One of the questions I often get asked by folks back home is, “What’s the food like?”

 

I tell them it’s mostly rice and beans, and that, overall, I like the food of Honduras. It’s not fancy and definitely isn’t fit for a king, or a finicky American for that matter.

I liken it to the notion that it’s a simple man’s food, kind of like meat and potatoes in the States.

 

Anyway-I’ve decided to take y’all on a food tour of Honduras. Some things may cause you to wrinkle your nose and others may leave you salivating. Whatever it may be, enjoy!

 

Here’s the menu I’ve compiled:

 

Mantequilla-a sour cream, sometimes runny, sometimes thick, that is served as a condiment with every meal.

 

Queso-a dry, salty cheese made in the campo.

 

Plato Tipico-typical plate that most always includes red beans, rice, queso and mantequilla and some kind of meat, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 

Baleada-refried beans served between a flour tortilla. You find women in the central park of major towns selling these every evening. Usually mantequilla is added. I get mine with grated queso. In restaurants you can get gourmet baleadas … add eggs, onion and sometimes avocado. The baleada is one of the national foods of Honduras.

 

Enchilada-the same as a tostada in Mexico.

 

Taco-the same as a burrito in Mexico, only the tortilla is rolled and fried into a cylindrical shape with beef or chicken inside.

 

Anafre-a great appetizer. Refried beans are served in a clay bowl that sits over a vase-like pot filled with charcoal. Fried tortilla chips, queso and mantequilla come with it.

 

Rosquilla-a doughnut-shaped, bread-like snack made from corn meal and queso. They are hard to bite and very dry tasting, but good with honey or jelly. Think cookie.

 

Horchata-ground rice, cinnamon and sugar drink.

 

Licuado-a natural fruit drink made in a blender with ice, water or milk. My favorite is pineapple, orange, and banana with ice.

 

Tamarindo-tamarind fruit ground up or boiled and served as a drink. It’s just as refreshing as lemonade.

 

Tajaditas-plantains, sliced thin and fried like potato chips.

 

Tostones-plantains sliced thick and fried.

 

Pastelito-fried dough stuffed with any combination of rice, potatoes and ground beef.

These are a great snack on the buses where women and children sell them.

 

Mondongo-tripe. This is a delicacy in Olancho where it’s served as a soup.

 

Sopa de Frijol-bean soup usually served with a greasy, fatty meat bone and rice, and sometimes with an egg dropped in (poached or hard boiled).

 

Sopa de Caracol-a north coast delicacy, this is conch soup. The snail is removed from the shell, cooked and served in a coconut milk-based soup. To me, eating conch is like eating rubbery fish.

 

Pan de Coco-coconut bread

 

Pan de Mujer-bread made by a woman in the campo in her adobe oven. It is quite tasty and goes great with morning tea.

 

Tamales-com meal stuffed with rice and meat, wrapped in a banana leaf and boiled. Another great snack.

 

There you have it, an introduction to the food and drink of Honduras. You could probably find many of these items, or a variation thereof, at any Mexican restaurant. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try and make some of them, licuados and baleadas would be a great place to start. Give it a try.

 

(written 1999)

independent writer

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