Pollo Chuco

pollo chuco

“Uno de los platos favoritos desde mi niñez es el pollo con tajadas, más conocido popularmente como el ‘pollo chuco’. Este es uno de los platos mas deliciosos y el segundo mas popular después de las baleadas; y esto se debe a la perfecta combinación de las tajadas de plátano y las salsas con el pollo frito.  Y no puede faltar la ensalada de repollo para volver a esta comida uno de los platillos hondureños mas deseados para las personas que como yo decidimos salir de nuestro país por diferentes razones!  Y es en lo personal una de las mejores comidas de Honduras.”

fullsizeoutput_3 Fried chicken is a classic found in every single cuisine around the world – and truth be told, the recipe doesn’t change much. What does change, though, are the sides & sauces that dress it up, and as you can see, ours isn’t the bashful kind of chicken. Found primarily on the north coast, this famous dish is big in our industrial capital of San Pedro Sula; so much that there’s actually a National Pollo Chuco Day mid-January to celebrate the beloved dish with family & friends, with activities such as the ‘pollo chuco challenge’, where participants can compete to become the ‘comelón de pollo‘, or the ‘big chicken eater’. The delicious sides include plantain chips, our uniquely prepared cabbage salad, and topped with the messy sauce, which gives the dish its signature name: dirty chicken!

Collaboration made by Eva, a medical doctor who graduated from UNICAH in Honduras. She moved five months ago to Leipzig, Germany and hopes learn the language in order to specialize in plastic & reconstructive surgery. | Colaboración de Eva, médico general egresada de la UNICAH en Honduras.  Se mudó a Leipzig, Alemania hace cinco meses y espera aprender el idioma rápido con la meta de especializarse en cirugía plástica y reconstructiva.

Torrejas de Pinol

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“Cuando vives fuera de tu país, comer un antojito de casa es una forma de sentirte cerca de lo que tanto amas. Los hondureños sabemos lo que es la Navidad, se come delicioso y hasta quedar más que satisfechos.  Nos mudamos con mi esposo ya hace 8 meses a Alemania y se llegó la Navidad y con ella el deseo de comer nuestras deliciosas torrejas.  No nos tomó mucho tiempo en animarnos a cocinarlas, buscamos los ingredientes y manos a la obra! Aquí no pudimos encontrar nuestra clásica rapadura de dulce, tuvimos que hacerlas ‘modernas’ con dulce de leche pero sin faltar el pinol! Un delicioso experimento del que ahora disfrutamos cada vez que tenemos el antojo.”

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The Christmas spirit can always be felt in the heart during the holidays, but for our joyful people it’s surely also felt in the tummy, as local specialties make their way into Honduran homes around the beginnings of December. In the past years, Christmas trees have gone up as early as October in many locations around the country and people are always eager for Christmas time to arrive, as it marks such a lovely time full of love & activities with family & friends. Along with the traditional kind & the milk variety, this treat (perfect for guests!) is special due to the addition of the unique pinol, which is basically roasted ground maize, which is then mixed with a combination of cocoa, agave, cinnamon, chia seeds, vanilla, or other spices. The word itself comes from the Nahuatl word, pinolli, meaning cornmeal. Today, it’s generally made by hand using wood-burning adobe ovens and a stone & pestle, and is still consumed in certain, often rural parts of Latin America. Commercial varieties also exist and make delicacies like this one possible for so many around the globe!

Collaboration made by Argeria, a medical doctor originally from La Paz, Honduras. She recently moved to Leipzig, Germany with her husband to further develop their careers, and are currently patiently learning their new language. | Colaboración de Argeria, médico general originaria de La Paz, Honduras.  Hace poco se mudó a Leipzig, Alemania con su esposo para desarrollarse profesionalmente, y ambos están pacientemente aprendiendo el nuevo idioma.

Tortillas Azules

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—  Story Pending | Anécdota Pendiente  —

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There are a number of foods key to the nutrition of most countries along the Mesoamerican line, but the king of them since the time of the ancient Mayas has always been corn. In its many varieties, purple corn – or Blue corn – stands out for its deep purple color, which gives foods and beverage a unique richness known to few!  Tortillas in general are a corn preparation with Pre-columbian origins, used as a side dish – like bread – or as an actual part of the meal, like with tacos or enchiladas. It’s part of the daily diet since long, long ago, especially in the remote areas of the Mesoamerican region, and this famous blue variety is a unique variety cherished by many that can now be found commercially in the form of blue masa. Nothing like the fresh kind, though!

Collaboration pending publication | Colaboración pendiente de publicación.

 

Atol de Elote

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The word atol is a term derived from the Nahuatl language of the historically-known Aztecs in Mexico, who expanded to incorporate a large part of Mesoamerica into their domain before the conquest.  Many foods, including this traditional hot corn- and masa-beverage was coined a staple of Mesoamerican tradition.  For the Mayas, corn was a sacred food – an essential part of many ceremonies  but was also consumed on a daily basis, in its many forms.  Today, it remains a part of a daily routine, and this drink is not only believed to be good for you, some swear on its therapeutic qualities!  It has become a very popular beverage in the region and is served in fairs & markets, where you can appreciate how the fresh corn is ground and the expressed liquid is used as the base, rather than using masa, and churned on the spot!  The drink is filling and nutritious, but also smooth and delicious, which makes it a yummy treat any hour of the day!

Collaboration pending publication | Colaboración pendiente de publicación.

Mango Verde

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I definitely believe the easiest way to poison any Honduran is through a bag of mango verde off the streets. Who can resist?!  Just posting about it makes my loins burn, and for all the country men spread around the world, there’s a great big burst of nostalgia that comes with the thoughts of the little green delicacy.  Tiny green mangos are sour and bitter, which is why they’re perfectly paired with lemon or vinegar, salt & pepper, and the beloved dash of chile we all love on; a taste not many foreigners tend to enjoy – but don’t despair, ripe mangos are even yummier!  No one complains when its mango season, the trees are huge and these babies grow on them like there’s no end, which is always a great thing for street vendors, who stand all over with their mango stands, peeling the day away!  Whether it’s in one’s back yard – or the neighbor’s, on the street, in a restaurant, no one can resist pulling down mangos from high above (green or ripe), and kids have loads of fun climbing the trees in search for a the yummy snack to be prepared by mom!

Collaboration pending publication | Colaboración pendiente de publicación.

 

Topoyiyos | Charamuscas

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There is no child in Honduras who hasn’t loved to go pick out one of these refreshing snacks out of the freezer at any local pulpería!  Frozen goodness in a baggie, topoyiyos or charamuscas (depending on which part of the country you’re in) are a delicious way to cool off any given day and thanks to the variety of fruits & flavors, it proves to be a great option for anyone on the go.  Not the most attractive way to have a snack, it sure looks shady for anyone who hasn’t tried one – in fact, they could actually be considered a serious health hazard, right?  Oh, but no, all is forgot once you dig in.  To eat it, you have to chew off one of the corners of the bag and suck the contents out right through the hole.  Easy-peasy!  And oh-so-good!  And don’t even think going artificial, these are an all-natural healthy choice, great for recess or lunch breaks, or even any given afternoon when the scorching sun is beating your back!

Collaboration pending publication | Colaboración pendiente de publicación.

 

Ticucos | Tamal Pisque

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This tiny little piece of bliss is only a small part of the great gastronomy our wild, wild West has to offer.  It’s a close relative of the well-known tamale, but quite differently elaborated: with masa, beans, and chipilín – a leguminous plant native to the region – all wrapped up in a tiny easy-to-go corn husk.  Usually eaten with a variety of local homemade sauces, they are a popular street food in the largest and most important city in western Honduras, Santa Rosa de Copán, a city whose historical center has been declared a Honduran national monument, with preservation of its Republican or Neoclassical architecture and cobblestone streets that have their origins in a prosperous tobacco farming industry of the 18th century, still a staple of the local economy today.  The city is also situated at a strategic point between Copán Ruinas & Gracias, Lempira and the the Celaque National Park, a hot spot for international renowned tourism!

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Alfajores | Chilenas

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These magical cookie treats are quite popular all over Latin America, especially in Argentina. But in Honduras, they’ve found a special place in everyone’s heart. Basically two shortbread cookies with a sweet filling in the middle and sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, they are the perfect match to a hot Americano in a quick pick-me-up date. The unique combination between the slight saltiness of the cookie that dissolves in your mouth with the extreme sweetness of the dulce de leche filling oozing out makes anyone who tries one fall instantly in love. Espresso Americano, a Honduran chain of coffee kiosks, made them easily available anywhere you are & took them to a whole other level: this perfectly sized ‘chilena de leche’ can never go wrong!

Collaboration pending publication | Colaboración pendiente de publicación.

Batidos

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These delicious handmade blended beverages are similar to smoothies, made with milk, fruit, & usually ice. They are quite popular, along with simple fruit drinks, throughout the country and can be found on the streets sold by vendors or in special shops that prepare you a big loaded glass with the fruit of your choice! Batidos are usually blended on the spot and made to order, and since they’re made with fresh fruit, they’re usually a healthier alternative to the bought kind; an important thing in the third-world state of our country. When nuts, sugar, honey, or granola are added, they can really a powerful bomb of a snack, great for a power pitstop!

Collaboration pending publication | Colaboración pendiente de publicación.

Ayote en Miel

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Our local squash, cucurbita moschata, is a species originating around the Central-American region, which makes this sweetened preparation popular along the entire strip, from Guatemala to Costa Rica. These cultivars are generally more tolerant to hot & humid weather than their North-American counterparts. In Honduras, baby squash is sold on an average of 12-pound units and is most popular around Easter or Christmas, when fruits of all kinds are prepared in this traditional sweet technique: squash, brown sugar, & cinnamon! Even though the practice has been long-running, artesanal sellers have noticed a decline in the tradition, mainly because of the high costs involved in production, which have elevated rapidly in the last few years.

Collaboration pending publication | Colaboración pendiente de publicación.