I ate at Doña Julia’s little lunch place on Wednesday, in the bowels of what was once the Managua Judicial complex. She was offering grilled heart or chicken. I opted for the chicken with rice, fried green plantains (tostones), salad and a Fanta roja (a Coca-Cola version of the Nicaraguan staple ‘Rojita’ – a carbonated beverage that tastes like sweet, bubbly rose water. This could set you back around C$40 plus C$10 for the drink.
The cuisine is known as one of the most diverse in Central America because it has close ties to European colonization. The African slave trade also influenced the food. This was due to the fact that many found themselves enslaved in Nicaragua’s fertile land and plantation farms.
Nicaraguan cuisine has roots in the pre-Columbian era. Indigenous groups like the Chibcha people used to eat corn, potatoes, beans and squash long before Spanish colonization began in 1521. It also includes grains and legumes from Africa like black-eyed peas or chickpeas.
Wherever it came from, Nicaraguan food is good!