Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Snow Cones with a Honduran Twist

In Honduras like in most Latin American countries the icecream man pushes a cart around selling his ice cream to the neighborhoods.  Here they have a different version than I have ever seen.  It is something that I enjoy though.  They scoop shaved ice into a cup and put the snow cone flavoring in the ice usually a red color and slap 'miel' honey on it and canned condensed milk on top with a straw and spoon for your enjoyment.  I never get tired of this treat and I usually ask them to leave the ' miel' off because it makes it too sweet I love the condensed milk being added to the topping...I wish I had my camera with me this afternoon but perhaps I can find a picture of it on the net somewhere and add it here for everyone...the cost of these little treats is 10 lempiras which is about 50 cents or less in US dollars.

It´s Raining Fish, quite Literally

Honduras I believe is the only place in the world where it rains fish once a year.  It happens in the department of Yoro sometime between May and July.  There is no specific day, but if you want to have a truly unusual experience in a trip this would be it, but you would need to plan an extended vacation since there is not a set day.

There is no credible explination for this phenomenon through science, but it really does happen. Tradition here says that Father Jose Manuel Subarina came to Honduras and upon finding so many desperately poor people he prayed for 3 days and 3 nights and upon that it rained fish providing a blessing for the people that has continued on every year.

What is interesting is the phenomenon includes fish that are not from that area and are fresh water fish.  It does occur only during a very strong thunderstorm that lasts at least 3 hours so it needs to be a torrential rain storm before you will get the raining of fish.  It also usually occurs around 4 or 5 in the afternoon.  Something even more interesting is that none of the fish that have fallen from the sky have been able to be kept alive, they all die within a few hours regardless of what is done, so it seems they are sent to be eaten and not grown.  The fish rain starts from a very black rain cloud that rises up over the mountaintop and always originates from the same direction, it is most likely that it will occur sometime between June and July but evidently has occurred in May as well.  What is interesting is how this always occurs year after year one time a year.

So grab your basket and come to Yoro during this season if you want to experience what it is like to have it rain fish.

Here is a Youtube video of the area where it occurs


Honduran Spaghetti

When I first started my adventure with Honduran cuisine the two things that were a bit strange to me where Honduran spaghetti and fried green bananas known as ´tajadas´.  I first came to Honduras to visit when my 15 year old son was not yet 1 year old.  He celebrated his 1st birthday in Honduras.

Honduran spaghetti is interesting, it took me some time to get used to, but now that I have gotten used to it sometimes I like to add it instead of rice.  I never could understand how in the world it is that Hondurans like to eat both rice and spaghetti in the same plate, wow all the carbohydrates at work there....we walk a lot here, but not enough to work off that type of diet.

You might wander what is so interesting about it, in reality Honduran spaghetti is quite simple to make.  Take 1 pound of spaghetti noodles and put them to boil in water and a pinch of salt, gather the rest of your ingredients, 1 package of tomato sauce, 1 pack of 4 ounces of Honduran crema..like Sula or fresh if you can get it, half a stick of margerine, hard Honduran cheese that is grated like parmesan, and 2 chicken buillon(I use the Issima brand that is a package instead of a cube).  Once your spaghetti is cooked tender take a collander and flip spaghetti into it to drain, then immediately put back in pot while hot, add margerine, buillon, half pack of tomato sauce, crema and mix till you get a light orange color, you don´t want to add too much tomato sauce so you may want to add 1/4 of package first and then add more as you go.  Once this is done you can serve with a meat accompaniment, salad and beans...and of course if you want to be fully Honduran, add white rice to it and top the spaghetti with the crumbled cheese.