Thursday, November 21, 2013

Yummy Salvadoran food

For the most part, I love the food of El Salvador. It is wonderful and delicious. I think I could eat beans and tortillas every day for the rest of my life. In 2011, I did eat beans and tortillas on a daily basis and I missed them when I returned to the US. Since I’m going back to the US shortly, I decided now would be a great time to write a food blog and remember fondly all the delicious meals I had here. I’ve included lots of pictures because I love taking pictures of my food. I’ve also included some general descriptions of the more common food here.
Buen provecho! Bon appétit! Happy eating!
Pupusas: These are corn tortillas stuffed with one or more of the following: refried beans, cheese (a soft Salvadoran cheese), chicharrón (cooked pork meat), squash (usually guisquil/ayote), or loroco (edible flowers). Pupusas can be bought nearly everywhere in El Salvador. There are even restaurants dedicated to this hearty treat, aptly named pupuserías. Pupusas are served with a pickled cabbage salad (curtido) and fresh tomato sauce.
Tortillas: These are like circular flatbreads made from corn or wheat originally made by Mesoamerican peoples. The tortillas in El Salvador are thick and made from corn. Tortillas are usually consumed during lunch and dinner.
Beans (frijoles): Beans (usually red beans) are cooked in many different ways. They may be whole, mashed, or pureed and served hot or cold. They are often eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 
Rice (arroz): A popular grain known all around the world, rice is also common in El Salvador. This grain is second only to maize (corn) in worldwide production.
Casamiento: In Spanish “casamiento” means marriage. In El Salvador, casamiento is a mixture of rice and beans and it is delicious!
Tamales: Pockets of corn dough (like a corn dumpling) stuffed with meat, veggies, or sweet corn and cooked in banana leaves or corn husks. They can be served hot or cold.
Plantains (plátanos): Though similar to bananas, plantains are usually fried or boiled. They are often served with a variety of accompaniments such as beans, sour cream, cheese, and eggs.
Chicken (pollo): Farm fresh chicken served fried, grilled, and in soup.
Seafood (mariscos): Fish, shrimp, oysters, lobster, and calamari can all be found in El Salvador. White fish and shrimp are the more common types of seafood served at the Pastoral House.
Ceviche: Raw fish cured in lime juice often mixed with cilantro, green peppers, salt, and onions. I have never had this at the Pastoral House but you can get it at the beach.
Riguas: These are made from elote (sweet corn). After the sweet corn has been removed from the cob it needs to be put through a grinder or into a blender. From there it’s fried up on a griddle or something in the like. They’re basically small, sweet corn fried pancakes. Kind of like potato pancakes.
Panes rellenos: Big stuffed sandwiches filled with roasted chicken or turkey and vegetables.
Cheese (queso): There are several types of cheese found in El Salvador. The most common type of cheese is hard, crumbly, white, and salty. It’s eaten with beans, tortillas, bread, and by itself.
Eggs (huevos): Farm fresh eggs served fried, scrambled, hard-boiled, and more. They are delicious fried inside of a tortilla.
Guisquil/Chayote: This vegetable is a member of the gourd family and can be eaten in many forms- boiled, mashed, fried, baked, or raw.
Yucca: A white, starchy vegetable (root) originally from South America. Yucca can be served boiled, fried, and are sometimes fried up like potato chips. 
Fruit (fruta): Pineapples, mangos, guava, coconuts, watermelons, cantaloupes, bananas, limes, oranges, passion fruit, and other exotic fruits are common in El Salvador.
Vegetables (verduras): Avocados, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, onions, and squash can be found in El Salvador.
Pan dulce: Spanish for sweet bread, these bread and sometimes pastry-like treats come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors.

Horchata: A drink made from a mix of spices, rice, and morro seeds.
Ensalada: A thick drinkable blend of finely chopped tropical fruits and juices such as pineapple apples, marañon, and watermelon. 
Atol: Atol is a thick, masa based drink. It’s made of corn flour, water, and unrefined sugar. A Salvadoran variety of atol is called atol chuco, which means “dirty” atol because of its darker color.
Tamarind: A unique drink with a tangy, earthy flavor made from tamarind fruit and pulp found inside the pods.
Jamaica: Basically a cold drink made from hibiscus flowers with a little sugar added.
Atol chucho



Freshly picked beans
Dried beans


Corn cooking

Making pupusas

Making riguas

The market
Fresh fruit

Assortment of fruit
Guava, passionfruit- 2, zapote, starfruit, rambutan

Assortment of fruit #2
Rambutan, passion fruit- 2, Nance, Marañon




Passion fruit


More fruit
Pineapples and bananas


Woman with jocotes




Green mangos

Giant mangos

Yummy mangos

Mmmmm mangos

Ensalada fruit drink

Salvadoran hamburger


Add some panela (like brown sugar)
= Deliciousness


Ayote squash

Cooked with panela

...equals deliciousness!
Casamiento, tortillas with cheese,
empanadas (smashed and fried plantains filled with cream)

Breakfast: plantains, beans, egg

Same breakfast, cooked differently

Paella, hamburger, tortilla

Tamale, casamiento, French fries, tortillas with cheese



Tortilla with an egg
(One of my favorites!)

Chicken, veggies, rice, tortillas
Standard lunch for me
Same thing, only with veggies in a soup

Same thing, with everything in the soup

Salvadoran enchiladas with French fries
Another favorite

Chicken, rice, and veggies

Iguana (I tried it once)


Dried and fried fish
(Did not like this)

Fish from the market

Cooked fish

A near-the-beach specialty: calamari

Another near the beach and nice restaurant specialty:
Stuffed lobster


Nuegados (fried yucca with syrup)

Homemade ice cream

Fresh honey

Pan dulce

Chocolate covered bananas

Cocoa beans


A different kind of tamale

Loroco flower (used in pupusas)

Guisquil (a veggie)

I could eat these daily

Iceberg lettuce salad
Not one of my favorites