There is no doubt that trying new foods puts some pizzazz into your vacations. Enjoying a gastronomic experience is part of a great holiday. So you will ask, which are the unique flavors of Honduras? What gives its foods that unique flavor that makes it different? Honduras is a small country. Yet, there are different unique flavors of Honduras in each region.
For the Christmas Holidays, I visited Copan Ruinas. This small town has a unique and different culinary tradition that sets it apart from the rest of Honduras. Yes, the unique flavors of Honduras in Copan are unique. They are different to those in Atlantida, or the Bay Islands, for example. So what makes the taste of Copan so different and unique?
Perhaps I should start with the cultural tradition. Copan is within the Mayan World. By this, I mean that the Maya Chorti still live in the area. They share many traditions that might seem more pertinent to neighboring Guatemala. I had the chance to speak with Sandra Guerra, a local entrepreneur about the unique flavors of Honduras found in the Copan region.
Sandra owns one of the most successful businesses in Copan Ruinas: La Casa de Todo. Translated, this means something like “The House of Everything”. Yes it does sound pretentious, but you will find many different things here. She offers laundry, has a restaurant and bar, an art gallery and a souvenir shop. Here you can become familiar with the different flavors that are unique to Copan Ruinas.
Sandra is passionate about what she does. She is very passionate about this effort to rescue the traditional flavors of the Maya Chorti. gastronomical culture. She began her tale explaining that the Mayas gave four gifts to our modern gastronomy. The first is Cacao. Yes that magnificent pod that is main ingredient to make chocolate is native to the Maya World. The Mayas used it to prepare a refreshing beverage. It was not sweet, but bitter, and was usually spiced up with chile peppers.
This brings us to the second ingredient, nothing less that the Chile Peppers themselves! There are many different peppers. They are usually mixed and blended with a variety of herbs to produce a unique taste in our foods.
A third element is less known: pumpkin seeds! Known as “semilla de ayote” these seeds form a magnificent sauce that blends well with chile peppers. Finally, we have the last element in the Mayan gastronomy that the Maya gifted us to us: corn.
Together, these elements produce a variety of unique flavors that are unique to Copan. As an example, we have the world famous tamales. There are many different ways to prepare tamales, but they all include corn. Chile peppers, pumpkin seeds and even cacao blend to create a sauce that gives the tamal a unique flavor. The fancier tamales included meats. Of course, in the precolombian days, it may have been deer or peccary meat. Pork, beef and chicken where brought to the new world by the conquistadors.
La Casa de Todo is Home to Unique Flavors in Honduras at Copan Ruinas!
Sandra’s passion has pushed her to experiment with the different chile peppers and local herbs. She has put together a variety of recipes which she is now offering to locals and travelers alike. At la Casa de Todo you will find a small section called “Sabores de Copan”. Translated it would mean the Flavors or Copan. Here, you will find a dozen or so different bottled chile sauces. These are delicious. You can even sample them at La Casa de Todo to determine which your favorite is. Mine was “Inframundo” or “UnderWorld”. An appropriate name for a Maya sauce that will take you to another world when it comes to challenging your taste buds.
You will also find a variety of natural fruit jellies and jams. These come in original combinations. Best of all, there are no preservatives added, so they are a treat! The availability of these varies from season to season, depending on the which fruits are available. They are all made without preservatives, and will provide your taste buds with unique journey to Ancient Maya World. Come and discover the unique flavors of Honduras in Copan Ruinas at La Casa de Todo.
La Casa de Todo is one block south of Central Park, down the artisan’s street. You will walk down the block past the Hotel Camino Maya. La Casa de Todo is one of the few businesses open 365 days a year.