Food and Drink of Nicaragua during Tour

Food is very cheap. A plate of food from the street will cost 20-50 cordobas. A typical dinner will consist of a meat, rice, beans, salad and some fried plantains, costing under 3 dollars US. A lot of the food is fried in oil (vegetable or lard). It is very easy to be vegetarian as the most common dish is gallo pinto, which is red beans and rice. If you like meat try the nacatamales, a tamal made with pork, for 15 cordobas.

Plantains are a big part of the Nicaraguan diet. You will find it prepared in a variety of forms: fried, baked, boiled, with cream or cheese, as chips for a dip, smashed into a toston.

Nicaraguan tortillas are made from corn flour and are thick, almost resembling a pita. One common dish is quesillo: a string of mozzarella-type cheese with pickled onion, a watery sour cream, and a little salt all wrapped in a thick tortilla. These cost $6 and are found on street corners. The most famous quesillos come from the side of the highway between Managua and Leon.Nagarote, a town on the way to Leon from Managua, is famous for the quesillos (sort of a cheese/onion soft taco???) and tiste drink they sell there. The absolute best cheeses from quesillo to quajada is in Chontales.

You will also find the tortillas are used to make shredded beef tacos.

One alternative to the fried offering in the typical menu is carne en baho. This is a combination of beef, yucca, sweet potato, potato and other ingredients steamed in plantain leaves for several hours.

One typical dessert is Tres Leches which is a soft spongy cake that combines three varieties of milk (condensed, evaporated and fresh) for a sweet concoction.

If you travel to Chinandega, ask the locals who sells TONQUA It is a great fruit that is candied in sugar and is ONLY available in Chinandega. Most Nicaraguans outside of Chinandega do not know what Tonqua is. Tonqua is a Chinese word for a fruit, because tonqua is a plant that Chinese immigrants introduced to the Chinandega area.

Rum is the liquor of choice, though you will find some whisky and vodka as well. The local brand of Rum is Flor de Caña and is available in several varieties: Light, Extra Dry, Black Label (aged 7 years), Centenario (aged 12 years) and a new top-of-the line 18 year old aged rum. There is also a cheaper rum called Ron Plata.

Local beers include Victoria and Toña.

In the non-alcoholic arena you will find the usual soft drinks (Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola). Some local drinks include pinolillo’ and cacao which are made from cocoa beans and corn, a thick cacao based drink, Milka’, and Rojita, a red soda that tastes similar to Inca Cola. Chicha is a drink made from the corn.

Several street vendors also sell plastic baggies filled with a variety of fruit juices. Avoid these if you are not conditioned to untreated water.