Nicaraguan gastronomy is one of the most varied and fascinating in the world, always underpinned by corn, the main Central American food.

We invite you to learn about the main typical foods of Nicaragua, recipes such as tripe soup, rondón and sweet tres leches, all delicious dishes that are not very difficult to prepare.

1. Tripe soup

Typical soup from Masaya, a department of Nicaragua whose capital, also called Masaya, is 26 km southeast of Managua.

Masaya is considered the folkloric capital of the country for its dances and traditional festivals, but another of its treasures, this time gastronomic, is tripe soup, the best in the department. It is a star dish in markets, restaurants and street food stalls.

Both the beef tripe, locally called “toalla”, as well as its legs, are cleaned and scraped with plenty of water and sour orange juice to eliminate microbes.

The usual vegetables in the soup are cabbage, ayote (pumpkin), yucca, quequisque, chayote and corn, plus aromatic herbs and spices. The broth is usually thickened with cooked and blended white rice.

2. Rondon

Nicaraguan dish consisting of a meat or heavy soup, shellfish and molluscs, in coconut milk.

The seafood recipe can include varieties of fish, snails, crabs, turtles and shrimp, while the meat recipe is generally prepared with smoked or salted pork. Pork and seafood can also be combined.

Coconut milk is very easy to make. You must grate a coconut nut and blend it with 3 or 4 cups of hot water. Then, strain or filter the content, leaving a white liquid that is coconut milk. The usual vegetables are cassava, yams, potatoes, bananas and breadfruit.

Rondón is the Spanishized name of a Jamaican dish called “rundown”. From Jamaica it passed to the remaining Anglophone Antillean islands and to the Central American countries with a continental coastline in the Caribbean. Jamaicans eat it with their traditional dumplings .

3. Three milks

Delicious typical Nicaraguan dessert whose name is due to its 3 dairy ingredients.

For a usual recipe, a dough is prepared with 200 grams of flour, 5 eggs, 250 grams of sugar, 120 grams of butter, a tablespoon of vanilla extract and a teaspoon of baking powder. With the dough, a baked cake is made, which is pricked with a fork and allowed to cool.

Prepare the 3 milk mixture with 400 ml of milk, an equal amount of condensed milk and 350 ml of evaporated milk and gradually pour it over the cake until it is absorbed. It is covered with a whipped cream prepared with 400 ml of whipped cream, 2 tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of vanilla extract. Decorate with sliced ​​strawberries.

4. Pinolillo

The pinolillo, a kind of pinole, is so popular in Nicaragua that one of the national demonyms is “pinoleros”.

It is a sweet drink prepared with a powder made from roasted white corn, roasted cocoa beans, cinnamon, pepper and cloves. It has a slightly thick texture and is served in handmade containers made with the fruit of the jícara (tecomate) decorated with engravings of flowers and other motifs.

The drink has variants. When cocoa is not added, it is called white pinol, one of the ingredients of iguana pinol, a typical Nicaraguan dish, also used to bread fish fillets.

A very popular version of pinolillo is the warm one, with a thicker consistency and consumed hot for breakfast accompanied with tortillas with curd or cheese.

The lukewarm is eaten particularly by women who have recently given birth, as it is believed to help “let the milk down” to feed the baby.

5. Caribbean Guabul

Guabul is a typical traditional drink in the municipality of Puerto Cabezas (North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region) and Bilwi, its main city.

It consists of a mixture of green bananas cooked with coconut and cow’s milk, sweetened with sugar. For 6 green bananas you need 1.5 liters of coconut milk, the same amount of cow’s milk and sugar to taste.

Bananas are peeled and boiled in enough water until they are well cooked. After cooling, they are cut long and the central part is removed. They are blended with the milk, sweetening with sugar and processing until the ingredients are well integrated. It is refrigerated in a glass pitcher or served directly in glasses with ice.

6. Steamy meat

Carne en vaho is a traditional Nicaraguan recipe that is very popular in León, the Nicaraguan departmental capital 90 km northeast of Managua.

The recipe consists of beef, yucca and green plantain, cooked in banana leaves.

The dish, also known as baho, bajo, and vajo, arose from the encounter between aboriginal, mestizo, and African-American cuisines. It is eaten on Sundays with a tomato salad seasoned with vinegar and lemon juice, which is served topping the meat, plantain and yucca.

7. Rice with dried fish

It is a typical Lenten dish for Holy Week in the cities and towns bordering Lake Cocibolca.

The most used fish for the dish is the gaspar (pejelagarto in Mexico), a freshwater species from the “Great Lake of Nicaragua” that is believed to have arrived through the rivers that feed it. It is almost a living fossil.

Although the recipe can be prepared with other sea fish, it is claimed that none is as good as gaspar that has been dried with salt and sun, a fish that can reach more than a meter in length and 25 kilos in weight.

The fish is desalted to remove excess salt and boiled with garlic. After resting, it crumbles. Rice is fried and the shredded fish is added plus chiltoma (bell pepper), onion, tomato and pepper. Finally bathe with sour orange juice cooking until the liquid almost dries. For every kilo of fish, a kilo of rice is used.

8. Cheese soup

When the Spanish conquered and evangelized Nicaragua, they brought their culinary customs, many of them based on wheat flour and linked to Christian traditions.

Garlic soup, prepared with stale bread, bell pepper, olive oil, garlic and eggs, was a required dish during Lent and Easter.

Navigation to the New World became dangerous due to pirate attacks, so many products from the Motherland became scarce. Thus, the Nicaraguan cheese soup was born, in which corn replaced wheat as a thickener and cheese added substance to the dish.

It has versions according to the region and even, in some places, they replace the cheese with curd. The usual ingredients are corn, cheese, eggs, garlic, tomato, onion, chiltoma, achiote and mint.

9. Nacatamal

Meat tamale consumed as a weekend breakfast, accompanied with bread and coffee.

Apart from the common nacatamales, Nicaraguans prepare a Christmas one with more ingredients, such as olives, capers, raisins and plums. It is one of the most popular typical Nicaraguan foods.

The ingredients of the classic nacatamal are pork butt, corn, rice, potato, onion, garlic, chiltoma, tomato, mint, achiote, sour orange, salt and butter.

Lime is also required to boil the corn in the dough until the kernels burst, as well as chagüite (banana) leaves to wrap the tamales and kitchen string to tie and cook them.

It is basically a large corn patty filled with meat seasoned with vegetables, sour orange juice and spices.

The filling has meat, a layer of rice and potatoes, tomato, chiltoma and onion cut into slices. There are also chicken, turkey, venison, and iguana versions.

10. Sweet Corn Fritters

One of the Nicaraguan gastronomic traditions of November 2, with particular roots in the department of León, is to prepare sweet corn fritters sold in towns and cities, including the entrance to cemeteries.

They are made with a dough of corn mixed with cheese and bathed in a syrup made with rapadura (piloncillo), cinnamon and other spices. Calientitos are more flavorful and some recipes substitute corn with yucca.

The tourist institutions of Nicaragua organize the Buñuelo Fair to promote this culinary tradition of the Day of the Dead.

11. Drunken Soup

Traditional sweet of the Christmas season. A popular Nicaraguan dessert at parties that is not missing at dinners on December 24 and 31.

To prepare a drunken soup, you need a one-kilo marquesote de pinol, a Nicaraguan cake prepared with eggs, finely ground pinol, sugar, and grated lemon peel.

The recipe also calls for a syrup made with 2.25 cups of sugar, a cinnamon stick, 3 cups of water, a teaspoon of lemon juice, a cup of rum, another cup of raisins and plums to taste.

Prepare a honey over low heat with the sugar, water, lemon and cinnamon, adding the raisins and plums at the end. After boiling, let it cool, remove the cinnamon stick and add the rum. Finally, the marquesote is cut into rhombuses that are placed in small containers to eat, bathing them with the syrup.

12. Ayote in honey

The ayote (local name for the pumpkin) in honey is one of the typical desserts consumed in Nicaragua during the La Gritería festival.

A recipe prepared with a medium-sized fruit calls for a piloncillo (rapadura), 2 cups of water, a cinnamon stick and 5 peppercorns.

Chop the squash, removing the seeds and boil over high heat with the other ingredients. The flame is lowered after beginning the boil and it is cooked until it has reached the point of syrup. When cold, it will be ready to serve.

13. Guirilla

Tortilla made with new corn (neither tender nor dry) that is eaten with pieces of cheese, curd or sour cream. Its taste is sweet and its smell is appetizing. It is between the Mexican tortilla made with dried corn and the Venezuelan cachapa prepared with the tender grain.

It is believed that the güirila was invented in the current territory of Nicaragua during pre-Hispanic times.

The corn kernels are separated with a sharp knife and crushed to an intermediate size (neither too fine nor too coarse), which gives the tortilla its characteristic texture. The dough is spread on banana leaves and cooked on a griddle on both sides.

14. Ajiaco

Ajiaco is the generic name of a traditional dish in several Latin American countries.

Nicaraguan ajiaco is made with beef and pork. He is originally from the city of Jinotepe, head of the department of Carazo, in the southwest of the republic.

It is a sweet and sour dish that, in addition to meat, has quelite leaves (wild herb for culinary and medicinal use), corn dough, broken rice, pineapple, and jocote (plum).

It is a mixed and substantial dish that the population of Jinotepe and Carazo eats frequently and whose main secret, according to local cooks, is the regional ingredients and the constant movement when it is on the stove.

15. Pisque Tamale

Tamal prepared with nizquesado corn, a traditional food from Nicaragua.

The pisque tamale began as a food for Lent and Holy Week, which is currently available in supermarkets and is eaten all year round. It is also popular in Honduras and El Salvador.

The Nicaraguan tamale is a simple tamale, since in its basic version it is only made up of nixtamalized corn dough mixed with salt and butter.

This dough is wrapped in banana leaves, tied with natural fibers from the stem of the same plant and boiled.

The tamale has a delicious aroma, is rich in complete carbohydrates and contains small amounts of calcium and potassium from the lime used in the nixtamalization of the corn. It is usually eaten with cheese and curd.

In Honduras and El Salvador, the pisque tamale dough is mixed with refried beans.

16. Jinotegan coffee

Jinotega is a Nicaraguan department in the north of the central region bordering Honduras. Its climate is cool and mountainous relief, with various elevations that exceed 1600 meters above sea level. An excellent coffee is grown on the slopes of the Jinotega mountains, which is reputed to be the best in the country.

Coffee is the accompaniment of typical foods from Jinotega such as montuca (corn tamale, cheese and pork or chicken meat), fritanga and beans cooked with cream and curd.

In the city of Jinotega, the departmental capital, there are restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy these tasty combinations. One of these is Jikao Café, with a menu of tasty regional sandwiches and coffee and cocoa-based drinks.

Bohemios Café Bar, a place where coffee and art converge, is the scene of book presentations, gatherings and painting exhibitions.

17. Nicaraguan Fritanga

Nicaraguan fritangas are an inexpensive meal and at the same time a street food establishment where fried foods are served.

Among the most requested dishes in the fritangas are the slice of green plantain with cheese, both fried ingredients; tacos, gallo pinto, roast beef, sweet plantains with fried cheese, enchiladas, roast chicken, and roast pork.

18. Somoteña donuts

In Somoto, donuts based on corn, curd cheese, milk and butter are iconic, and have traditionally been made in wood-fired ovens. However, from the middle of the 20th century they began to be prepared for more far-reaching commercial purposes.

There are currently more than 35 artisan factories in Somoto that serve the growing interest in the craving.

The dome-shaped wood oven and the dough recipe give the Somoteña donuts a unique texture and flavor.

Somoto is the capital city of the Nicaraguan department of Madriz. It is 218 km north of Managua and is called “La Flor del Henequén” and “La Ciudad de los Burros”, due to the abundance of plants and domestic animals.

19. Typical Nicaraguan breakfast

Many Nicaraguans like to have a strong breakfast to face the work day full of energy. These large morning meals can skip lunch or delay it considerably.

A full Nica breakfast includes eggs (fried or scrambled with onions, bell peppers, and other vegetables), fried plantains, slices of fresh or fried cheese, corn tortillas or tamales, and plenty of gallo pinto, the national dish of rice and beans.

Traditional extras include a dressing made with vinegar and finely chopped onions and tomatoes, as well as sour cream in a small bowl.

There may also be some moronga (black pudding) or bacon on the plate. The most common drinks are tropical fruit juices (dragon fruit or pitahaya, passion fruit or calala) and coffee.

The typical Nicaraguan breakfast is among the most substantial and energetic in Latin America.

20. Slices

Banana slices (macho plantain for Mexicans) are a food that Nicaraguans consume in large quantities along with a slice of cheese, as a breakfast or as a snack. Also as side dishes for heavier meals.

Nicaragua has a climate that favors the cultivation of plantain and bananas, so it has traditionally been a consumer and exporter of the fruit.

Nicaraguans eat plantains in 3 ways: slices, tostones and caramelized.

The first of these is the most common way to eat them. They are slices of ripe banana but not too soft, salted and fried in oil. Popular snack sold already pre-packaged in grocery stores, gas stations and on the street.

Tostones are green plantain slices that are cut thicker and flattened a bit before being fried. They are usually eaten with fried fish, meat and chicken. When fully ripe, the fruit is very sweet and is used for desserts such as caramelized bananas.

21. Coconut cajeta

Cajeta is a generic name for Latin American sweets, especially in Mexico and Central America, which have milk as a common ingredient.

The Nicaraguan coconut cajeta is pink because of the raspberry coloring it contains and may or may not contain milk.

To make a good portion of these cajetas you need 3 coconuts, 900 grams of sugar, a tablespoon of rice, raspberry and cinnamon coloring and cloves to taste.

Soak the rice and blend it. Grate the coconut nuts and put the grated to cook in a saucepan covering with water. Add the sugar, the blended rice, the coloring, the cinnamon and the cloves, stirring constantly until the mixture gains a thick texture.

With the hot preparation, take portions with a spoon and form the boxes of the desired size. Let cool to eat.

22. Pinol de Iguana

It is one of the typical foods of Nicaragua during Lent and Holy Week, whose basic ingredients are eggs and iguana meat.

Iguana eggs are soft in consistency and consist almost solely of a yolk that is very rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. A highly appreciated delicacy in Latin America.

The iguana is a cold-blooded animal and according to Christian tradition, its meat must be consumed on Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent, considered vigil dates.

The iguana pinol also contains white pinol, sour orange, lard, garlic, onion, tomato, chiltoma, salt and pepper.

Before putting it to cook, the iguana meat cut into pieces is washed with sour orange juice. The eggs are cooked separately and placed as a decoration.

23. Nicaraguan cheese

Typical Nicaraguan dish whose origin is disputed by the municipalities of La Paz Centro and Nagarote, in the department of León.

It is a popular street food that Nicaraguans eat on the go, whose ingredients are a corn tortilla, a soft, white cheese called quesillo, pickled onions, and sour cream.

The highway that goes from Managua to León is full of stalls selling quesillos and the dish is sold in a transparent plastic bag. It can be eaten through the opening like a burrito. However, the Nicaraguans close the bag with a knot, turn it over and open a smaller hole at the bottom through which they eat.

Nicaraguan quesillos are easy to prepare. The hot tortilla stuffed with cheese is folded, pickled onion is added and finished by salting and adding a splash of sour cream. If you don’t have the Nicaraguan cheese (quesillo), mozzarella will do.

24. Churrasco with chimichurri

The churrasco, understood as a cut of any type of grilled meat, is a typical meal in many Latin American countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico and Nicaragua.

It is often served with a chimichurri sauce, a simple and flavorful dressing prepared with ingredients that may include garlic, vinegar, vegetable oil, salt, chili peppers, herbs, spices, mustard, and mayonnaise.

The Nicaraguan chimichurri sauce is very similar to the Argentine one. It has olive oil, white vinegar, fresh garlic cloves, ground white pepper, fresh parsley, ground oregano and salt.

The amount of garlic, parsley, pepper, oregano and salt to add is more or less to the taste of the cook, using equal parts of olive oil and vinegar.

Nicaraguan chimichurri enhances the flavor of the meat, and its tangy, herbal taste pairs perfectly with the smoky flavor of the charcoal-grilled cut.

25. Pebre

Catarina is a Nicaraguan town in the department of Masaya, 40 km from Managua, on the tourist route of the Pueblos Blancos.

They are small towns, including Catarina, located around Masaya and Granada, which are characterized by their solid pre-Hispanic roots and traditions.

Catarina’s typical dish is pebre, which has nothing to do with the sauce of the same name that some South American countries make.

Catarina’s pebre is a powerful soup made from pig’s head and other pork parts, such as ears, tongue, liver, legs, skin and other trifles. The recipe also includes rice, garlic, onion and achiote. It is an energy bomb that satisfies even the hungriest.

Another version of pebre is prepared with 3 types of meat (pork, beef and chicken) that are mixed to form a single juicy paste, which is the base of the dish.

26. Macua

Macuá is a cocktail of rum and fruit juices that quickly became one of the most popular Nicaraguan drinks. It was created in 2006 by the pediatrician, Edmundo Miranda, to participate in a contest to choose the national drink of Nicaragua. He won.

Its alcoholic ingredient is Flor de Caña rum, an iconic Nicaraguan brandy with a mild flavor and an affordable price.

The name Macuá is that of a small bird that, according to Nicaraguan mythology, has the power to induce attraction between people, which is why it is used by sorcerers for these purposes.

The cocktail is also very appealing and is made by mixing 1.5 ounces of Flor de Caña rum (if you don’t have this brand, use a smooth dark rum), one ounce of guava juice, one ounce of orange juice, half an ounce of lemon and 2 ounces of syrup.

Mix in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake vigorously for 20-30 seconds, and strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice.

27. Atolillo

Latin American countries acquired from Spain the habit of consuming custard as dessert.

The atolillo is the main Nicaraguan variety of these sweet custards that are prepared by mixing milk, sugar, water and rice or corn starch, aromatizing and flavoring with vanilla and cinnamon.

You can prepare several portions of atolillo with ¼ cup of rice, a liter of milk, a cup of water, ¼ cup of sugar, cinnamon sticks to taste, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a touch of white rum as an optional ingredient. .

Soak the rice in the water for 30 minutes. Blend for 90 seconds, strain and reserve.

Pour the milk into a saucepan, add the sugar and the cinnamon sticks. Put on moderate heat without stopping stirring. When half has evaporated, add the rice and vanilla, stirring constantly until it acquires the desired texture. Cool and serve decorating to taste.

28. Perrereque

This sweet and juicy corn bread or cake with a touch of cinnamon is a very popular dish in Nicaraguan cuisine.

For a perrereque of 12 portions you will need 225 grams of cornmeal, 115 grams of butter, 300 ml of water, 4 eggs, 175 ml of milk, 275 grams of sugar, 145 grams of cottage cheese, 100 grams of grated cheese, 3 teaspoons of yeast, a teaspoon of cinnamon, oil and salt.

Prepare the dough by adding the water little by little to the cornmeal. Add the eggs, the butter preheated for 30 seconds in the microwave and the milk, beating with the paddle until creamy.

Add the grated cheese, cottage cheese, sugar, cinnamon, yeast and a pinch of salt. Continue beating until you have a homogeneous creamy mixture.

Preheat the oven to 180 °C, grease a mold with a little oil and bake until golden brown on the outside. Cool, unmold and cut into portions.

29. Chicha witch

Typical fermented corn drink from San Juan de Oriente, a town in the department of Masaya in the tourist corridor of the Pueblos Blancos.

The secret of the witch chicha is in the fermentation for several days in old clay pots, resulting in a very intoxicating drink.

There are two known types: normal and light, the latter almost unfermented. In both cases, it is a natural and tasty drink rich in carbohydrates and other nutrients.

First, it soaks the corn kernels for 3 days and then grinds them into a dough that cooks and ferments for 4 days.

30. Icacos in honey

One of the tasty Nicaraguan desserts are the icacos in honey, typical in departments such as Rivas, Masaya and León.

The icaco is a tropical drupe with a reddish shell and a soft whitish pulp with a cottony texture, which absorbs the flavors of the ingredients that accompany it in the preparation of sweets.

To prepare icacos in honey with a dozen fruits, you need a cup of sugar (white or brown), 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 cloves, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, water and a pinch of salt.

Heat a liter of water with the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and a pinch of salt, to make the syrup. Pour the icacos in hot water to remove the skin and add them to the syrup pot. Lemon juice is added and the icacos are cooked in honey over medium-low heat, until the sweet reaches the desired texture, stirring frequently.

31. Tipitapa Fish

Recipe from the city of Tipitapa, department of Managua. It consists of fried fish bathed in a sauce that has the same name as the town. The most used fish are Guapote and Red snapper, the first freshwater and the second sea.

For a medium-sized red snapper, you need salt and pepper to season it and enough oil to fry it.

For the sauce you need 2 tomatoes, an onion, a chiltoma, 2 cloves of garlic, a tablespoon of butter, 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce, a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt.

The fish is washed and two cuts are made on both sides to better retain the flavors. Season with salt and pepper and fry on both sides, then place on absorbent paper to remove excess fat. The vegetables in the sauce are chopped, sautéed in the butter and the other ingredients are added, cooking for 2 minutes. Finally, the fish is bathed in the Tipitapa sauce.

32. Donkey milk

Popular Nicaraguan dessert based on milk and cocoa. In the city of León, the donkey milk prepared at Casa Prío is famous, made with the most traditional methods and utensils and with more than 100 years of history.

It is an inexpensive sweet offered by street vendors for 2 cordobas per unit (6 cents USD).

Papa to prepare it requires 1.5 liters of milk, one pound (approximately 450 grams) of grated black candy, 30 grams of roasted and ground cocoa, 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of vanilla.

First, put a saucepan over low heat with the milk, the sweet black and the cocoa, cooking and stirring constantly until the mixture acquires a cajeta texture.

Add the butter and vanilla and continue stirring for more minutes. Grease a frying pan or similar container, sprinkle the bottom with a little flour and pour in the sweet mixture, waiting for it to cool before cutting into pieces.

33. Seafood soup

Nicaragua has a coastline on the Pacific and the Atlantic (Caribbean Sea), making it one of the few countries in the world, along with Mexico and 8 other Central and North American nations, that can eat fresh fish and shellfish from both oceans. .

A typical Nicaraguan seafood soup can have fish fillet, shrimp, clams and snails, plus vegetables such as chayote and carrot. It also contains coconut milk, onion, chiltoma, goat chili, chopped coriander, water and salt and pepper to taste.

First, a liter of water is heated and 1.5 kilos of seafood are added, including fillets of a white fish (for example corvina) cut into pieces, shrimp, clams and snails, along with pieces of chayote and carrot. After minutes of cooking, add chopped onion and chiltoma and season with salt and pepper. Finally, the chili and chopped cilantro and a cup of coconut milk are incorporated. Cook for another 15 minutes adding water, if necessary.

34. Bocaquena Enchiladas

The typical dish of the city of Boaco, capital of the department of the same name. They are snacks consumed at weddings, anniversaries, baptisms, patron saint festivities and other celebrations.

The Tourism Institute of the Department of Boaco annually organizes a festival dedicated to the dish, in which thousands of enchiladitas are prepared for the enjoyment of locals and visitors.

They are made with a corn tortilla filled with shredded meat and diced potatoes, topped with grated curd.

35. Old Indian

Among the typical foods of Nicaragua, the Indian old is another symbol of the gastronomic meeting of pre-Hispanic cultures with the Spanish.

Along with gallo pinto, it is one of the best-known dishes in the country that contains ingredients used by the aborigines in their daily diet. Its texture is that of an atole or thick soup.

It is an ancient dish that, according to one version, receives its name because even an old Indian with deteriorated teeth can easily eat it. It is served on special occasions such as festivities, weddings, birthdays and baptisms.

To make it, a thick atole is prepared by blending onion, garlic, tomato, achiote and spices with a little chiltoma broth. Then some broken corn tortillas are softened in broth and mixed with the atol. Beef or chicken meat is cooked with onion, chiltoma and garlic and crumbles, adding to the atol to cook for 15 minutes. Finally, the salt is rectified and bitter orange juice and mint are added.

36. Tamuga Masatepine

It is a typical Nicaraguan dish from Masatepe, one of the towns in the department of Masaya belonging to the Pueblos Blancos tourist route. Its appearance is similar to nacatamal, but it is prepared with rice and beef, not pork.

The tamuga, called the nacatamal cousin, also contains potatoes, garlic, onion, tomato, chiltoma, raisins, olives, capers, mint, achiote, sour orange juice, oil and salt.

The meat is prepared with garlic, sour orange juice and salt. Separately, fry the rice adding achiote and sour orange juice.

The tamuga is assembled on 2 crossed banana leaves, first putting rice, then meat on the cereal and then slices of onion, tomato, potato, chiltoma, a sprig of mint and finally raisins, capers and olives. The tamugas are closed, tied and boiled until they are cooked.

37. Bull egg soup

Among the typical foods of Nicaragua by department, in Chontales, a Nicaraguan federal entity with a livestock vocation, this exotic soup stands out, considered a delicacy prepared with bull’s testicles, brains and marrow. It is famous as an aphrodisiac and is very nutritious due to its high content of protein, vitamins B2, B3 and B6, phosphorus, iron and selenium.

In Juigalpa, capital of the department of Chontales, it became a tradition to prepare immense bull egg soups in the city’s Central Park, for the enjoyment of locals and visitors.

Apart from the animal components, the soup contains cream, onion, garlic, cilantro, yucca, carrot, quequisque (ocumo, cocoñame) and chiltoma.

The community soups are coordinated by the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism and the mayor of Juigalpa, to promote local cuisine and visits to places of interest in the city and the department.

Among the main tourist sites in Chontales are Piedras Pintadas, the Sierra Amerrisique Nature Reserve, the Cordillera Chontalena and Isla Grande.

38. Chilate

The Central American chilate is a kind of atol based on pujagua corn. It is popular in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, especially in the Nicaraguan cities of Jinotepe and Diriamba (Department of Carazo) and in Masatepe or Tierra Venados (Department of Masaya).

It should not be confused with the Mexican chilate, a drink originally from the Costa Chica de Guerrero made with cocoa, rice, sugar and cinnamon.

The pujagua corn used in Central America for chilate is a type of purple grain whose natural color is provided by an anthocyanin, a compound rich in antioxidants.

To make a good amount of chilate with 3 pounds (1.4 kilos) of pujagua corn, 1.5 pounds (680 grams) of sugar, 4 liters of cow’s milk, ½ ounce (15 grams) of cinnamon sticks and 280 cloves are required. .

The corn is roasted and ground together with the cinnamon and cloves. It is mixed in a large container together with the milk and sugar, strained and cooked over low heat, stirring frequently until it has the texture of atole.

39. Cheese pupusas

Pupusas are corn cakes that are eaten in Mesoamerica filled with cheese, pork rinds, beans, and other ingredients. It is the most widespread food in El Salvador, where they were officially declared the national dish.

They are prepared by spreading on a flat surface a portion of corn dough that is flattened with the hands. A shredded filling is placed on top of it, it is closed, it is given a spherical shape and finally it is flattened to cook on a griddle or on a preheated griddle with a little oil.

It bears a certain resemblance to the Venezuelan arepa, unlike in this the dough is cooked first and then opened to put the filling, while in the papusa the dough and filling are integrated.

They can be prepared with a type of filling such as loroco, spinach, chipilín, pumpkin, mushrooms, ham, chicken and fish or with a mixture. The papusas dough can also be rice.

In Nicaragua, the cheese ones are popular in Estelí and other cities.

40. Morongas

Moronga is the name given in several Central American countries to blood sausage, a popular cooked pork blood sausage.

Although they are generally stuffed into the intestines of the same pig, in Nicaragua the cooked chagüite leaf is used more, a wrapper sold ready to use that is given a cylindrical shape by rolling it around a bottle.

It is tied at one end and stuffed at the other. The blood of the morongas must be fresh (from a recently slaughtered pig), raw and broken so that it does not turn brown. It is mixed with cooked and drained rice and finely chopped vegetables are added (chiltoma, onion, chilies, mint) and salt.

Good blood sausage makers taste this raw mixture before stuffing it to see if it is ready. The chiguite leaf containers are filled, tied at the end used for filling and boiled for 2 hours in preheated water. Once boiled, the morongas are cut into slices and fried in lard to eat.

Corn-based foods in Nicaragua

Each Nicaraguan gets 30% of daily food calories from grass.

The Nicas use corn to prepare tamales, atoles, tortillas, buñuelos, meatballs, donuts, puff pastries and a huge variety of dishes. Likewise, corn is the base of typical Nicaraguan drinks such as lukewarm, pinol, pinolillo, chicha and many others.

Images of typical foods of Nicaragua

Gallo Pinto, iconic Nicaraguan food based on beans and rice:

Pinolillo, typical Nicaraguan drink:

Indio Viejo, traditional thick soup from Nicaragua

Typical food of Leon Nicaragua

León is a department in western Nicaragua facing the Pacific. Its capital of the same name was the first city founded by the Spanish in the current Nicaraguan territory.

The delicious quesillos based on a cheese that receives that name and corn tortillas, constitute one of the typical Leonese dishes, especially in the municipalities of La Paz Centro and Nagarote.

Other typical dishes of León are rice with fish, steamed meat, cheese soup, drunken soup and ayote in honey.

Typical foods of the central region of Nicaragua

Nicaragua has 3 large geographic regions: Pacific, Central and Caribbean. The Central region covers 8 of the 17 Nicaraguan autonomous departments and entities. It houses the main mountainous territories of the country, being the origin of the most important rivers.

Among the typical dishes of this region are the güirila (similar to a tortilla and made with new corn without nixtamalization), tamal, yoltamal (tamale made with tender corn) and cosa dehorn (corn cake, rice, cheese and milk).

Typical Nicaraguan food Gallo Pinto

Gallo pinto or gallopinto, a Central American dish based on beans and rice, is typical of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, where it is the national dish.

It is the product of the gastronomic miscegenation that emerged during the Conquest between America, Spain and Africa, in which the aborigines contributed the legume, the Spaniards the cereal and the African slaves, the recipe.

Its name is due to the fact that the white of the rice and the black and red of the beans form a palette of colors present in the plumage of the rooster.

Typical food of Granada Nicaragua

The department and the city of Granada, its capital, are located in southwestern Nicaragua on the shores of Lake Cocibolca or “Great Lake of Nicaragua”, the largest in Central America.

The typical dish of La Gran Sultana is the vigorón. It consists of pork rinds, cooked yucca and a tomato and cabbage salad, served on a piece of chagüite leaf. To accompany the dish, the people of Granada drink a typical fresco de grama.

Which of these typical Nicaraguan foods did you like the most? Are you willing to prepare any of these dishes? Bon Apetit!


See also:

  • See our guide on the 35 typical foods of Honduras that you must try
  • These are the 50 best beaches in the Caribbean that you have to know
  • Read our guide on the 65 best tourist places in Colombia that you should know


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