About the food of Panama

View of Isla Taboga, with Panama City in the background. Photo by Osopolar.

The skinny squiggle in Central America is Panama. Her spine crackles with mountains, while her shores undulate with soft, green hills. This is the tropics and, even in the winter, skirts and flowers flow freely, rum punch spills willy nilly, and banana leaf tamales make an all-star appearance with the likes of arroz con pollo (spiced rice with chicken and olives) [Recipe]. But it's the butterflies that catch my attention. With more than 1500 species in this tiny country, Panama has the … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Nicaragua

Lake Nicaragua, a.k.a. The Sweet Sea and Cocibolca Lake. Photo by Aaron Escobar.

When I say "toxic," what comes to mind? Is it a food? Is it a person in your life? Is it a lifestyle led by you or someone you know? This week we ate yucca - a tuber known to have toxic bits of cyanide if processed improperly. In the early days of this adventure, I made the mistake of grating up the tough fibers on the inside of the yucca, where these toxins are concentrated. Several hours later this novice error caused me to crash down onto the floor unconscious, only to awake with ringing … [Read more...]

Recipe: Pineapple Horchata

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This summer I've seen almost everything. Laughter in sad moments. Tears in happy moments. Life is a bumble-all-over-the place, as it should be when temperatures screech up into the 100's. What I haven't seen? Purple-feathered dancing ladies. This Pineapple Horchata is certainly the closest I'll get to this sort of carnival fun. And every summer should have a little carnival fun, don't you think? The recipe is a cooked horchata (homemade rice drink), different from the amazing no-cook … [Read more...]

Recipe: Lime & Cabbage Slaw with Yucca | Vigoron

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Today we're taking a bite of Nicaraguan sunshine. This is the kind of sunshiny soul food that satisfies cravings. Bored cravings. Excited cravings. Lonely cravings. I'm ready for winter cravings. I miss my man cravings.  I wish I could sing cravings. It's like the fairy godmother of salads. This sunshine is magic. So what is it? Vigoron. A heaping mound of comfort, nestled on top of deep green banana leaves. This is Nicaraguan street food, designed to make your mouth happy. First … [Read more...]

Menu: Nicaragua

Nicaraguan-recipes

Nicaragua taught me three very important things about life. First, eat more sunshine. To do so, simply pile fresh vigoron on your plate. Soaked in lime juice and a happy heaping of salt, this tastes like the margarita of slaws. Done and done. Second, everything is better with an umbrella in it, especially if pineapple is involved. Third, try, try, try, and try again. This is the only way to succeed.  Those of you who have been reading this blog for a year or more will know about my … [Read more...]

About the food of Nicaragua

Carnaval in Managua, Nicaragua. Photo by Jorge Mejía peralta.

Nicaragua is best known for her namesake, which means "surrounded by water." She boasts great, rolling waves on both shores as well as in the middle. The Pacific Ocean crashes into her western shore - a treat for surfers. Cross over beautiful lagoons, lush valleys, huge volcanoes, tropical rain forests, coffee plantations, and Spanish Colonial architecture...to her eastern shore and you'll find dreamy Caribbean waters. Oh, and in between? Lake Nicaragua (a.k.a. the "Sweet Sea") home to … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Mexico

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THE SCENE: I wipe the sweat from my forehead. "Why is it 92 degrees in March?" I ask the cat. Malky draws his back up into a leisurely stretch, pads lightly onto the floor, and lets out a startlingly abrasive meow. Apparently he doesn't care. He is ready to go outside. I crack open the door enough to smell the humidity and watch his tail flick out into the sunshine. I shake my head and get back to work. The blender cranks into high gear as I buzz together the homemade rice and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cheesy Roasted Poblanos (Rajas con Crema)

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Listen. Not everything has to look perfect. We don't always need lipstick and hair straighteners (In fact, I haven't seen either of those since Ava started crawling). Some days I don't even look in a mirror until night time. Until it's too late. Let yourself off the hook once in a while. Let your hair down. Smear your lips with chapstick and call it good. While you're at it, eat messy food. Because, no matter how it looks, if it tastes good, then all is well in your world. Which … [Read more...]