Some epicurists roam the world, searching for food that will not only satisfy their palates, but satisfy their hunger for adventure and for experiencing the soul of a culture. A stop they must make on their gourmet journeys is Honduras. With its blend of indigenous, African, and Spanish influences, the cuisine of his Central American land is as diverse as Honduras itself.
The cuisine of Honduras depends heavily on ingredients such as fish, beans, seafood, corn and the ever-popular tortilla, plantains, yucca, cabbage, pineapple, plum, papaya, passion fruit, and other regional staples. Chicken, beef, and pork are very popular and are present in many of Honduras’s favorite dishes. These ingredients are seasoned with cumin, curry, coriander, oregano, and lime juice. Did you notice an absence of “hot” spices? Usually, Honduran cuisine is quite rich – thanks to creamy coconut milk – but is not as spicy as, say, its Central American counterpart, Mexican food.
The most ubiquitous culinary item you will see in your travels is the humble tortilla. Humble, but a star in Honduran cuisine. Ground corn is mixed with water and rolled into small balls. These are flattened and cooked. From there, they grace the table of virtually any meal. They are served with the national dish, Plata Tipico, which features skewered, marinated beef, pork sausage and crackling, red kidney beans, tangy white cheese, fried plantain slices, rice, salad, cheese, and sour cream. If you arrive hungry, you won’t leave that way.
Tortillas are also a core in dishes like catrachitas (deep fried tortilla chips, refried beans, cheese, and hot sauce), enchiladas, chilaquiles (tortillas covered in egg and deep fried, served with cheese, chicken, tomato sauce, and spice arranged to make a “lasagna,” and are served with sour cream), and tortilla con quesillo (very similar to a quesadilla and served with tomato sauce).
Soup is also a hearty meal that makes frequent appearances on Honduran menus. Sopa de caracol, or conch soup, is famous and is a must for visitors. Cooked in coconut milk and conch broth, it features spices, yucca, cilantro, and green bananas. Another favorite is Sopa de Frijoles, a red bean soup that is richly seasoned and hearty. Don’t forget the sour cream and tortillas!
For dessert, try tres leches cake, a rich, milk-soaked cake, or arroz con leche, milk-soaked rice with sugar, cinnamon, and spice. With your meal, enjoy Horchata, a sweet, spicy milky rice drink and licuados, fruit drinks with milk, water, or yogurt. After, indulge in guaro, sugar cane liquor, or giffity, a liquor brewed on Honduras’s islands, if you are feeling especially adventurous!
From tamales to tortillas and melt-in-your-mouth marinated beef to fresh tropical fruit, Honduras will satisfy all of your cravings.