Guatemalan Cuisine: Atol Blanco, Anyone?

Atol Blanco, Anyone?

Atol blanco is one of the most emblematic drinks of the Guatemalan Cuisine. Very few meals or drinks can define or identify a Guatemalan like atol blanco (white atole). Most Guatemalan atoles are traditional cornstarch-based thick hot drinks, yet atoles can also be made from, dried green beans (habas) rice and milk, and liquified plantains as in atol de platano or arroz con leche.

Yet it is atol blanco the drink that defines your ‘guatemalanness’; not coffee, like I have stated often (Sorry). See, some Guatemalans forget many things about Guatemala when they’ve lived abroad; sometimes they lose their accent, sometimes the lose their memories, sometimes they lose their identity and their culture.

But, sure enough, somehow they manage to take a trip to Guatemala and the first chance they order atol blanco and since this drink is served hot, very hot, they have to cool it down and Guatemalans do it by agitating the drink in a very peculiar circular motion; and that’s the dead give away of their concealed Guatemalan origins. Some of them thought that their newly acquired Ph.D.s, their beautiful French and English poetry, their new passports, their discreetness, et-cetera, could camouflaged their humble Guatemalan commencement. It is quite difficult to advance outside the box, you know! ;-)

Okay Rudy, you are losing us here, you know. Instead, tell us how to make atol blanco for our newly acquired patojos!

Simple, my dear visitors. All you have to do is water down your masa (maize dough), then add some boiled whole black beans, add a watery mixture of dried ground pumpkin seeds, ground red hot chili peppers and salt. Serve it hot in ceramic terra cotta bowl, if at all possible, and don’t forget to agitate the bowl in a circular motion. Bon Appetite!

Now, do you guys think a new series about Guatemalan atoles is in order? Which atoles should I include in this particular series?

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