BootsnAll Travel Network

Finally, the Food Post!

I wrote the following post over the weekend but just now have the opportunity to post it. Things have been very busy the last few days and I hope I have some time on Friday for a new post, “The NOT-so Super Sunday, and “The Case of the Mondays.” Thanks again for your comments, and yes Carlos, you’re right, maybe I’ll go to California when I get back and learn the real street lingo español! Enjoy (unedited, but not rated R or anything)…and by the way, my breakfast this morning was a yummy bowl of corn flakes all soaked up with hot milk to make it mushy and slimy. Yum! And yesterday was a bowl of black bean soup with rice, which was pretty tasteless and not really filling. But on to the post!

So, where do I begin with the food? As most of you know, I LOVE to eat, and will eat just about anything. I’m not particulary fussy or finicky when it comes to food, although I will try to stay away from mushrooms, sushi and anything that is still moving.

As it turned out, my body took a full 3 days to get used to the new types of bacteria that entered my body through the food I ate. My first official taste of what would become a staple occurred while waiting for my bus from Guatemala City to Xela. A little restuarant tienda was at the nearby corner and I watched as a gentleman seemed to enjoy his little meal on his little styrofoam plate. With no Spanish, I just pointed to his plate and nodded my head. What I got was a fried egg overhard, refried black beans in a liquidy kind of form, and a piece of bread. All for about $1.50.

Later that day, my host mom had a delicious bowl of soup in chicken broth and a piece of chicken, accompanied by a delecable tomato salad. Things looked pretty good.

But then the night came, and the next day, and the next day, and my stomach was just torn to pieces. I should have started on my pepto bismol the moment I stepped off of the plane, but didn’t have my first one until Friday. By then, I was severely dehydrated and feeling pretty weak.

We have it good in the US, with our high standards of sanitation and keeping things clean. Here, it is a different story. Cutting boards to chop up meat are then used to slice vegetables. Tap water should be boiled for 20 minutes before consumption, but often times it is the same water used to clean the dishes. Although my mom has a fridge, sometimes I’ll wander into the kitchen and have to look the other way because things that we would typically store in the fridge are just out in the open. Meats, soups and other foods are left out overnight on the counter. I haven’t seen many flies in the house, but I avoid thinking about where my food comes from and for how long it has been there. I just hope that what I don’t know doesn’t hurt me and call it good cause my body will take care of the rest.

A lot of food is fried. Meats, bananas, beans, pastries, potatoes, eggs, and more. Mitzy mentioned that during one breakfast, she picked up her “omlette” and it was just dripping with oil. She hid it in a napkin and took it out to dispose of later.

I’m tired of eggs. Seems like I have eggs twice a day. Mostly it is eggs over hard with some ranchero sauce. I’ve taken to not eating the yolk anymore. Eggs over hard with refried beans and a tortilla or a piece of bread is a standard breakfast. But I’ve also had it for lunch and for dinner.

The following are pics from the food I have been served and have eaten at home. It may look pretty good in the pictures, but read the captions for more information.


My first meal! Chicken soup with fresh sliced tomatoes and a pretty good dressing.


Pasta salad slathered with mayo, grated carrots with a lime marinade, plain sliced tomatoes, and a bowl of liquid soup (instant lipton packet stuff you’d find in the grocery isle)


2 corn tortillas, one “omlette” with sliced hot dogs, and a soupy serving of refried black beans.


A trio of 3 corn tortillas with avocado and sliced hot dogs, plus a cauliflower and carrot salad with some kind of dressing.


I don’t know what you call these. Both a wrapped in a corn husk. One is made of rice and some a piece of pork (really, it’s a piece of pork) and the other is made of mushed potatoes. Actually one of the better tasting meals I’ve had.


Breakfast. A fried “omlette” with tomatoes, and a not-so-appealing shaped serving of refried black beans.


The famous sardines, rice and cabbage slaw with mayo.


My favorite meal! Simple comfort food. A piece of fried chicken, sliced cucumbers, and some rice. Unfortunately when I took my plate back to the sink I saw the piece of chicken skin next to the sliced cucumber skins.


A crisp corn tortilla with avocado (it�s NOT guacamole) and that instant soup stuff.


Ah, what is this? Vegetables and pasta! Yesss!! Only, it was very very salted. Like very salted. Plus there is that salty instant soup stuff again. Boy, I was sad after having such initial excitement.


My plain fried “omlette” egg with fried plantains and a side of bread.


Lunch. Instant cup o’ noodles, sliced tomatoes and some kind of fried meat. It was tasty, though.


Fried plantains, a heap of mixed rice and refried black beans, and sliced hard boiled egg.


Breakfast. Hamburgers? Yep. 2 small hamburger buns with hamburger meat with ketchup and some other secret sauce. It was pretty good.


Rice, brocolli, and cauliflower fried in some kind of batter with ranchero sauce. It would have been pretty good had it not been so lukewarm.


My lunch today, Saturday. My first real “meat” aside from the fried chicken and chicken soup. It wasn’t chewy and fatty, but it was pretty tasteless. Kind of odd since next to it was that really really really salty pasta with mayo and the grated carrots with lime.

So there you have it, a photo tour of what I’ve been eating. I’ve become accustomed to not expected too much, and I am very thankful that I have food to even eat at all. I hope I don’t sound too picky, it has honestly just been an adjustment for my body to take in reduced portions and calories, which is good, but I think I am lacking a few essential daily vitamins and nutrients. So it’s good that I have my generic Fred Flinstones vitamins to supplement my days with, although I doubt their dosage really makes much of an impact. I hope this will be able to post with the amount of pictures I have up!


6 responses to “Finally, the Food Post!”

  1. Mike says:

    I think those corn husk thingys are tamals or tamales. They love hot dogs or salchichas but rarely eat them with bread. Have you found tortas, those are good. Does your host speak English. Looks like you are having fun.

  2. Mon says:

    Would you like some egss with that salad, or chicken, or maybe some refried beans? Man that one pic of the black beans and fried omlette reminds me of umm…well you know. ewww! Do you need a few cases of pepto shipped down to you?

  3. Amy says:

    Hi Edwin,
    Sounds like you are getting the full culinary experience over there. When Reto and I lived in the same host family in Antigua, I would only get an edible experience if he was there. Otherwise it was uncooked hot dogs. Be glad you are male.

  4. Jonas says:

    You should post your mailing address. Maybe we, your so-called friends, can send you a care package of stuff you can’t get there… like basketball skills and a handlebar mustache.

  5. Curly (Carlos) says:

    Boy! That’s some really tasty food you are eating over there! The only difference between that and eating at Taco Bell or McDonald’s… at least you can see what you are eating (is that really meat in your taco or your hamburger or what about that special sauce)… you see? So just pretend that you are having a nice meal at Taco Bell or McDonald’s and still take the Pepto-Bismol.

  6. Katie says:

    OMG – some of that looks scary. When do you change host families? My concern is this: if she wants to open a resturant and that’s what she’s cooking, what are you going to get at another house???

  7. Barb says:

    Oooh, Edwin. Adds new meaning to the well uttered phrase…..THIS STUFF TASTES LIKE @#$% !!!! Robin’s in Quito, now, I would imagine doing the Tortilla Trot right along with you.

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