Guatemalan Cuisine: Rice and Beans

Guatemalan Cuisine: Rice and Beans Close-up

Rice and beans are an integral part of the Guatemalan diet, sometimes as side dishes and many more times as the main plate. Unfortunately, many times rice or beans are the main dish, the only dish of many Guatemalans.

It was the Garí­funas, the black Guatemalans living in the Caribbean shores of Lí­vingston and Puerto Barrios, Izabal, who made an exquisite meal from rice, beans, coconut milk, tomatoes and herbs. Garí­funas called it Rice and Beans; yes, in English. This meal has several variations and names in the different Caribbean communities. For instance in Cuba, Rice and Beansdish is known as Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians).

If you come to Guatemala and have a chance to try Rice and Beans, please do so; you will not regret it.

Also, if you have five minutes, please check out this amazing and beautiful slide show of the Garí­funa people of Lí­vingston created by my good friend Iván Castro; a superb photographer.

© 2008 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Laia

    ¡¡Deli tapado y rice & beans !! lo probé en Livingston hace un par de años y me gustó muchísimo, riquísimo pero difícil de encontrar en Barcelona…,que pena!

  • Yum! Looks delicious. It’s interesting how something eaten originally because it’s available and cheap (beans and cornbread here in the South) can rise to such exalted and sentimental status in our hearts. I guess b/c its food from our childhood.

  • Your food shots always make me drool, and inspire me to learn some Guatemalan recipes! Nice slideshow, too; my next trip to Guate will hopefully include a sidetrip to Livingston.

  • Jerry T

    Yum! Looks good to me. I guess nearly every culture has a version of this. It is one of my favorites. I’d love to try this version of beans and rice. Hopefully on my next trip we will go to Livingson. Is there still a cruise ship docking here?

  • MaggieD

    I’m always happy when I check your site in the morning and see FOOD! For me, food was the essence of LAG – seeing, eating, smelling, meeting friends for…shopping for… and beans & rice ties a close second with grilled cheese as the ultimate comfort food. Thanks, Rudy!

  • You cannot get more Caribbean than Rice and Beans. Other names I’ve heard are “Gallo Pinto”/Spotted Rooster (Nicaragua and/or Costa Rica) and Casamiento/Marriage (El Salvador?). I even had rice and beans with octopus in Havana more than 10 years ago and used to work in K-W with a lady from Trinidad that made some rice/bean dish that was so good too, pot lucks in Canada, you gotta love them.
    I do agree that it is the ultimate comfort food, well, any “bean” (lentils, red kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas) with rice and some spice (spice is very very important) is the ultimate comfort food for me.

  • rocio

    In Honduras they call ir Casamiento (Marriage) and they are good!!!I might just have to make sometime this week.

  • Pat

    My, what a delicous meal!

    I would certainly appreciate your posting a condolence message in my blogs today for the wife of a good blogger friend…


    Guelph Daily Photo, My Photos

  • Rice and Beans!!! I did not know what they were until I saw the light! My mother-in-law made Rice and Beans for my bday some years ago. She went all out and used all things Guatemalan including the place mats and the table runner. I cherish that memory because later on she was not able to cook as she used to, but we have her with us and that’s what counts.

  • cynthia

    Me parece riquísimo…. as numerous others have commented, it doesn’t get much better than rice and beans.
    I have never had the chance to try a dish that includes coconut milk. I will have to do a search to see what I come up with for recipes.

  • Yummy…
    Beans and rice make a wonderful combination and works really well as basis for most food.

  • Nice shot Rudy. Gotta love Rice and Beans, or Beans and Rice. I like them many ways, particularly with black beans. Looks like even in Guatemala there are many variations. I’m off to hunt down one that uses coconut milk as you say the Garífunas make them. Like like red beans in this photo to me. Does anyone know what kinds exactly they use?

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