In the heart of Central America stands Honduras, a country that combines the beauties of the tropics with the magic and charm of its cities. Honduran culture exists in harmony with an extensive pre-Hispanic legacy and ancient traditions, as well as with the fruits of modernity.
Despite its violent reputation, Honduras is home to lush tropical forests and beautiful mountains. It is also one of the best diving and snorkelling destinations in the world.
Most Popular Honduran Dishes
Honduran cuisine is diverse, with many of its traditional dishes either enduring from its ancient culture or being a product of European influences. Honduran soil is typically very fertile which is why the country is one of the largest food exporters in all of Latin America. As in most Central American countries, corn is one of its main exports, and a staple ingredient in many dishes, along with legumes, beans and pumpkins.
So without further ado, here are the absolute must-try traditional dishes of Honduras along with recipes for you to try for yourself.
Pupusas are a type of corn flour tortilla that can be eaten on its own or with a filling such as cheese and pork rinds. They are often eaten as a snack or as a breakfast.
There are two main variants, those made with corn-based flour and those with rice flour. On the other hand, there are different versions depending on where it originated, as pupusas are also popular in both El Salvador. It is believed that pupusas had its beginnings in Mesoamerican territory.
Baleadas are a kind of round wheat flour tortilla which can be filled with fried beans and cheese. In some areas they also add avocado and egg. There are two main types that are popular in Honduras, the simple ones with the traditional filling and the mixed ones with additional ingredients.
The dish originated in the La Ceiba area and although there are records dating back to the 20th century, the dish is believed to be an adaptation of an Asian dish. Baleadas can be served stuffed and as side dishes for breakfast or dinner.
Sopa de Caracol (Snail Soup)
Sopa de Caracol is a snail soup that has similar flavors to Thai cuisine, although with slightly fewer spices. It consists of tender conch meat to which cassava, plantains, peppers and cilantro are added. Coconut milk is also used for its preparation which gives it creaminess and sweetness, as well as tomatoes, which give it a thicker texture. Normally, it is served with rice or with flour tortillas.
Tripe Soup is a dish made with the internal organs of the stomach of beef or pork. To prepare it, the truoe needs to be very well cleaned, since the aroma of tripe is usually very strong. A practical tip is to wash the pieces with vinegar or lemon to remove the smell.
The meat is placed in a pressure cooker along with vegetables and cooked slowly. The dish was brought to Honduras by the Spanish and became one of the most popular dishes among the first settlers.
Splash is a type of beef salad that is eaten as a side dish or main dish. Its origin is Andalusian, where a similar version is currently served but with different types of meat.
To prepare it the beef needs to be as fresh as possible. It is cooked slowly until it reaches a point where it is soft and juicy. Coriander is a star ingredient that adds a touch of green and freshness to the dish.
Chicken nacatamales are a type of tamale where ingredients are wrapped in a banana leap which adds a certain notable aroma. Nacatamales has its origin in pre-Hispanic culture, where the first Honduran inhabitants prepared them for their ceremonies. They are now most commonly eaten in the month of December.
Corn flour is usually used to prepare nacatamales, to which ingredients such as coriander and celery are added, which turn the dough green.
Chuco Chicken is a fried chicken dish that is accompanied by fried plantain slices cooked in the same oil as the chicken. The dish originated in the Cortés, although its popularity has since spread throughout the country. Chuco chicken is typically accompanied with rice or a classic cabbage and tomato salad known as chismol.
Montucas are a dish very similar to nacatamales with the main difference that the dough is made with elotes or tender corn. In addition, they are wrapped in the same corn leaf, which gives them a different flavor. Any type of protein can be added, the most common being pork and beef. Like nacatamales, it has its origin in the pre-Hispanic diet.
To make Honduran Creole meals, it is important that the corn dough is previously cooked. The ideal is to make the Montucas by placing each element together but without unifying it in a single mixture. You can start with a tablespoon of dough, then add the protein and complement with rice. You can also make it with chicken.
Sopa de Frijoles
Sopa de frijoles, also known as black bean soup, is a traditional Honduran stew typically prepared using black beans. Other ingredients added to the dish include chicharron (pork rind), small pork ribs and boneless oxtail.