Thursday, August 11, 2016

Food. Glorious Food.

Remember when I wrote that I was going to write about Guatemala in the next couple of days?

Yeah, that was cute. Sorry about that. 

Let's move on shall we?

I thought it wouldn't hurt to write a quick summary of my experience being vegan in Guatemala. It'll be my quick review of some of the major food that I had. I'll review by the regions I went to.

Antigua was by far the place with the best food, which might be why I spent the most my time there. The food that was authentic was fantastic; it didn't strive to satisfy any western European tastebud. The ones that did try to please the average tourist were ok. Truthfully I had better. However when you ordered a meal, you generally ordered a real central american native dish. Mostly every day I was completely satisfied with my food.

This was the breakfast I had every day while I was at Antigua. It was a bean and potato meal with a side of fruits and coffee. Even though there were nonvegan options there, it was definitely easy to ask for a vegan meal. I swear to god I was always happy to have this simple meal. 

My favorite meal by far was at this Guatemalan restaurant. They had a vegetarian/ vegan option listed so my shitty Spanish didn't have to struggle trying to explain that I didn't eat meat. The restaurant was nested deep behind a series of Guatemalan women making tortillas. Coming to this restaurant was the ultimate form of blind faith. You come to this questionable open space guarded by Guatemalan ladies making tortillas and you, full of hope, walk down the corridor to this hole in the wall restaurant. However, this blind faith was well rewarded. It's basically anything you would want with Antigua.

This was the only semi western meal I had in Antigua and it was ok. It was a vegan sandwich with roasted vegetables and a side salad. The bread wasn't toasted, and overall I wanted some beans or tacos instead.

I almost made a mistake with this meal. If you get anything that looks like this DO NOT EAT THE RED X THING. That is meat. Everything else was vegan and delicious. Damn, Guatemalans know their guacamole. 

Guatemalans are very famous for their chocolate and their coffee. The major requests from my friends and family were coffee and chocolate. I was luckily able to go to a chocolate museum and make my own chocolate. All vegan of course. Interesting fact: did you know that white chocolate isn't chocolate?

The food at San Marcos was a dull as the area itself. I hated San Marcos so I have nothing good to say. 

This is a vegan meal I had here and it was blah. I mean the vegetable flavor was there but there wasn't much protein so afterwards I gorged myself on chocolate. It was expensive and mediocre. However it is listed as vegan so I can pat myself on the back for that. This was the only stand out meal I had, which isn't saying much. If you're wondering if you should go to San Marcos when you're visiting Lake Atitlan, I say skip it.

The food in Tikal/Flores was really good but truthfully I only had one meal day after day. It was cheap and it was fantastic. When coming to Tikal or Flores, definitely SKIP restaurants and head straight to the street food. 

The street tacos were the best meal I had throughout the whole trip. From what I can remember the meal cost around 15 Guatemalan quetzals which was probably around 2 dollars. This meal was the meal I was after. It was listed as vegetarian but from what I saw it was completely vegan. It was mostly a rice and bean taco with cilantro, salsa, and onions. I loved it! It was flavorful, unique, and rich with everything you would find at a street vendor. There was a reason why I came here so many times because each time I felt a fury of emotions. I didn't need European food, I needed this. This wasn't the fanciest thing, it sat on a styrofoam tray, but it was a perfect way to end the trip.

Cute Tiny Guatemalan Backpack for Sale

If you want to purchase a genuine Guatemalan backpack click here <3

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Finally... A Guatemala Post


I'm going to do several Guatemala posts because it is a bit hard to get my mind together. Guatemala does that to you... It scatters your brain and you come back in a daze thinking, "did that really happen? Where was I? What is Guatemala?"

I'm still stuck on that last one, what is Guatemala?

However as I try to get my mind in order I figure I'll start off with the basic, how was it?

When people ask me how Guatemala was I generally say the same thing; Guatemala was weird, but in a good sense. Guatemala is not really anyone's number one choice of destination. Truth be told, when I said I was going to Guatemala there was a lot of confusion to why. Despite it being a land filled with everything we need in life (coffee and chocolate) it is a country that I truly don't hear much about. However coming back from Guatemala I kind of understood why I never heard much about it; it wants to remain silent.

In reality, I don't think anyone knows what Guatemala is like. I think everyone is trying to figure that out on their own. It is a country where everyone seems to know what Guatemala truly is like, and where everyone denies everything the previous person had said. To me, Guatemala is a country of scandal and serenity, of the rich and the poor, and of the excitement and boredom. It is hard to sum Guatemala in one short sentence because it is every word put together in one confusing clusterfuck. 

Will talk about food in next post

I did have some really great experiences in Guatemala, and I also had some really terrible experiences in Guatemala. I found that what I expected to be great was terrible, and what I expected to be terrible was great. For example when I thought I would enjoy the nature of Guatemala, I felt underwhelmed; when I thought I would bore my friend and I with the sites of Guatemala's Mayan history, I was ecstatically enthralled. 

Guatemala, for sure, cannot be planned ahead. I needs to be a "spur of the moment" vacation. I know for a fact I do not work that way. So every time I needed to be free with my plans, I felt uncomfortable. Guatemala was unkind in those regards. However it made up for it in sense that what you see in Guatemala is not something that can be seen in any other country. The country purposely kept itself off people's radars for a reason, which is why that is a weird thing to experience.