Wednesday, February 1, 2012

La Comida II

CABALLO BAYO: On Saturday at a birthday party I was able to have the pleasure of trying a Nicaraguan dish called Caballo Bayo (Chesnut-colored Horse), well maybe its less of a dish and more of a buffet. It was beautiful. Each person takes a plate with a leaf on it,and they place a tortilla on top of that. Then they select different types of foods, such as beans, shredded pork, chicken, blood sausage, etc. and place them onto the tortilla. It was wonderful and so delicious.

VIGORON: In Granada on Sunday I tried vigoron, which is sold at many small food shops. It's made of chicharron (fried pork rinds) on top of cole slaw, on top of yuca, on top of a leaf. You can find it on the streets anywhere in Nicaragua. Now, I'm not usually very picky, but I usually don't eat the skin of any food, so it was difficult for me to try. But alas, I gulped down half of the plate because it was more about the experience than about what I'm used to eating. I'm glad I tried it- but it's still not my thing.

The place where we stopped to eat the vigoron was on the parque central (central park) of Granada, where there are many beggars. A little girl that came up and pointed to the food on my friends plate. He reluctantly gave her a piece, because it was his only meal all afternoon. I hesitated to give her some because I had been trying to gulp it down myself like I mentioned earlier. But after I finished half of the plate, I gave up trying to eat it. So I was very excited when she came near the table again. I picked up the leaf and everything on it and handed it to her. She was happy and went over to an older woman to share it with her.

My roommate here Greydy had fruit for lunch, but she didn't eat the papaya. So a woman (with scars on her face as if it had been burnt) came by with her ten month old daughter on her hip, asking if she could eat the rest of it. Greydy was more than happy to give it to her. Then the woman called over her three year old son to have some of it. He didn't like it. We all started laughing.

So she kept on crushing the papaya between her fingers to feed her daugher. Every once in a while she would pause to eat some herself. She stayed standing there talking with us. It was nice because for once I didn't feel like a visitor here. For that one moment I felt like people weren't just staring at me because I look different. She was seeing us for who we really are, not just judging us for what we look like.

She told us their ages and names, and we were talking about how the little girl liked the papaya. Then she said that we had been really nice to her because usually "gringos" (white people/tourists) wouldn't even give her the scraps off of their plates, and that she would watch the waitresses take the food away and throw it out, knowing all the while that her family could have eaten it.

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