Monday, April 24, 2017
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Cuisine of Nicaragua

The Cuisine of Nicaragua is a mixture of criollo food and dishes of pre-Columbian origin. The Spaniards found that the Creole people had incorporated local foods available in the area into their cuisine. Traditional cuisine changes from the Pacific to the Caribbean coast; while the Pacific coast's main staple revolves around local fruits and corn, the Caribbean coast cuisine makes use of seafood and the coconut.

As in many other Latin American countries, corn is a main staple. Corn is used in many of the widely consumed dishes, such as the nacatamal, and indio viejo. Corn is also an ingredient for drinks such as pinolillo and chicha as well as sweets and desserts. In addition to corn, rice and beans are eaten very often.

Gallo pinto, Nicaragua's national dish, is made with white rice and red beans that are cooked separately and then fried together. The dish has several variations including the addition of coconut oil and/or grated coconut on the Caribbean coast. Most Nicaraguans begin their day with gallo pinto.

Many of Nicaragua's dishes include indigenous fruits and vegetables such as jocote, mango, papaya, tamarindo, pipian, banana, avocado, yuca, and herbs such as cilantro, oregano and achiote.

Recipe of the month

Maduros

A tasty banana dessert.

4 maduros (sweet bananas) peeled

3 cups milk

2 cinnamon sticks

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place maduros and milk in a bowl and boil until tender. Add the sugar, cinammon and vanilla, boiling for another 5 minutes. Place it ina dish and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 F.

Fresco de Piña y Arroz

No meal is complete without some refreshment. This chilled pineapple rice drink will definitely cool you down.

Pineapple peel/rind

½ cup uncooked white rice

Water

 

Boil pineapple rind for 10 minutes in sufficient water to cover the rinds half-way. Add the rice and boil until it splits or puffs. Allow to cool and then strain. Dilute with twice the amount of water. Add sugar as needed.

 

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Literature of Nicaragua

Literature of Nicaragua can be traced to pre-Columbian times with the myths and oral literature that formed the cosmogonic view of the world that indigenous people had. Some of these stories are still known in Nicaragua. Like many Latin American countries, the Spanish conquerors have had the most effect on both the culture and the literature. Nicaraguan literature has historically been an important source of poetry in the Spanish-speaking world, with internationally renowned contributors such as Rubén Darío who is regarded as the most important literary figure in Nicaragua, referred to as the "Father of Modernism" for leading the modernismo literary movement at the end of the 19th century. Other literary figures include Ernesto Cardenal, Gioconda Belli, Claribel Alegría and José Coronel Urtecho, among others.

Our book recommendation of the month

Sergio Ramirez - A Thousand Deaths Plus One

Book review:

A Thousand Deaths Plus One is an elaborate fiction that stakes itself firmly in the real. A fascinating set of stories and bits of history, it also neatly addresses the issue of capturing history and human fates, in photographs or in writing -- both documentary and fictional. Well worthwhile

About the author:

Sergio Ramírez Mercado is a leading Nicaraguan writer and intellectual who served in the leftist Government Junta of National Reconstruction and as Vice President of the country 1985-1990 under the presidency of Daniel Ortega.

Born in Masatepe in 1942, he published his first book, Cuentos, in 1963. He graduated from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua of León in 1964, where he obtained the Gold Medal for being the best student.

In 1977 Ramírez became head of the "Group of Twelve", a group of prominent intellectuals, priests, businesspeople, and members of civil society who publicly stated their support for the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN) in its struggle to topple the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. With the triumph of the Revolution in 1979, he became part of the Junta of the Government of National Reconstruction, where he presided over the National Council of Education. He was elected vice-president of Nicaragua in 1984 and was sworn in 1985.

Though the FSLN lost power to the UNO coalition headed by Violeta Barrios de Chamorro in 1990, Ramírez continued to serve as the leader of the Sandinista block in the National Assembly until 1995, when he founded the Movimiento de Renovación Sandinista (MRS) because of his differences with other leaders of the FSLN, such as former president Daniel Ortega, on issues of democratic reform. He has since become retrospectively critical of certain Sandinista policies that he views as having turned the country against the FSLN. He made an unsuccessful bid for president on the MRS ticket in 1996. Since then, Ramírez has retired definitively from politics. He currently lives in Managua, Nicaragua..

Even during his years in politics, Sergio Ramírez continued to publish his work, for which he has won numerous awards and distinctions.

Music of Nicaragua

Nicaraguan music is a mixture of indigenous and European, especially Spanish, influences. Musical instruments include the marimba and others common across Central America. The marimba of Nicaragua is uniquely played by a sitting performer holding the instrument on his knees. He is usually accompanied by a bass fiddle, guitar and guitarrilla (a small guitar like a mandolin). This music is played at social functions as a sort of background music. The marimba is made with hardwood plates, placed over bamboo or metal tubes of varying lengths. It is played with two or four hammers. The Caribbean coast of Nicaragua is known for a lively, sensual form of dance music called Palo de Mayo which is very much alive all throughout the country. It is especially loud and celebrated during the Palo de Mayo festival in May The Garifuna community exists in Nicaragua and is known for its popular music called Punta.

Our music recommendation of the month

Duo Guardabarranco

Duo Guardabarranco is a Nicaraguan duo consisting of siblings Katia Cardenal and Salvador Cardenal Barquero. The duo has been a significant worldwide ambassador for Nicaraguan and Latin-American folk music for the last three decades, and has gained a broad international audience with their poetical lyrics of hope, peace and justice, wrapped in their outstanding harmonies and melodies.

link to Duo Guardabarranco website