every meal. Nicaraguans consider it like a side salad. Again, it's basic, unpretentious and really good.
Also, queso frito or fried cheese. They have a simple white cheese here that is salty and firm. When fried, this cheese doesn't melt--it gets just a bit crispy on the outside. It's a common appetizer or side dish here and it's utterly delicious. One of the best meals we had during our entire trip was a simple platter of queso frito, fried plantains and a side of gallo pinto--along with a Toña, one of Nicaragua's national beers:
Finally, a delicious fish we've had the pleasure of having here: guapote. It's a mild white fish, typically grilled and served up whole. It's kind of a beastly looking fish that looks like it belongs in the Jurassic era, but it's easy to eat, not too bony, and well worth ordering.
Guapote con salsa tomate, arroz (rice), tostones (fried plantains) y vigaron:
We didn't come to Nicaragua for the food, but we've been really surprised and happy with everything we've eaten on this trip. And we've been overwhelmed with all of the people we've met and the things we've seen here. This is a friendly and inexpensive country that is patient with tourists. It's almost as if they've seen enough tourists to appreciate them, but not too many to get sick of them or try to take advantage of them.
If you're considering a visit to Nicaragua, both Laura and I would highly encourage it, and if you want to ask any questions, feel free to reach us via email or by leaving a comment below.
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