A salad, served chilled, and may be made up from over 50 ingredients that include vegetables, deli meats, shrimp and other shellfish, olives, cheese and so much more. Can you guess the mystery dish?
It’s Fiambre, a traditional dish in Guatemala that is prepared and eaten yearly to celebrate the Day of the Dead and the All Saints Day, and it’s delicious!
This year, instead of waiting until the very last minute to figure out a Halloween costume, I was packing for yet another work trip to Casa Palopo in Guatemala, where they hold Dia de los Muertos festivities. It’s one of their biggest celebrations of the year and an experience unlike any other.
In case you’re not familiar with Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), each November 1st, families all over Central America head to the cemeteries where their families are buried to place flowers and candles on their plots. They share meals together and leave some for the buried — beer, soda, food — it’s a celebration during which they honor the lives of those who are gone. It’s beautiful, really.
In the town of Sumpango in Guatemala, thousands gather for a kite festival. Different groups spend months building giant kites out of bamboo and tissue paper. They use scissors and glue to cut and piece the tissue paper together, and each kite usually has a message. The largest kite at this year’s festival was made by a team of 16 young men who wanted to raise awareness on preserving the environment. Like every other festival, the food is not to be missed. Mayan women are hard at work grilling “elote” in all colors, which they dress with lime versus butter, an idea I will be trying the next time I grill my own corn.
After spending the day in Sumpango, we headed to Lake Atitlan, where a boat tour to the towns that line the shore gave us an even deeper look into the country’s rich culture. It may have been my third time in Guatemala this year, but I find myself falling more and more in love with it each visit.
It’s Sunday evening, and I’m pooped, having gotten off a plane just a couple of hours ago. Still, I’m in a state of happy and can’t stop looking at the hundreds of photos I came home with. So this week, rather than sharing an original recipe, I thought I’d place the spotlight in one of Latin America’s beautiful countries by sharing bits and pieces of my trip, food not withstanding.
And if you want to bring a little bit of Guatemala into your kitchen, a desayuno tipico made with refried beans, eggs,maduros, avocado, queso blanco and warm corn tortillas is the perfect start!