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Honduran cuisine is a fusion of indigenous Indian (Lenca) cuisine Spanish cuisine, Caribbean cuisine and African cuisine. There are also dishes from the Garifuna people. Coconut and coconut milk are featured in both sweet and savory dishes. Regional specialties include fried fish, tamales, carne asada and baleadas. Other popular dishes include: meat roasted with chismol and carne asada, chicken with rice and corn, and fried fish with pickled onions and jalapeños. In the coastal areas and in the Bay Islands, seafood and some meats are prepared in many ways, some of which include coconut milk.
Among the soups the Hondurans enjoy are bean soup, mondongo soup (tripe soup), seafood soups and beef soups. Generally all of these soups are mixed with plaintains, yuca (cassava) and cabbage, and served with corn tortillas.
Other typical dishes are the montucas or corn tamale, stuffed tortillas, and tamales wrapped in plantain leaves. Also part of Honduran typical dishes is an abundant selection of tropical fruits such as papaya, pineapple, plum, zapotes, passion fruit and bananas which are prepared in many ways while they are still green.
Soft drinks are often drunk with dinner or lunch.
Hondurans usually have a large, hearty breakfast. It typically consists of fried eggs (whole or scrambled), refried beans, Honduran salty sour cream (mantequilla), hard olancho cheese, avocado, sweet fried plantains, and tortillas. It is common for most households to first prepare tortillas, a staple for nearly every dish, which are used throughout the rest of the day. Other breakfast favorites include: carne asada (roasted meat) and Honduran spicy sausages (chorizo). Like many other places throughout the world, a good breakfast will be accompanied with hot, dark—in this case Honduran—coffee.
Street vendors often sell breakfast baleadas made of the flour tortillas, toppings such as eggs, meat, and even pickled onions; And small Tamales made of sweet yellow corn dough, called "Tamalitos de Elote" eaten with sour cream; fresh Horchata and Posole is also common.
Sopa de caracol (conch soup) is one of the most representative dishes of the Honduran cuisine. This soup was made famous throughout Latin America because of a catchy song from Banda Blanca called "Sopa de Caracol." The conch is cooked in coconut milk and the conch's broth, with spices, yuca (cassava), cilantro, and green bananas known as guineo verde. Other varieties including crab, fish or shrimp are known as Sopa Marinera.
A red bean soup eaten in every household of Honduras. For the preparation of this soup, red beans are soaked in water until soft and then boiled along green bell peppers, salt, pork rib and onions. When the beans are soft, the broth has a chocolate color and a tasty flavor. Yucca is added, as well as green plantains and coriander. Before serving, when the soup is still boiling in the plate, a raw egg is added sometimes on top. Other sides include deep fried pork belly fat (chicharrones), smoked dry cheese, sour cream and the ever present tortillas.
Carneada is considered one of Honduras' national dishes, known as Plato Típico when served in Honduran restaurants. While it is a type of dish, a Carneada or Carne Asada, like its Mexican counterpart, is usually more of a social event with drinks and music centered around a feast of barbecued meat. The cuts of beef are usually marinated in sour orange juice, salt, pepper and spices, and then grilled.
The meat is usually accompanied by chismol salsa (made of chopped tomatoes, onion and cilantro with lemon and spices), roasted plátanos (sweet plantains), spicy chorizos, olanchano cheese, tortillas,and refried mashed beans.
Rice and beans is a popular side dish in the Honduran Caribbean coast. The dish is typically cooked in coconut milk with cilantro and spices.
A famous dish throughout the country, which is found in the Yojoa Lake. The fish is spiced and salted and later deep fried. It is served with pickled onions, pickled red cabbage, and deep fried tajaditas (sliced plantains).
The baleada is one of the most common street foods in Honduras. The basic style is made of a flour tortilla which is folded and filled with refried beans, quesillo or cheese and sour cream. Many people add roasted meat, avocado, plaintains or scrambled eggs as well. There are Honduran Fast-food chains that serve different kinds of Baleadas.
Tortillas are to Hondurans what bread is to Europeans. Corn, or maíz, is a staple in Honduran cuisine. Eating corn comes to Hondurans as an inheritance of their Maya-Lenca ancestors; the Maya believed corn to be sacred, and that the father gods created men from it.
Some tortilla based dishes include: Tacos Fritos: Tortillas are filled in with ground meat or chicken and rolled into a flute. The rolled tacos are then deep fried and served with raw cabbage, hot tomato sauce, cheese and sour cream as toppings.
Catrachitas: A common simple snack, made of deep fried tortilla chips covered with mashed refried beans, cheese and hot sauce. A variant of this snack are de Chilindrinas, deep fried tortilla strips with hot tomato sauce and cheese. It is common in Honduran restaurants to serve an Anafre, a clay pot with melting cheese or sour cream, mashed beans and sometimes chopped chorizo (Honduran sausage) heated on top of a clay container with burning charcoal, and tortilla fried chips to dip in. Similar to Swiss fondue.
Enchiladas: The whole Tortilla is deep fried and served with a variety of toppings. First ground pork meat is placed, next raw chopped cabbage or lettuce, then hot tomato sauce, and a slice of boiled egg.
Chilaquiles: Tortillas are covered in egg and deep fried. Afterwards placed in a wide container to form a layer of tortilla as a base. Cheese, cooked chicken and hot tomato sauce with spices is then added. Again place another layer of tortillas and continue to do so to make something like a Tortilla Lasagna. Place in the oven and let cook until cheese melts and the tortillas are soft. Served with thick sour cream.
Tortilla con Quesillo: Two tortillas with quesillo, a melted cheese, in between and then pan fried; served with a tomato sauce. Mashed beans are sometimes also added as a filling with the cheese.
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