El Salvador - Food and Drink
The cuisine of El Salvador has developed as a result of pre-Colombian and Spanish influences. With its large coastline, seafood is naturally a common and popular choice with favourite dishes including grilled clams, lobsters and crabs. Fresh tropical fruits are in abundance and fresh coconuts are found at most roadside stalls. Soups and stews are also often served around the country. In El Salvador’s larger cities, more international cuisine is available.
Popular dishes include:
Pupusa: This is one of El Salvador’s most well known dishes. It comprises a thick tortilla that is stuffed with cheese, chicharrón (cooked ground pork), refried beans and a loroco (a vine flour bud). Pupusa also comes in vegetarian options that are stuffed with ayote (a type of squash).
Panes Rellenos: This dish is a submarine sandwich made with warm chicken or turkey that has been marinated and then roasted with Pipil spices. The meat is then pulled and served on filled bread. The sandwich is traditionally accompanied by tomatoes and watercress.
Sopa de pata: This soup is made from the tripes of cow as well as plantains, corn, tomatoes, cabbage and seasoned with various spices. Sopa de pata is considered a local delicacy.
Tamales: While fairly common throughout Central America, El Salvador is famous for the different types of tamales available. This dish consists of boiled pockets of corn dough that are stuffed with meat or sweet corn that is then served wrapped in plantain leaves. In El Salvador there are Tamales de Elote which includes fresh corncakes, Tamales Pisques which are stuffed with black beans and Tamales de pollo which are stuffed with chicken and potatoes.
Beer is the most common alcoholic drink found in El Salvador. Suprema is the premier local brew, however, Pilsener is the most popular brand in the country. Other local drinks include kolachampan which is a soda flavoured with sugarcane, a sweet herb and spice based drink called horchata and ensalada which is a blend of finely chopped tropical fruits. As mentioned, coconuts are sold at most roadside stalls and are incredibly fresh. Vendors will chop the coconut with a machete and place a straw directly into the fruit so the coconut water can be enjoyed straight from the source.
Things to know:
A service charge is sometimes added on to bills, however, if it isn’t, tipping 10-15% is acceptable. While tipping is not a very old tradition in the country, it is certainly appreciated.
El Salvador Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to El Salvador.
Learn about the history and culture of El Salvador, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about El Salvador's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering El Salvador for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our El Salvador tours today!
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