Nothing calls for a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration like a good plate of Latin food –especially when it’s abuelita’s cooking (but that’s whole different story). We do, however, bring you a taste of Nicaragua’s “Fritanga.”
VOXXI traveled to colonial city of Leon, Nicaragua to discover more of this mouth-watering dish.
Fritanga is the typical home-style food of Nicaragua. The name ‘fritanga’ –pronounced “free-tang-ah”– derives from “frito” (Spanish word for fried.) And that’s exactly what a fritanga is –everything is fried. Not that healthy, but oh-so-delicious!
Tacos, sausages, chicken, beef, pork, enchiladas, gallo pinto, tortillas, fried cheese, natural juices, desserts, pastries and more are some of the foods that can be found at a fritanga.
“It’s the best food of Central America,” said Nicol Oconor to VOXXI about Nicaraguan food.
Oconor, a chef who has his own Fritanga restaurant in Nicaragua called Bufalo Grill, also said that the people in Nicaragua know how to cook and make everything appetizing.
An authentic Nicaraguan plate consists of gallo pinto (mixed rice and beans), carne asada (roast beef), queso frito (fried cheese), cabbage salad and tortilla.
This typical dish can be found for about $10 in many fritanga businesses in the U.S. (primarily Florida and California). In Nicaragua, it’s sold for about $1 to $2 and it’s known as “comida corriente.”
Whether you buy a plate of fritanga in the states or in the Central American country, there’s one law that always applies: They serve a lot of food, and I mean a lot.
Oconor, whose passion is to cook and has one of the most respectable fritangas in Leon, encourages everyone to grab a taste of the country’s authentic food.
“Once you try the Nicaraguan food, you will get a taste of the nation –a beautiful, free and sovereign country,” he said. “Nicaragua is a wonderful place because of its food and tourism.”
How to make gallo pinto
- 1 pound of rice
- 1 pound of red beans
- Bell pepper (capsicum)
- 1 bay leaf
- First, boil the red beans (preferably red creole) with water, salt, a head of garlic and one bay leaf.
- When beans are cooked, reserve them.
- Then cook the rice in the traditional way (first – fry the onion and bell pepper; then, add the rice until it is golden brown and add twice as much water, simmer over high heat).
- When most water is evaporated, lower the heat and cover the rice, and cook about 5 minutes.
- In a skillet, add oil, onion and beans – let cool for a bit.
- Then add the rice and a some bean broth, mix well and cook over medium heat about 8 minutes.
- Serve warm. It’s great as a side dish or as a main dish with cheese or fried eggs!