Guatemalan Cuisine: Pacayas

Guatemalan Cuisine: Pacayas

Today’s entry marks the 1000 consecutive daily pages of La Antigua Guatemala Daily Photo. And I thought I wasn’t going to last 30 days! :-)

Pacayas, known as date palms in English, are an staple of the Guatemalan cuisine. Pacayas can be found pickled, like in the fiambre salad, charbroiled, boiled, and most often covered with egg batter (envuelta en huevo) and bathe with tomato sauce.

Boy, now that I think about it I could quite possibly do an entire series of Guatemalan foods envueltas en huevo (covered with egg batter). If I did such a series, I would begin with Guatemalan chilaquiles, which are totally different than Mexican chilaquiles.

Who would like me to do such a series on comidas envueltas en huevo?

Pacayas are also known as Tepejilote palms and Chamaedoreas. Below a text that explains how to grow them in the United States:

One of the taller Chamaedoreas, cultivated as a crop for its male inflorescences (pacaya). Pacaya is a popular and important vegetable, eaten raw or cooked, and sold in the markets. It is harvested before the inflorescence opens, at which stage it looks like an ear of corn. It is mostly harvested from plants of C. tepejilote, which has been cultivated for centuries, especially in Guatemala. (… continue reading)

If you want to skip the planting, growing and harvesting part, you can find pacayas in the U.S. under several Guatemalan brands or under the Goya brand. Below a quick recipe to prepare pacayas with tomato sauce, thanks to the Goya web site:

Pacaya En Salsa De Tomate Con Sabor Goya

Ingredients

1 jar Goya Pacaya cut in squares
1/2 onion diced
3 garlic cloves diced
1/4 bunch cilantro/parsley
1 green Morrón pepper cut in squares
2 tomatoes chopped
1 jalapeño pepper chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. Goya Tomato Paste
2 tsp. Goya Salsita Chile de árbol
2 cups Goya Tomato Juice
2 tbs. Goya Olive Oil
Goya Adobo to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1. In a casserole, stir fry onion and garlic in oil on low heat. Mix well.
2. Add pacaya, Morrón pepper, tomato, cilantro, parsley, jalapeño pepper, bay leaves, tomato paste, Salsita, tomato juice and 2 cups of water.
3. Season with Goya Sazón Adobo, salt and pepper to taste.
4. Cover and simmer on low heat.
5. Once it is done, serve with Goya White Rice and enjoy!

Source: Goya web site

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