Guatemalan Dessert: Espumillas

Guatemalan Dessert: Espumillas

I wonder what would be a good translation for espumillas? A literal translation would be little sponges, but a proper word is meringue. Espumillas can be found year round in La Antigua Guatemala and the rest of the country. Espumillas are often found in town fairs and at your local tienda (convenience store). Espumillas are very sweet!

Below what I found in the dictionary:

espumilla or meringue is sweet food made from a mixture of well-beaten egg whites and sugar, baked until crisp and typically used as a topping for desserts, esp. pies. Individual meringues are often filled with fruit or whipped cream. (source: Mac OS native dictionary)

Guatemalan Spanish Word of the Day: turrón is the Guatemalan word for well-beaten egg whites and sugar. In México, turrón is known as merengue, which is very close to the English word meringue. In Guatemala, merengue is a Caribbean style of dance music, which is very popular here.

Every time I see these subtle differences in the Spanish language, I think that having live one-on-one Spanish Lessons through Skype may come very handy in case one can not take full immersion Spanish classes in La Antigua Guatemala; how else can you ask about these little subtleties.

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  • Jerry T

    Thanks for 3 great years of amazing photos. I have been here from the beginning (found your site in September of the first year)and checking this site is something I do everyday. I enjoy the photos, commentary, and have learned so much about your interesting country. I don’t always comment, but I do love this site. Keep up the great work! Thanks from the edge of East Texas.

  • emromesco

    Pues my head is spinning trying to figure out the desmadre you exposed here. There are espumillas up here and they are called meringue as you mention…. although you didn’t think about the “lemon meringue pie” which is more to the merengue of the Mexicans.
    Espumillas are European in origin (according to wikipedia). Now that you are on the topic… how about higos cristalizados… that would be an interesting dessert/sweet to find its origin “elsewhere” (aka “where life is”)

  • Erick

    These bring back memories of when I was a child and my grandpa would buy me some espumillas and “churros” at the “feria.” Although they’re certainly different items, I think churros are superior to espumillas. Almost everything that is deep-fried is tasty….almost everything.

  • Rudy,

    Thanks for posting this picture, it reminded me of when I used to walk over to the “tiendita” at the corner. En ese tiempo una espumilla costaba una choca.

  • these are my absolute favorite. and I lived on them when we were in Antigua. It’s a fear of mine, that I’ll be eating only them when I move there:)

  • Yummm! I love the pastel colors, they look delicious!

  • Las espumillas, son bien deliciosas, antes cada vez que podía las compraba.

    Es algo típico de Guatemala y super sabrosas.


  • Espumilla lover

    Thank you for putting the recipe out, I need it for a college class assignment. It certainly is interesting to see that espumillas are know in several countries of Central America such as Nicaragua and El Salvador. They are certainly a childhood staple of our countries’ sweet memories. I think the exact translation would be”little foams” not sponges, since the meaning of espuma is foam in english & they do look foamy and not spongy. Thanks again.