Traditional Guatemalan cuisine refuses to be phased out in favor of international fast food like hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs and chinese food. Even though foreign fast food is convenient, it lacks the complexity in flavors that Guatemalan dishes have. Even a simple dish like Revolcado de Panza, a sort of tomato-based curry with spices and cow’s underbelly brings forth an avalanche of flavors, textures and feelings to the taste buds.
Traditional Guatemalan dishes take a long time to be prepared, sometimes even weeks like the Fiambre (a cold-cuts salad), so they can not compete with fast food junk food in the time of preparation. But who says they have to be prepared the moment you show up to order it? That is fine for sandwiches, but Guatemalan traditional meals are sold by having a ready-made buffet where one can go and just order portions.
Guatemalan cuisine can compete with prices since most meals are very affordable for being such complex food. For instance, the meal above which includes revolcado de panza (Q5/$0.65), 4 chiles rellenos (Q2.25/$0.28 each), 1 Guatemalan sweet bread and 2 pirujos (Q2/$0.25) and a cup of the best coffee in the world (Q2/$0.25) is only Q18/$2.30, at an exchange rate of 7.80 Quetzales per US$1. If we compare the cost of this Guatemalan full meal with the cost of Big Mac or BK Whooper, which is about Q22 ~ Q25, we can see that Guatemalan cuisine gives you much more for less.
Remember that you can browse the food and drinks category for a sampler of many Guatemalan dishes, some with recipes. Bon appetite!
© 2007 – 2013, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.