Today we lived a tradtional Nica Sunday – we took it easy and ate well. For breakfast we feasted on some Nacatamales courtesy of Gabriel’s mother. Nacatamales are a traditional food served Sunday morning or mid afternoon. It is made from a corn based dough and lard with a filling usually consisting of pork, rice, potato, peppers, tomato, onion and spices. I’m nearly positive they are the exact same as a Tamale. We enjoyed them, but neither of us are too fancy on them, they sit really heavy on the stomach and unfortunately we are growing a wee bit tired of corn.
Our second new Nica experience was a drink that Cristiana served us called Pinolillo. It is made from cornmeal, cacao and cinnamon powder mixed with cold water and served over ice. This is a very popular drink here, and much like a lot of the foods and beverages, very rich and heavy. I would compare it to drinking the milk at the end of the bowl of Coco Puffs cereal.
By late afternoon we were in Masaya to drop Cri off at the Piñata. This is a crazy fancy children’s birthday party, similar to the ones back home. All the guests dress to the nines and talk – it seemed a bit like an episode of Housewives of Beverley Hills. Money here is a big deal and appearance is very important, people judge you based on how much money you are perceived to have. This is a bit of a trend we are noticing as we make our way through Central.
For dinner we drove another ten minutes to Granada, Cristiana’s home town. We drove down along the pier, with the tinted windows up at first. Mario said if they knew there were gringos in the car they would have charged us money to drive down the street because it’s a tourist attraction. Once we were a bit down the street we rolled down the windows and enjoyed the lake breeze. Granada is remarkably similar to Antigua. Both have the same colonial feel and same colors. However Granada is quite a bit larger, warmer and has one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world. Apparently there used to be fresh water sharks!
The restaurant Toritos Bar is situated on a street similar to La Rambla in Barcelona, much smaller of course but the same feel none the less. We dined in style – starting with a bottle of Flor de Caña dark rum on ice. Everyone’s food was delicious, and perfectly cooked. Three of us ordered pastas and all came with slices of baguette baked with butter and garlic, the end result was similar to a crouton but better. My pomodoro sauce was savory and loaded with garlic – a taste I have missed dearly – while Pawel’s alfredo ricotta ravioli was hand made and perfectly prepared.
A short drive later we are home, relaxed and watching our second episode of Top Gear. Here in Nicaragua they live the sweet life and we don’t mind that one bit.