Tag Archives: Guatemalan

Plantain “Rellenitos”

Rellenitos de Plátano are a staple in our local cooking. They are made out of mashed cooked plantains, stuffed with sweetened refried beans. They are shaped into ovals or balls, fried, and then sprinkled with sugar and sometimes drizzled with cream. This is one of the ways we enjoy plantains in Guatemala and since they are easy and inexpensive to make, it is quite common to find them at markets, parks, fairs, restaurants and our grandmother’s kitchens.

As with all local dishes, there are a few variations when it comes to adding ingredients to the sweetened refried bean mixture. Since this is our independence month, I wanted to try making rellenitos myself so we could share the recipe with all of you and add it to our Guatemalan Recipes Collection. I also wanted to try the variation of adding unsweetened cocoa to the bean mixture, I think it would give it more depth of flavor.  If I had made these for myself, I would have added some cayenne pepper to the bean mixture too, if you like food with a little kick… by all means try adding a couple of pinches of cayenne pepper.  Be careful, this stuff can be very hot!


Rellenitos de Platano

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Corn Atole (Sweet Corn and Milk Beverage)

This is one of the most popular beverages in Guatemala, and it can be made with yellow or white corn.  I learned how to make it using yellow corn, and you can choose to make it either with water or with milk.  I prefer to prepare it with milk, because it gets a more consistent and creamy texture, but it is up to you.   When you reach step 5 of the procedure, it is important that you stir the mixture all the time, otherwise it can curdle.

For those of you who are not familiar with corn atole, this is a traditional Central American hot beverage made from corn that is blended (raw) with a little water or milk, and then cooked with some sugar an cinnamon until it thickens up, resulting in a silky smooth beverage.  In Guatemala we especially like to drink this in the “cold” months at the end of the year.  We would love to hear about you trying our recipe!


Corn Atole (sweet corn and milk beverage)

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Guatemalan Fruits

Guatemala: the land of eternal Spring, that’s what our country is called.  We’re blessed with beautiful weather all year round, and even on rainy days when our “winter’ is at its worst, you will probably have a sunny morning or an afternoon with blue skies.  With such wonderful weather, we can enjoy a wide variety of produce.   Aside from bananas, mangoes, papaya, pineapples and such, there are a few fruits that are specific to our geographical area, and I am sure they will be new to a lot of our readers from abroad.   You won’t find these at the supermarket, you need to go to the local markets to find most of them.



This fruit is comparable with its distant relative, the apple, in many aspects, with a high sugar, acid and pectin content. It is eaten as a fresh fruit and mixes well with other fruits in fresh fruit salads or fruit cups. Firm, slightly immature fruits are best for making pies or tarts. The fruits are also commonly used to make jam, jelly, and chutney, and are often served poached in light syrup.  It has a sweet, yet slightly tangy taste.

Zapote Mamey


This fruit has a rough, sandy peel that when cut open it reveals zapote’s terracota flesh. The texture is buttery (comparable to the texture of an avocado, but softer still) and the flavor is sweet and earthy.  When these are in season, they are used as dessert after a meal, or used to make ice cream pops and smoothies.

Chico Zapote


Another variety, is Chico Zapote.  Not at all comparable to Zapote Mamey.  This fruit has a milder flavor, very sweet and malty.  The chico zapote tree provides a natural chewing gum, chicle.



The mamey tree, resembling southern magnolia trees, provides this yellow-orange fruit.  It’s firm pulp has a sweet-tangy taste and it is used to make ice cream pops, fruit punch and jams.



This purple fruit resembles a large plum, but when you cut it open you will find a white, somewhat translucent pulp with a milky texture. It’s flavor is sweet and subtle.   It is best served chilled.



This little fruits pack a lot flavor!  When ripe, they turn bright red and their pulp is bright yellow with a sweet, juicy and tangy flavor. Aside from eating it fresh as it is, it is used to make “jocotes en dulce”  around Christmas time.  This dessert is made by cooking jocotes with panela, cinnamon, water, allspice and other ingredients.

Jocote de Marañon


Most of you are probably familiar with the cashew nut.  This is the fruit where the nut comes from.  This fruit has a tangy and astringent flavor, so it is mostly used to make sweetened juice ( agua de marañon).



These are available in the southern coast of Guatemala and El Salvador.  They resemble green beans and have a sweet cottony white interior.