Across the globe, people can easily be divided into two distinct groups: those that ‘Eat to Live’ and those that ‘Live to Eat’. Whilst the former see food as a source of energy alone, for the latter it is an incessant obsession, where happiness can be measured by the number of cookery books you own and breakfast, lunch and dinner (not to mention elevenses and teatime) constitute the pillars against which the rest of the day falls into place.
As a self-proclaimed member of the Live to Eat club, it was with some apprehension that I touched down in Honduras two weeks ago; what if the food was bad, or worse, there wasn’t a lot of it? What if my team were ‘Eat to Lives’ – would we even get on? I needn’t have worried. Not only are the Guayape team as obsessed as I, we’re fortunate to be living in a country where food is as much a source of enjoyment and instrument for social cohesion as it is a life source. No meeting takes place, for example, without the appearance of a round of sweet, steaming coffee – the best in the world according to the locals - reflecting Honduras’ position as Central America’s leading producer of the bean since 2011.
Here in Guayape we are catered for by the lovely Theresa, our adopted Honduran mother who feeds us three times a day, five days a week. Left to our own devices at the weekend, it is perhaps the first time in our lives that we have looked forward to a Monday morning, and the promise of pancakes, Macheteadas or a Honduran breakfast, a guessing game that regularly fills the five minute walk to her house in the centre of the town. At the fin de semana, when the question of what to cook arises, we often find ourselves hailing a motor taxi for nearby Santa Cruz, where you can find what must be the most delicious Tajhiditas in all of Honduras.
Honduran food is dwarfed by nearby Mexico in the international culinary stakes. In this first blog from the Progressio ICS team, we have made it our
mission to put Honduras on the gastronomic map in its own right. After a (very) lengthy debate, here are our top five local delicacies to give you a taste of Honduras at home:
1) Tajaditas (pictured right) – Honduras’ answer to chips are made by deep frying thin slices of plantain, topping with cabbage and drizzling with salsa and chilli sauce. Best served hot with a side of deep fried chicken (not a dish for the diet conscious).
2) The Honduran Breakfast – this rivals the English Fry-up for a morning pick me up - not a statement to be made lightly. A personal
3) Macheteadas – a favourite breakfast treat in the group, these are made by deep-frying a bread like dough and then sprinkling with sugar. They are served with pineapple jam and freshly squeezed lime. favourite, this is a platter of frijoles (re-fried beans), fried plantain, tortilla, avocado, poached eggs and queso (cheese). Wash down with Honduran coffee for the best start to your day.
4) Baleadas – These large flour tortillas filled with frijoles and cream make the perfect on the go snack, and at only 5 Lempira (the equivalent of 15p) are cost efficient too.
5) Empanadas –The Honduran equivalent of the Cornish pasty is a traditional supper dish filled with meat, cheese or vegetables and, like much of the above, deep-fried. A tomato sauce is poured over the top to finish.
Written by ICS volunteer Natasha Dalton