Although many people believe that residents in Miami are mostly Cuban, there is actually a huge Nicaraguan population. Nicaragua, located in Central America, has their culinary roots from pre-Columbian times but as settlers came over their cuisine is now a mesh between two different cultures. Like other Latin American countries, the main ingredient that is heavily featured and used in a variety of ways is none other than corn.
Nicaraguan cuisine also contains tropical ingredients such as jocote, mango, papaya, tamarind, pipian, bananas, avocado, yucca, cilantro, oregano and achiote. This type of cuisine is also unique because it uses what Americans would deem as nontraditional cuts of meat including cow tail, cow udder, cow stomach, cow brain, bull testicles, pig skin, pig hoof, and pig blood. And they also eat exotic things that are not widely available in America such as turtle eggs, lizards, armadillos and boa constrictors.
Famous Nicaraguan Dishes
Gallo Pinto: A staple in most households, this is Nicaragua’s version of rice and beans. It’s fried rice that is then boiled with onions, peppers, red beans and garlic.
Nacatamal: Similar to the tamale, a combination of masa, lard, pork, chicken, rice, tomatoes, onions and sweet peppers is wrapped in plantain leaves and then boiled for 5 hours.
Vigoron: A kicked up version of coleslaw. Cabbage, tomato, pork skin, and yucca are combined into a salad.
Indio Viejo: This dish dates back to pre-Columbian times and translated to old Indian and contains ingredients that are only native to Nicaragua. It’s a thick beef stew that contains meat, oranges, masa, tomatoes, peppers, achiote, and mint.
Influence from The Carribean
Nicaraguan cuisine is also heavily influenced from their Island neighbors in the Carribean. A famous dish is called Rondon which combines turtle meat, fish, meat, pork, peppers, hot peppers, nargan, onion, sweet peppers, banana, yucca, and quequisque. It’s the dish featured in the image above.