Guatemala has a range of food dishes that a person can choose from. Their food often contains beans, white rice and corn tortillas. The food has been influenced traditionally by both the Mayan people and from the Spanish colonists. Guatemalans traditionally like to eat stews and soups. Today other influences, including those from the Caribbean, Africa and America have permeated the food industry. Mexican influences are also evident in the inclusion of enchiladas, tamales and nachos in Guatemalan foods. These are elements that are so typical of Mexican dishes.
Despite these influences from outside, some traditional Guatemalan dishes remain, for instance, the Kak’ik which is a Mayan stew. It is however also referred to as the Guatemalan turkey stew. It consists of a piece of turkey to which is added a soup of vegetables that have been crushed. These are often made of tomatoes and tomatillos. Spices such as garlic, coriander, chili peppers and achiote spices along with onion are often also added to the tomato/tomatillo puree.
The national dish of Guatemala is known as the Chicken Pepian which is really a stew. The Pepian is comprised of chickens with sesame sauce and pumpkin spice. At times, the chicken is replaced with pork or beef. It is sometimes served with corn tortillas or rice, and usually contains fruits like pears and vegetables such as potatoes or carrots. This dish is like many Guatemalan dishes; served with a side of chilies, corn tamale and rice. Another dish popular with Guatemalans is the Chiles Rellenos which is made of chili peppers that have been stuffed with various ingredients such as meat or vegetables. Sometimes even rice or cheese is used and placed inside the peppers. This is most often served with tortillas and people like to have it with tomato sauce as well.
A popular and easy to find food is Pupusas which is really tortillas that have been filled with various foods and then fried. Examples of some of the stuffing include refried beans, pork or cheese. For tourists this is a relatively cheap and easy to find food item. The Pupusas is a common street food, but another common food sold by vendors is the Noodle Tostados, which consists of a taco on which is placed spaghetti, tomato salsa, guacamole or radishes.
Vegetarian Empanadas are all the rage in Guatemala. These are pastries that are nice and buttery and contain delicious potatoes or spinach, and are topped with cilantro, onion, tomatoes or even guacamole. The traditional Guatemalan breakfast is called the Desayuno Tradicional. It is made of scrambled eggs with avocado slices along with tomatoes and onions. In addition they add mashed beans, tortillas and plantain. This makes for a delicious and satisfying breakfast.
There are two main dessert dishes that are popular in Guatemala. One is flan which is a common custard caramel dish found in many parts of the world. The other dessert dish is called Pasel de Tres Leches which is essentially cake that is covered in condensed milk, cream and evaporated milk.