Food, glorious food

14 Mar

“I’m in shape. Round is a shape.”

~ Garfield

One of my favourite things about international travel is trying new food. As I’ve previously documented, this is often evidenced by the “excess baggage” I bring back with me.

I came home from Brazil with a love of fejoada, churrascos and an extra ten kilos. I returned from Mexico a huge fan of tacos al pastor, mole poblano and weighing five kilos heavier than when I left.

So it probably comes as no surprise that I’ve been enjoying exploring Honduran cuisine. In my first week here, almost two out of three photos that I took were of food. What can I say, I’ve always been a very stomach-driven person.

Today I thought I’d outline a few of the dishes and foods I’ve been sampling over the past few weeks.

Carne asada for lunch

The main meal of the day here is at lunchtime. Grilled meat, frijoles (beans), plátanos (starchy bananas used for cooking), rice and cheese is pretty much standard fair for a Honduran lunch. And I don’t think I’ve eaten a lunch yet, that’s not been served with a basket of warm tortillas.

Baleada

Baleadas are a traditional Honduran dish. The photo above doesn’t really do them justice, but they’re essentially large tortillas filled with pretty much whatever you feel like. The most typical filling would be frijoles, cheese, egg, and sour cream, but there are endless variations. They’re also generally huge. One is definitely more than enough for me in one sitting.

Yuca con chicharrones

This pic shows my new favourite snack: yuca (a starchy root vegetable) and chicharrones (pork crackling bits) with tomato salsa and chismol (finely diced, tomato, bell pepper and onion in vinaigrette). Oh my. I could eat this every day. Fortunately for my waist line, in my household, this appears to be a sometimes food.

Breakfast

Breakfasts here are often quite similar to what we eat in Australia. Some combination of cereal, fruit, toast, coffee and juice are generally on offer at home in the mornings. On the few “cold” mornings we’ve had the housekeeper has even made porridge.

The photo above shows a more traditional ‘hearty’ style of breakfast. It includes plátanos, frijoles, scrambled eggs, ham, and cheese. From what I’ve seen so far, in my house at least, this is something that we’d eat on weekends, and not during the week.

Rosquillas

Rosquillas are made from cornmeal and are a rather bland, dry, crunchy biscuit that I imagine taste very similar to baby teething rusks. These are a standard accompaniment to any coffee. They’re typically dunked in the coffee to absorb the flavour and to soften before eating. They can also be enjoyed as snacks on their own.

Fried tacos

Fried tacos, literally tacos that are filled, rolled up and then dropped in a deep fryer, are the one and only food so far that I’ve really not liked. These ones had a chicken filling and were served with a sprinkle of cheese and several different sauces. I think I might have enjoyed them if they were left fresh, but fried I just found them a bit too greasy to enjoy.

Twenty-one days into my Honduran culinary adventure and I’m happy to report that, so far, I don’t seem to have put on any weight. I’ve been trying to balance trying new foods with eating healthily.

Portion control is something that I’m struggling with a little bit, simply because when my host mum or the house keeper makes or buys something especially for me to try, I don’t want to offend by only eating half.

I’ve started chatting generally about how I don’t normally eat a lot so hopefully this will help lay the foundations for me to reassure them that the food is fabulous, but I’d only like to eat a plate half the size of what I’ve generally been served.

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