Food in Central America – Snacks and Cakes

And so we come to what some would say is the best type of food there is… snacks! 🙂

Snacks are very important when you are a dedicated tourist on your feet all day – without snacks how could we keep going? Snacks are also very important for long bus journeys. So, let’s get on with it – here is the gallery of Central American snacks…


Blueberry bars from Panama. We can’t actually remember if we liked them or not…
Takis – these are delicious and spicy. This packet is from Panama, but you can get them in lots of places.
Maduritos from Costa Rica – fried plantain chips – salty and awesome.
A selection of snacks from Costa Rica. Tico chips – fried corn chips, gatos (which means ‘cats’)  – cake things filled with dulce de leche, and cocanas – coconut flavoured biscuits. Everything that you need for a bus journey…
Cajeta quemada from Costa Rica. Cajeta is dulce de leche made usually from goats milk. It is popular all across Central America and Mexico. This ‘cajeta quemada’  (literally ‘burnt cajeta’) is the traditional version – basically it’s a big slab of dulce de leche! Yum! 🙂
Chocolate from Costa Rica. Not bad, but can’t compete with Ecuador and Bolivia…
Florentinas! These are from Costa Rica and are biscuit cakes filled with dulce de leche. These are totally excellent.
Empanadas de Chiverre and Galletas de Natilla. These are from a bakery in Monteverde, Costa Rica. ‘Chiverre’ is a type of squash and these empanadas are a Costa Rican speciality. ‘Natilla’ means lots of different things in different places, but in Costa Rica it’s a kind of sour cream based dairy product – so these are ‘sour cream biscuits’… hmm – well they tasted VERY good!
Sugary treats from El Salvador. They are not called ‘Haz Tu Pedido’ – that means ‘Make your order’. We didn’t know what they were as they were just on sale by the exit of a Pupuseria.. but they were good…!
Semillas Paternas from El Salvador – seeds of a bean that is known as the ‘ice-cream’ bean in English (Inga edulis). They didn’t taste like ice-cream.
‘Boca 2’ (mouth 2) corn chips… spicy… mmmm – from Guatemala.

Snacks on plates
Sometimes it was necessary to have snacks on a plate. This definitely wasn’t a problem for us, hard working tourists need to sit down every now and then….

‘Tostones con queso’ from Granada, Nicaragua. Tostones are fried green (unripe) plantains – known in other places as ‘patacones’. Here you can see them with blocks of fried tasty cheese on top.
Tajadas con queso from Granada, Nicaragua. Tajadas are fried ripe plantains. Here you can see them with one big block of fried tasty cheese. It looks similar to the tostones, but because the plantain is ripe then they are sweeter.
Two slices of Quesadilla (with Kiwi fruit juice) at a Pasteleria in San Miguel, El Salvador. Yes, as if things are not confusing enough, a ‘quesadilla’ in El Salvador is nothing like a ‘Mexican’ quesadilla. It is in fact a slice of cake made with traditional El Salvadorian cheese (queso duro blando). Pretty good though… (isn’t everything with cheese good?)
This is a fried banana covered in ‘poleada’ and cinnamon. Yes, it was truly delicious! It’s from El Salvador and ‘poleada’ is a type of milky pudding.
Cassava fries from El Salvador.
Pastelitos de Pollo (chicken empanadas). San Miguel, El Salvador.

OK, so now it’s time for cakes. Obviously there is some crossover between cakes and snacks – a cake can always be a snack, but not every snack is a cake… If you think some of these are not technically cakes please let me know…

Tasty cake from Costa Rica.
Chocolate and caramel cake with condensed milk icing. Excellent! From Costa Rica.
Banana cake from Costa Rica.
Slice of crumble – Costa Rica.
Budin from Costa Rica.
Sweet empanadas from Guatemala.
Another random cake from Guatemala.
Yet another unnamed cake from Guatemala.
Cream cake from Guatemala. This was not actually very good as the cream tasted too ‘artificial’.

So there you have it! Snacks galore! Well done Central America…


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