Friday, March 28, 2014

My Trip to El Salvador: Food, Fun & Fitness {Comida, Divertida & Aptitud}

I'm back from El Salvador, (the smallest AND most densely populated country in Central America), as of last Sunday and have been struggling to readjust to life back in NYC... Thankfully, I have a treasure trove of memories and I've been implementing my #TatsStaycationTip(s) to make the readjustment a wee bit less challenging. 

I LIVE for adventure and travel, so I was in 7th heaven to be blessed with the opportunity to travel down south for one of my BFF's Bachelorette Fiesta at her picturesque family house, Chiribisco, (translation: "little twigs"), on lake Coatapeque! My encanta todo, (I love everything), about the trip, but one of my FAVE things was the food. My mouth danced the Cha Cha everytime it tried something new!

Here's a sneak peak into my journey in foodie heaven... 

Breakfast {Desayuno in Spanish}

For breakfast I enjoyed one of El Salvador's main exports ~ coffee, (black). It was SO good that I brought it back with me in the form of Silver Export,  (100% pure coffee, aroma: Dulce Achocolato "sweet chocolatey").

* My Coffee Station *
My guilty lil' pleasure was a traditional breakfast pastry called semita. Made in several different flava flaves including pineapple and MY fave, guava, they were a guest at all of our breakfasts. TIP: Semitas are best enjoyed heated up with coffee.

Semita de Guayaba
Eggs {huevos} plucked from the nests of the chickens living on my friend's property, refried beans {frijoles} or cereal {cereale} with almond milk, (I was stoked to find they sold it in Central America!), yogurt {yogur} with fresh fruits {fruta} from the property, including baby mangos, pineapple, banana, melon, and more... 

Cereal con almond milk, yogur y fruta.
{Can you spot the hidden semita?}
Lunch {Almuerzo in Spanish}

For our very first lunch, we went to a local restaurant in one of the safer 'hoods of San Salvador, {the capitol}, called La Ventana {The Window}. Ravenous from traveling, I devoured grilled chicken with rice, mixed veggies, and toast with butter and herbs and a refreshing watermelon drink called, Sandia, and agua {water} of course. 

Lunch at La Ventana
Popular in the Southwest and Mexico, Tamales, a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa, (corn-based, starchy dough), that is steamed or boiled in leaf wrapper and filled with cheese, meat, fruit, vegetables, and chilies, (though usually not all at once). The leaf is removed before eating, by squeezing its contents out much like a soybean from it's edamame pod. It brings playing with one's food to another level! 

Tamale + Pupusa + Frijoles + Plaintain
Pupusas had me at hello.... Not the healthiest meal, but one of the tastiest (and cheapest) for sure. Running at 30 cents a piece, they were sold at makeshift stalls on the side of the street, cooked on hot plate, filled with frijoles {beans}, cheese {queso}, and/or pork {carne}. Similar to the South American arepa pa pa, the pupusa is healthier because it is made from Nixtamai, corn dough that has undergone a preparation process with an alkaline solution before cooking, contributing to the peeling of the grains and availability of nutrients. Bueno, no?

Dinner {Cena in Spanish}

I'm not a big drinker, but I enjoy a nice cold brewskie here and there, (translate: cervesa in Spanish), and I LOVE to drink local booze to get a real feel for the place I am visiting. So, I tried Pilsner, El Salvador's beer.

Cena Mas Fina
My FAVORITE Salvadorean meal, (okay, it's a drink), is... Horchata! A popular Latin drink that tastes kinda like a milkshake, (but thinner in consistency), it varies in ingredients depending upon the region it hails from, (El Salvador, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Spain etc.). In El Salv, the ingredients include: morro seeds (high in protein), ground cocoa, cinnamon, sesame seeds, nutmeg, tigernuts, vanilla, and water/milk. Salud!

Desserts {Postres}

For the most part, we enjoyed either a medley of fresh fruit with a drizzle of local honey or ice cream from the BEST ice cream store in San Salvador: El Sin Rival. Sometimes we did BOTH. My FAVE flavor flaves were the Marauya {passion fruit} and Coco {coconut}. 

Def lived up to it's name! El Sin Rival = Without Rival 
For more pictures of my trip, (not ALL #FoodPorn, I promise), check out my Instagram feed here.

Happy Travels! Buen Viaje!

Blissfully Yours,