Here are some examples of meals I have had at the more tourist oriented restaurants in San Pedro, Guatemala. I typically prefer the local spots over tourist attractions because they are typically a lot cheaper and just way more satisfying.

It is hilarious to me the reaction I get when the topic of food abroad comes up. To my surprise many people think of bugs, dogs, and mysterious meat when they think of foreign food. They think of something… foreign to them, which is funny to me because although those things do exist, when you travel abroad most of the food you will run into will be a rendition or parallel meal to something you are familiar with.

Take for instance this ripe and juicy snack. This was my last meal in Guatemala, (minus the fries I ate waiting at the airport for 10 hours) and it was the sunshine on my cloudy day. I had been yearning for plantains since I landed in Mexico 2 weeks prior. Plantains are like a sweeter and starchier banana that caramelizes to perfection when cooked. I was surprised many of the restaurants were not serving it, even though they had it on the menu. As I was waiting for a shuttle to the airport, I stopped by this cute place to pick up something since I knew it may be my last meal before landing in the U.S. again. I had to leave the country due to all the pollen in paradise. I was pissed to be leaving, but so happy to have plantains. The guacamole was fresh and under seasoned, in a good way; simple and fresh. The pineapple juice was SO fresh and TOO good that I had to order two.

This is a special meal I had at an Airbnb with a rural Guatemalan family in San Juan. It was prepared by la abuela over a fire. IT WAS SO GOOD! I was so thankful because I had not eaten all day and the family had noticed so they had made me a plate. It may be prepared differently, but they use the same ingredients and create similar meals nonetheless.

Expand your world and step outside of your comfort zone. Expand your palette and try something new. You cannot know what you do not like if you have never tried it. Expand your mind and educate yourself on food. There is more “foreign” food in stores enhanced with chemicals and things man made, but that another topic for another day. What I want you to receive from this is just to open your mind and palette to the world around you. Do not be so quick to assume or judge. You will be amazed at how much you fall in love with unfamiliar or different things.