Day 58: Copan, Honduras
The Caribbean side of Honduras is beautiful with some tasty food to boot, the only problem is that you have to go out and search for it. In Honduras food is tricky, there seems to be a prevailing thought all tourists want western food and that burgers and nuggets will fit the bill. As Geof was only here for 8 days we searched for the best food to eat in Honduras as much local food as we could and took the time to look for it.
Baleadas are not the official food of Honduras but they should be as they are found everywhere. The flour tortillas begin with mashed fried beans, cabbage and salty cheese; a variety of other ingredients are added and then it’s folded and thrown on a grill.
We discovered baleadas early in the trip when Honduras wasn’t looking so hot. We arrived in La Ceiba at night and were looking for dinner after the guy in the hostel told us not to go to Carnaval because we’d likely be robbed.
The streets were dark and there were people passed out on the grass and others who should have passed out long ago. La Ceiba felt ominous and it was weighing on both of us, but the mood quickly changed when we passed by Burger King and Pizza Hut to find women selling food in a row of street stalls along abandoned railroad tracks.
While I had pork, Geof chose avocado and both were outstanding with the smokiness of the outdoor grill permeating the crispy tortillas. Only a dollar each, Geof bought two more for the road and couldn’t resist eating one of them on the way back to the hostel. Throughout our time in Honduras we ate them at least once a day, most often at breakfast with scrambled eggs (above).
Tajadas are fried plantains and the traditional dishes require you be in tune with your carnivorous side and they were perfect after scuba diving in Utila. I’ve been trying to eat less meat lately but I couldn’t pass up the local dish that topped fried plantains with ground beef and cabbage.
The mix of starch and meat reminded me of comfort food like shepherd’s pie. One of the heavier dishes, it would be a solid choice for hangovers and the meaty/salty taste was a fair pairing for the sweetness of the local rum and cokes.
Desayuno Tipico or “typical breakfast” can be found throughout Central America and it made me love breakfast again. Scrambled eggs are served with beans, a salty cheese, hand made tortillas, sweet plantains and often avocado. The savory combination is so filling and I’ve been eating it every chance I can get.
Finally, no food vacation would be complete without evening snacks. Grilled corn isn’t unique to Honduras, it can be found in most country fairs or rib fests in Canada, but never with the combination of mayonnaise and salty cheese. I know the mayonnaise sounds a bit suspect but you too can double fist corn on the cob for less than a dollar so it’s worth just trying it.
Heading to Nicaragua? Check out 5 foods not to miss in Nicaragua.