Feria Food: Plataninas

Feria Food: Plataninas

If you want to know what plataninas, papalinas, poporopos and churros are, just follow the white rabbit!

Guatemala’s rich gastronomic heritage is “disappearing” right before our own very eyes. I try to capture and document some of it, but I am afraid I am doing it too slow.

Let me explain.

The other day I went to the tienda to buy some papalinas and I asked the girl at the counter for bag of papalinas. She looked dazed and confused and her hand kept on moving between the papalinas, plataninas and yuquitas. Finally, she admitted she did not know which was which. She solicited help to show her which was papalinas. She was about 18 years old so I inquired about her provenance; not willing to admit to myself that it was feasible for a Guatemalan teenager to not know what papalinas were.

In Guatemala, however, everyday the limits of what’s possible are pushed further out.

The tienda attendant was from a village not to far from La Antigua Guatemala.

Guatemala is certainly the land of “los desaparecidos (as).” 🙁

To counteract el olvido, here’s a dose of Sobrevivencia… A Guatemalan Mayan rock band. Enjoy and let me know if you need more doses of Sobrevivencia!

© 2009 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • very nice blog,keep it up.

  • I remember plataninas at the feria. The Mayan band is rally cool. Thank’s for the pic Rudy, nice.

  • Oh dear. That’s so sad. But it’s probably happening in the Philippines too.

    We have plantain (we call them ‘saba’) snacks that look almost exactly like these, but they’re not sliced lengthwise. Everybody just calls them banana chips.

  • Erick

    I was never a big fan of plataninas, but man, did I love me some churros; they are artery-clogging delicious.

  • Ed Hutchinson

    I just discovered your website the other day and it has brought back many pleasant memories of my year in Antigua.
    I lived in Antigua in 1976-77, not too long after the earthquake.
    I am planning to return to Antigua for the first time since then and will be looking up some of my Guatemalan friends.
    I was the resident gringo staff member of Estela Maya Language School, which was located not too far from El Arco.
    I have a great photo of the entire staff of Estela Maya and through this photo I hope to be able to locate some of the teachers, who were not much more than teenagers then. Hopefully, they’re still around, in spite of the tragic events which occurred shortly after I left Guatemala.
    Thanks for all the great photos–believe it or not, it looks like Antigua has not changed as much as I had feared.
    Que le vaya bien,

    Eduardo Hutchinson

  • Papalina es la que uno se pone cuando se pasa de traguitos.

  • MO

    One of my favorite snacks. I like them on the salty side (not too much).

  • Eric

    Con chile, limon y sal, son mis favoritos. Hoy. Manana, quien sabe ?

    @ Rudy – nice track from Grupo Sobrevivienca. Si, mas musica, por favor.

  • Nice pic Rudy; I love papalinas, but since I prefer sweet stuff I have to go for the churros every time.

  • Hombre, I’m addicted to these!

  • Martina M.

    Perooooooo ahora estoy curiosa: qué son al final esas famosas papalinas? Soy italiana, encontré el termino en un libro y no tengo ni idea de lo que son!

    • Hola Martina, papalinas son las rodajas delgadas de papas fritas, potato chips en inglés, muy similar en forma a los Pringles, pero naturales y con el sabor auténtico de patata.

      • Martina M.

        Gracias Rudy, supergentil!!! 🙂