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Piping Hot Chocolate

You might be surprised to learn this, but some of the best chocolate in the world comes from Guatemala, a fact that makes this Gringo love the country even more. Known for its production of chocolate is the city of Mixco. The chocolate made here is commonly used for as drinking chocolate, or hot chocolate, a tradition in Guatemala.

To make the chocolate, first the seeds are taken from the pod and set to dry in the sun on a piece of linen cloth or zinc laminate. Next they are placed in a clay oven where they are toasted until golden. After they cool they are ground up, traditionally with a mortar and passel.

From there are you do is prepare it how you like! The act of extracting chocolate from cocoa pods is a fundamental part of the culture in Mixco; believe me when I say it is a form of art! Make sure you try a cup of the good stuff while visiting Guatemala. And if you have the chance, go check out a local chocolate factory; there you can see the whole process, right down to the setting of the chocolate bars for the melting. Some tours even come complete with a complementary cup… yumm.

Try Some Guatemalan Home Cookin’!

Nowadays you can get practically any type of dish while visiting Guatemala. There are all different kinds of restaurants serving everything from French baguettes to sushi! There are also a good number of fast food restaurants. While you may be drawn to the familiar, the Guatemala Gringo urges you to widen out and try a few traditional Guatemalan dishes.

One national specialty includes Kac lc, a soup that is made from turkey and seasoned with an herb from Alta Verapaz called samat. A more familiar, and yet typical Guatemalan dish is guacamole. Believe me; it tastes different from the guac you get at the Mexican restaurant around the corner. Flan is a typical dessert of Latin America, and Guatemala has spiced it up a bit; their specialty is flan de naranja, or orange-flavored flan.

As far as drinks go, Guatemalans love their coffee, but they don’t drink it like we gringos do. Normally cups are less than half the size of a standard small cup, and oftentimes the coffee is weaker than the Guatemalan brew you buy in the states; the best stuff gets exported. As far as adult beverages go quezalteca is king. This extremely potent raw cane spirit should be drank in small portions.