Guatemala, chilis!

Dried chilis and spices
Dried chilis and spices

While Guatemalans, in general, don’t enjoy very spicy food, they do use a wide variety of chilies in cooking. The above spread of dried chilies and spices illustrates ingrediants used at the restaurant La Fonda de la Calle Real in Antigua. Every single time we ate in Guatemala we received a chili sauce different than any other we had seen. I only began documenting the diversity of salsas about midway through our trip, and I missed some of my favorites, but I can easily say that I enjoyed them all.

chili bowl
chili bowl

The one on the left had a bright, medium spicy flavor with cilantro.

bottled chili sauce
bottled chili sauce

Every comedor as, at a minimum, a bottle of this green chili sauce. I used it as liberally as ketchup. Medium-spicy, it has a complex flavor.

Salsa Fresca
Salsa Fresca

This salsa had a light, mild flavor similar to a salsa fresca, but was made with lightly cooked plum tomatoes.

pickled chilis
pickled chilis

Barely more than pickled peppers, carrots and onions, I piled this salsa on chips and the vinegar ran down my palms.

chili-4

This salsa was both spicy and had a strong, sweet flavor, similar to an Javanese sambal, but with a reduced tomato flavor.

rich salsa
rich salsa

At the same time spicy, oily, and full of a bright vinegar flavor, I could’nt get enough of this complex flavor.

chopped salsa
chopped salsa

This fresh, chopped salsa (seen behind Senor Lanky’s meal at the Chichicastenango market) was simple sliced green chilis and onions in vinegar. Wonderful, fresh and simple.

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veggicurious

Erin Gautsche cooking in and eating out, traveling and learning; curious and vegetarian.

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