Published on September 26th, 2017 | by admin
Savoring the Cuisine of Nicaragua’s Corn Islands
The Caribbean coast of Nicaragua remains one of the least known and least expensive destinations anywhere in the Caribbean.
The less-visited Caribbean side of Nicaragua is a completely different world, where Creole English trumps Spanish, and where three indigenous communities (Miskito, Sumo, and Rama) live together.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE: How to Donate to Mexico & Puerto Rico Disaster Relief
In Nicaragua, culture changes from one coast to the other, and so does the country’s culinary tradition. Cuisine on the Caribbean coast includes some twists of traditional Nicaraguan dishes, an abundance of seafood and coconut-based meals.
Here are some of the most traditional dishes and a guide of where to eat on the Corn Islands:
• Pan de Coco (Coconut bread): Coconut bread is made with basic bread dough that is then enhanced by coconut milk. The result is deliciously soft and sweet bread that is great as a snack or as a side with any fish or seafood entrees.
• Rondon: This is a traditional meal from Bluefields. Rondon is a hopscotch stew prepared from whatever you happen to catch or find that day. The dish usually includes a piece of fried fish, green plantain, yucca and a creamy sauce.
DON’T MISS: South America’s 6 Most Exciting Vacation Spots for Nature Lovers
• Gaubul: This typical drink in the Nicaraguan Caribbean is almost unknown in the Pacific and center of the country. The drink is made of a a mixture of green banana (cooked beforehand and mashed in water), milk and coconut water, and a little bit of sugar.
• Gallo Pinto with Coconut: Most people in Nicaragua eat this almost daily and it is considered a national symbol. It is composed of a mixture of fried rice with onion and sweet pepper, red beans boiled with garlic. On the Caribbean coast, however, they spice up the regular rice and beans with coconut milk.
LATIN AMERICA TRAVEL TIPS: The 6 Best Places in Latin America to Retire
Corn Islands Restaurants
• Yemaya Little Corn Island: Yemaya is the most high-end resort in the Corn Islands. Yemaya’s casual open-air thatched roof restaurant, set just above the Caribbean Sea, lets guests to take in panoramic views while they enjoy a delightful dining experience.
• Maris Place: Ms Danette sells some of the best food on the island. Her front porch and living room fill up around dinnertime with folks who come for her excellent cooking.
• The Buccaneer: This restaurant has one of the best menus on Big Corn Island.
• Café Tranquilo: The popular restaurant Café Tranquilo offers a widely varied menu featuring rondon, fish tacos, seafood and authentic smoked BBQ.
• The Turned Turtle: This venue is a more upscale option on Little Corn Island, serving four course meals in the evening.
DON’T MISS: Travel + Leisure Names the Top Cities, Hotels & Islands in Latin America
More about the Corn Islands
Located in the Caribbean Sea, 53 miles from Bluefields, these islands in Nicaragua encompass 10 square kilometers (3.86 square miles) of forested hills, mangrove swamps, stretches of white coral beaches and incredible crystal blue waters. Most tourists fly straight from Managua to Big Corn, but a few hardy souls still visit Bluefields to experience Creole culture and crab soup. When you tire of Bluefields’s grittiness, board a boat for Pearl Lagoon, the coastal fishing communities, Pearl Cays, or Greenfields reserve. Both Corn Island and Little Corn Island are Caribbean gems as gorgeous below the waterline as above.
For centuries, the Corn Islands were under British domination and served as a refuge for pirates. Although largely mestizo (people of mixed European and Indian ancestry), direct descendants of pirates, English royalty and plantation owners still comprise a significant percentage of the population. This forgotten, tropical paradise offers great snorkeling, diving and sun bathing. A wilder and more pristine version of Big Corn Island is Little Corn Island. This delicate paradise measures three square kilometers and is surrounded by more than four miles of coral reef teeming with sea life. There are kilometers of coral reef, a handful of hotels, and only one dive shop on each island. Little Corn has no roads so the only sound you hear should be the wind in the trees.