Like I mentioned last time, I was in Guatemala the last two weeks visiting family. About 95% of my family lives in Guatemala. The last time I went was in 2009, so it was nice to see everyone, especially my grandma. The last time I saw her was back in 2011, when she came with my parents to visit me in Italy.
That was then, this is now:
I went with my mom, sister (Laura) and nephew (Graham). There weren’t too many outings, mostly just visiting people and eating lots of foods I love (i.e. beans and plantains every single day for breakfast). Since this is a food blog, let me tell you about my trip through food…
The first few days were mainly spent at home. On Sunday, the best cook in Guatemala came to my grandma’s house to make Pepian.
That’s Tere. She makes the best Chile Rellenos, Tamales, Rellenitos and Pepian on the planet. True story. She made some Rellenitos that I froze and brought home with me. This time, she taught me how to make Pollo en Crema con Loroco (Chicken in loroco cream sauce). I’ll give that recipe a whirl then tell you about it as soon as I can.
No trip to Guatemala is complete without two things:
1. Pollo Campero
Ok this is totally silly, but we had to introduce Graham to Pollo Campero. It’s Guatemalan fast food that I’m totally obsessed with. When I was little I remember having a birthday party in their huge play place (when I was little I spent most of my birthdays in Guatemala since we went every summer). It’s basically fried chicken, but wayy more delicious than KFC (which also exists in Guatemala). I also just realized I didn’t take a picture of the food… fail.
They used to sell these at the entrance of the grocery store (Paiz), but now they sell them in boxes of 8. My sister bought like 6 boxes to take home with her.
We broke one open while we were there. The best way to describe obleas is like the Eucharist. I’m not saying that as a joke. But you know in church/mass when you receive the Eucharist and it’s like a dry, bread-like cracker? That’s sort of what the oblea tastes like, but then you spread it with arequipe (what we call dulce de leche)
and then you put another one on top and you get a delicious, crunchy snack
Oh and honorable mention for things you have to eat in Guatemala…
Pan Dulce (and no it’s not like the Mexican one you find here in the US, although if you’re in LA, I’m pretty sure my mom get pan dulce here, if you go get gusanos and champurradas. You won’t be sorry.).
Surprisingly, I only had Pan Dulce once, at my mom’s cousin’s house in Escuintla. Escuintla is about an hour from Guatemala City, and it’s basically where my mom’s whole family is from.
We spent some time exploring, like the main church and plaza. Then we headed to my mom’s cousin’s house which is on the land my mom’s family used to own.Very pretty and tropical and HOT. But our time in Escuintla was pretty short. We headed back to the city to spend more time with family.
Overall, it was a great trip. I’m glad my grandma got to meet Graham.
And I’m glad I got to see all my family that I rarely get to see. I hope we can make it back soon to see everyone again.
I promises there are more awesome recipes coming up soon! Hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend!