Honduras, for thousands of years the Mayans created a briljant civilization, while the Roman Empire crumbled into little pieces the Mayans were only just reaching their peak. They probably were the most sophisticated civilization of the America’s in many aspects. Their remarkable advancement in science and astronomy was completely revolutionary for their time. In the meanwhile Europe was entering their Middle Ages. Copan a city in Honduras was one of the main centers of the Mayans.
Things you didn’t know about Honduras:
- “Come back tomorrow/next week/next month” doesn’t really mean that.
It means, “I don’t know”, “I don’t feel like doing that today”, “I don’t know who to ask but it definitely isn’t me” or “I’m eating lunch right now
- Christopher Columbus discovered Honduras. And when he set foot on ground his first words were: “Thank God we got out these great depths!” Honduras’ literal meaning is: Great Depths.
- It’s completely normal to find blonde haired, blue eyed Hondurans on the bay islands. They are direct descendents of the British Pirates that came here over 500 years ago
- Hondurans are called Catrachos/Catrachas in Central America and within their own country. It is not a negative nickname.
- Soak the rice overnight in 3 cups of the water. Add the rice, soaking water and cinnamon to a blender and puree until smooth, 2 or 3 minutes.
- Strain into a pitcher through a fine-mesh sieve or several layers of cheesecloth. There should be no grit or large particles in the liquid.
- Stir in the remaining 3 cups water, sugar and vanilla. Adjust sugar to taste and serve well chilled.
The event that put Guyana on the map for a lot of people is the catastrophe that happend in 1978. Guyana was still a British colony back then. In the middle of jungle a cult called “Peoples Temple” settled and founded their own town “Jonestown” under the leadership of Jim Jones. A total of 909 Americans died in Jonestown, all but two from apparent cyanide poisoning, in an event termed “revolutionary suicide” by Jones and some members on an audio tape of the event and in prior discussions.
That is what put Guyana on the map nowadays there is much more to Guyana. Few places on the planet offer raw adventure as authentic as densely forested Guyana. Although the country has a troubled history of political instability and inter-ethnic tension, underneath the headlines of corruption and economic mismanagement is a joyful and motivated mix of people who are turning the country into the continent’s best-kept ecotourism destination secret. Georgetown, the country’s crumbling colonial capital, is distinctly Carinbbea with a rocking nightlife, great places to eat and an edgy market.
Things you didn’t know about Guyana:
- The official name of Guyana is the “Co-operative Republic of Guyana.
- The national motto of Guyana is “One People, One Nation, One Destiny
- The Omai Gold Mine in Guyana is one of the largest open-pit gold mines in South America.
- Slavery in the state was banned in 1834. There was a great demand for plantation workers after slavery in Guyana, which led to the immigration of the East Indians into the nation
Ingredients: 4 boiled eggs, 1/2 onion sliced, 2 cloves garlic sliced thin (or crushed), 1/2 tomato sliced, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, 1 scallion, dash of black pepper, 1/4 hot pepper, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1/2 cup water, salt to taste (less than 1/4 teaspoon)
- Prepare the onion, hot pepper, garlic, scallion and tomato and set aside.
- Put the eggs to boil on a medium to high flame (cover eggs with cold water and bring to a boil), then as soon as it comes to a vigorous boil, turn off the heat, cover the pot and let it stand in there for 10-12 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a sauce pan on medium/high heat, then add the sliced onion and garlic and allow to cook for a few minutes. Until they go soft, release their aromatic oils and stars to brown on the edges. Then turn down the heat to medium /low and add the curry powder and slices of hot pepper (if you need some good madras curry powder, check out the store – where you can find tons of Caribbean goodies) and stir. Allow this to cook for about 3-4 minutes, so the curry won’t have a “raw” taste to it.
- The next step is to add the water and give it a good stir and bring it up to a gentle simmer. Then add the slices of tomato and scallion and top off with the eggs. Cut the eggs in half before adding and be very gentle at this point forward, since the eggs will fall apart easily. Add the salt and black pepper at this point as well.
- On low heat, cover the pot and allow to cook for abut 4-5 minutes, so the sauce thickens and all the flavors get a chance to marry together. If you find that the sauce is a bit runny, cook for an extra minute or two with the pot uncovered.
- Serve with Rice or Roti
Guatemala, home of the ancient civilization of the Mayans. Nowadays known for it’s stunning rural beauty; breathtaking highlands and volcanos of which some are still active. The highlands are populated by indigenous people or indians they represent about 55% of the entire population. The old Mayan temples are stunning to visit. But the beauty of a country doesn’t necessarily mean the country is rich, 1/8 people has to survive with less then 1 dollar a day! Guatemala has gone through a lot of trouble with coups. A lot of Guatemalans fled to Mexico for safety.
Things you didn’t know about Guatemala:
- A Guatemalan woman invented the Happy Meal. She came up with the idea in the mid-70s to make kid sized meals .She got the “Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World” recognition in Paris, France. Now, ‘Happy Meal’ is part of McDonalds menu in over 35,000 restaurants and has sells about 100 million Happy Meals in one week.
- The ancient Mayan city of Chichicastenango retains a 95 percent indigenous population
- Comfortable travel including food, drink, accommodation and activities can be done for around $60 a day, while budget travelers can live for as little as $15.
- The colorful handpainted busses all over the country take you anywhere you want to go for a very cheap price!
I made this recipe for a group of very good friends they absolutely loved it! The sauce is so nice and sweet. You would expect food from Central America to be spicy but it’s this dish just gives you a very rich sweet flavor.
So this week we are cooking a dish from the Falkland Islands! The Falkland Islands are an isolated archipelago and can be found somewhere South West of Argentina, but strangely they are part of the UK. Although the Argentinians still envy the British very much, since Argentinians consider the Falklands theirs. About 25 years ago they even had very bloody war about it that lasted 72 days. The capital of the Falkland Islands is Stanley the most Southern capital in the world. Well capital might be a big word since only 3000 people live there. See why I used isolated now? 🙂 Things that are very normal to use like movie theaters and big departments stores can’t be found. In fact there are only 2 supermarkets in the entire archipelago!
Things you didn’t know about the Falkland Islands:
- London and the Falkland islands are at the same latitude. 52 degrees! Although London is of course on the Northern Hemisphere and the Falkland Islands on the Southern Hemisphere.
- The international airport on the Falkland Islands is one of the only ones in the world located on a military base. It is called Mount Pleasant.
- Almost everyone in the Falkland Islands owns a four wheel drive car since a lot of the roads on the Islands are unpaved.
- They have a tradition, nobody knows where it comes from but the Falklanders seem to think it’s lucky to pin your shoe on a hill they call Boot Hill nowadays.
- A lot of islands that have really strange names like some crazy drunk pirate named them for instance: there is an island called Whisky and next to it you can find island Rum.
With only 3000 inhabitants it’s hard to find a national dish! But after a long search I found something! This fish is amazing!
Ingredients: Two fresh mullets, hot wok, 100g of grated potatoes & carrots & turnips, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, vegetable oil for frying, 0ne tablespoon of cornflour for seasoning.
For the Hollandaise sauce:500g butter, 6 whole black peppercorns, 25 ml tarragon wine vinegar, 3 egg yolks
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper
- Shape into cakes and using a metal ring , pan fry on both sides
- Transfer to medium hot oven for 15 minutes
- Using a hot smoker or wok smoke the fillet of mullet for about ten minutes until fish is tender and moist
- Melt the butter gently
- In a saucepan reduce vinegar by half with peppercorns
- Using a food processor whisk egg yolks and incorporate the cooled reduced vinegar. Then incorporate the butter until sauce forms.
El Salvador, a small Central-American country squeezed in between: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica. Glimpses of tropical paradise, national parks as you want them to be just astonishing untouched nature, colonial splendor astride pristine volcanic lakes, searing colors and a fierce creative vision sit quietly in the shadows of an indomitable local pride.That’s what El Salvador is all about. A place not many people go but when they do they can’t shut up about it until they convinced you to go there aswell Here you’ll find a stunning coastline with world-class waves, a cultural capital famed for its nightlifex and small-town charm by the plaza-load. Things you didn’t know about El Salvador
- The smallest country in Central America and the only one without a Caribbean coastline.
- El Salvador is the only Central American country that has no visible population of African descent. This is in part due to laws established during colonial and modern times prohibiting entrance to the country of people of African descent. (So far for super racist laws!)
- It is known as the “Land of the Volcanoes” because of the more than 20 volcanoes in the territory. Two of them are currently active.
- Salvadorans are known as “guanacos.”
- El Salvador went to war with Honduras after a soccer match; which was later known as the “Soccer War”.
Well pupasas they are a great tasty snack my only objection would be that they are quite heavy Ingredients the beans: 3⁄4 cup red beans (cooked), 1⁄8 small onion, 1⁄8 cup corn oil, 1⁄4 tablespoon salt, 1⁄4 cup water (I use cooking liquid from the beans)
Ingredients cheese: 3⁄4 lb mozzarella cheese(shredded), 1⁄8 green bell pepper (diced), 1 chile
Ingredients Masa: 1 cup masa corn flour (I use maseca brand), 1⁄2 cup warm water
- Heat the corn oil in a large soup pan on medium high heat. Once the oil is heated fry the onion until golden brown.
- While the onions are cooking, place half of the beans and 1/2 cup of the reserved bean liquid in a blender and blend for 1 minute.
- Once the onion is golden in color, about 4 minutes take the onion out with a slotted spoon.
- Carefully stir the beans from the blender into the hot oil. Turn your heat down to medium low.
- Next add the onion and the rest of the beans and reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid into the blender and liquefy for a minute. Add the beans to the rest of the mixture that is already cooking.
- Carefully stir the beans until no oil appears in the beans, about 3 minutes. Cook on medium stirring about every 5 minutes until the beans have darkened about 3 shades and are the consistency of refried beans in a can.
- Place the shredded mozzarella, lorocco, and bell pepper in a food processor and process until the bell peppers and lorocco are chopped into tiny pieces and fully incorporated into the cheese.
- Next, place the cheese mixture into a plastic bowl and warm the mix in the microwave for no more than 20 seconds.
- Next — and yes this sounds gross, squeeze the cheese mixture with your hands until it becomes like a soft putty consistency.
- Set the cheese aside and get ready for the masa.
- Place the masa mix and water in a bowl and stir until fully mixed. The masa should be very sticky but should form an easy ball when rolled. If not, add water until it is sticky but easy to work with.
- Next, Place an egg size ball of masa in your hand (it helps to place a tiny bit of oil on your hands before doing this) and press the masa out in one hand to represent a small plate the size of your palm.
- Place about a tablespoon of cheese down onto the masa, then a tsp of beans. Pull the sides of the masa up around the beans and cheese and roll it into a ball. Next, flatten it a tiny bit with your palms to form a thick disc. Pat the disc turning it between your hands about 6 times to flatten it more but to keep it in a round shape.
- The pupusa should be a little less than 1/2 inch thick.
- Place the pupusa on a large oiled non stick surface and cook on medium high until each side is golden brown, around 3 minutes on each side.
Aah Ecuador, the middle of the earth, literally! The equator runs straight through the capital city, Quito. What’s in a name right? (You see ecuador-equator :D) Although one of smaller countries in South America it has a lot to offer: Amazone rainforest, Andes mountains and just of the coast the Galapagos Islands where Charles Darwin developed his world changing Evolution Theory. Food wise Ecuadorians are known for eating guinee pigs, but don’t worry no guinee pigs in my house, it’s not even available here. Quito is divided in two parts old town (more then 600 years old) and new town (100 years old) is more modern and represents how people live now. Ecuador has Incan ruins too. While neighboring Peru, home of Machu Pichu, is best known for its Incan ruins, Ecuador also has a powerful Incan legacy. Most of the Incan sites were destroyed by the Spanish, but there are still Incan and pre-Incan ruins scattered across the country. The best-preserved Incan ruin is Ingapirca
Things you didn’t know about Ecuador:
- Spanish isn’t the only language Ecuadorians speak. Quechua is an indigenous language that is widely spoken. It was here long before Europeans arrived and has no relationship to Spanish. Don’t worry: most people speak Spanish as well.
- The summit of Ecuador’s Chimborazo volcano is one of the highest points in the world. Due to the curvature of the Earth, it’s actually the point on the Earth’s surface furthest from the center of the planet.
- Don’t bother hitting up the currency exchange! Ecuador’s official currency is the US dollar. The country traded in their old currency, the Sucre, for the dollar in the year 2000.
- Perhaps more than any other South American nation, indigenous culture is alive and well in Ecuador. All South American nations include elements of both Spanish and indigenous cultures, but in Ecuador, many positions of importance are held by indigenous persons and indigenous culture is widely celebrated and preserved in dress, beliefs, language, and folklore.
- While you might believe that the panama hat is from Panama, it is not. While these hats were sold in Panama, they were traditionally made in Ecuador, and the finest Panama hats still come from this country.
Locro de Papas also known as cheese and potato soup is, the thought of putting cheese and potato in one soup didn’t really appeal to me at first but that was before I tried this! you really need to ad stuff to it to make taste epic because on it’s own it can be a little bland.
Ingredients: 10 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into small and large pieces, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 white onion, diced, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp achiote powder, 7 cups of water, 1 cup of milk or more, 1 cup grated or crumbled cheese (quesillo, queso fresco, mozzarella or monterey jack), 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves only, minced, Salt to taste
- Prepare a refit or base for the soup by heating the oil over medium heat in a large soup pot; add the diced onions, minced garlic cloves, cumin, and achiote powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the potatoes to the pot and mix until they are coated with the refrito. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes, stirring a every couple of minutes.
- Add the water and bring to boil, cook until the potatoes are very tender. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the pot, don’t mash all of them, the consistency of the soup should be creamy with small tender chunks of potatoes.
- Turn the heat down to low, stir in the milk and let cook for about 5 more minutes. You can add more milk if the soup is too thick.
- Add salt to taste
- Add the grated cheese and cilantro, mix well, and remove from the heat.
- Serve warm with the avocados, scallions, queso or feta cheese.
Costa Rica, I have wanted to go to Costa Rica for ages! A breathtakingly beautiful country were the sun always shines and the jungle is still what little kids think it is, a place where wild life is still wild and alive. More empty beaches then you have ever time to see a place where there a more people in street then cars. A small country that almost beat another small country (The Netherlands) at soccer during the 2014 WorldCup in Brazil (sorry Costa Ricans that’s the only time when I hated you a tiny bit, I cried and almost tore my hair out) luckily The Netherlands won if not I would have written this piece about Costa Rica in a totally other way!
Here are some fun facts about Costa Rica
- Pedestrians have very few rights in Costa Rica. They joke that Ticos love to use their horns but hate to use their brakes! It’s so bad that the Tico word for “speedbumps” is “Son muertos,” or, “The dead people.”
- You aren’t allowed to wear sunglasses or hats inside of the banks (due to so many robberies)
- When a woman is pregnant they say she is “con luz,” or “with light.”
- A saying I love is that when someone is your significant other, your other half, they are your “media naranja,” or the other half of your orange.
- Prostitution is legal but possession of pornography is illegal. They even have unions, membership cards, health benefits, and police protection.
- You are not allowed to wear shorts in a government or public office in Costa Rica – they see it as disrespectful and may turn you away.
This rice dish was sooo surprising, so different from normal rice. I loved it! It tasted like summer 😀
This recipe is for 6 people
Ingredients: 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro, 4 teaspoons minced garlic, 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 6 tilapia fillets, 3/4 cup long-grain rice, 1 cup chopped onions, 2 oranges, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped, 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained 1 can black or pinto beans, drained, rinsed, 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, pinch of cinnamon
For the tilapia marinade, combine lime juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons cilantro, 1 teaspoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and sugar in a shallow dish. Add tilapia and marinate 15 minutes, turning once.
To prepare the bean and rice mixture, cook the rice according to package directions and keep warm while the tilapia is marinating. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large, high-sided skillet or saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat. Add remaining garlic and onions; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring. Add 2 tablespoons cilantro, oranges, tomatoes, beans, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, cayenne and cinnamon . Cook, uncovered, until hot, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Transfer hot rice to a baking dish. Spoon the bean mixture on top of rice and gently blend. Slightly overlap tilapia fillets on top and scrape marinade over fillets. Bake until the flesh of the tilapia just begins to flake at the nudge of a fork, 16 to 20 minutes.