Nicaragua Food and Drink
The cuisine of Nicaragua is a mixture of indigenous, Spanish and Creole influences. With coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, seafood is an important part of Nicaraguan cuisine, however, corn is the staple of the diet. Corn is incorporated into dishes or is used as a sole ingredient. Tropical fruits are also common with mango, papaya, tamarind, bananas and avocados being among the most popular. As Nicaragua is geographically diverse, there are many traditional dishes that differ depending on geographical and cultural regions.
Popular dishes include:
Gallo Pinto: This dish, a mixture of fried rice, onion, sweet pepper, red beans and garlic, is prepared and eaten by the majority of the population of Nicaragua daily.
Indio Viejo: The basic ingredients of this dish include meat, garlic, onions, sweet peppers, tomatoes and tortillas. Tortillas are put in water and then ground into a dough. The meat is shredded and cooked with dough and vegetables, flavoured with both orange juice and broth.
Quesillo: Quesillo is a piece of cheese that is placed inside a tortilla, onions and vinegar are added for flavour and fresh cream and salt are placed on top.
Nacatamal: The dough is filled with small pieces of meat, either pork or chicken, rice, potatoes, onions, tomatoes and sweet peppers. The dough pockets are then wrapped in plantain leaves (which are not eaten) and boiled.
While fresh tropical juices are some of the most popular drinks throughout the country that help to beat the heat, Macuá is the national drink of Nicaragua. It is a cocktail made with white rum and fruit juices, typically lemon and guava. As well as cocktails, there are two types of beer in Nicaragua, Toña and La Victoria. Toña is a golden lager while La Victoria is considered a softer beer. Gaubul combines green bananas, milk, coconut water and sugar and is common in the Caribbean part of the country. With corn being such a major staple of the diet, it is not surprising that there is also a corn drink. Chicha-de Maíz is prepared hot, but once cooled, a candy called “dulce” is added. It is important to remember that tap water in Nicaragua may contain more chlorine than visitors are used to, but bottled water is cheap and readily available.
Things to know: Tipping 10-15% in hotels and restaurants is standard and sometimes it is added to the bill.
Drinking age: 19
Extend Your Trip
After your Nicaragua tour, why not consider another of Goway's Latin America tours. These include a large selection of other exciting countries in Central and South America. We offer Chile vacation packages and Easter Island tours, Ecuador vacation packages which include Galapagos cruises, Peru vacation packages which include Machu Picchu tours and Brazil tours including Iguassu Falls tours among many others.
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