Recently returned from Antigua and discovered the native food to be quite different and very tasty. I especially enjoyed the pepian, a delicious pumpkin-based stew of vegetables or meat. However, did not have an opportunity to sample salsa jocon. As I understand it, this is made with green tomatoes and a strong spice -- coriander?
Has anyone tried it? If so, please respond with a recipe, if possible.
Hi S...First, where did you stay and did you enjoy your visit? Did you go to Calle de la Fonda for a tipico Guatemalan meal in Antigua?
We were supposed to have the jocon but the "cook" wasn't in town on the day we had planned. I believe one of our other community members might have had it. Have heard about it but look forward to trying it on our next visit.
Yes, we had a great time in Guatemala. We booked the Filadelfia Resort (through Luxury Link), and I must say, the accommodations were wonderful. Don't remember the last time I slept so well -- fantastic bedding and pleasant, cool evenings. We had a Master Suite with private balcony. One morning, I had a couple of hours free, sat outside on the balcony enjoying the sounds of the birds and distant voices of the caretakers on the property. So peaceful -- no traffic, no tourists, just absolute bliss!
We did have lunch at La Fonda de la Calle Real and enjoyed the typical Guatemalan fare, though we were a little rushed that day. Would like to return and possibly find salsa jocon -- Ha! My quest --------
The only disappointment, if there was one, was the visit to el mercado Chichicastenango. The taxi ride was a bit hectic -- though expected -- but I didn't expect so much "attention" from the Mayan children, and also some women, who were agressively hawking their artisanias. This made it difficult to shop effectively and enjoy the many aspects of Mayan culture. I think fellow traveler, Omega, termed Chichi a "tourist trap."
Sounds like a lovely trip. We really enjoyed our visit. The owner of Calle is a wonderful woman. We sat in one of her restaurants and spoke for hours with her. We email periodically throughtout the year. She is very involved in helping women and children in Guatemalan. Great person! Lucky you to have been to Hotel Filadelfia. Wish I had been there. We stayed at Casa Encantada and loved it. Smaller property with a rooftop bar. Great views of the volcanoes.
If you need transfers, tours, etc, I highly recommend Elizabeth Bell, owner of Antigua Tours. She is fantastic and has very reliable employees.
Next time, try a smaller market like Solala. It is not touristy. Only problem is that I was pickpocketed!
Were you aware at the time that you were being pickpocketed? Probably not, huh? I have a small zippered folder that hangs around the neck (in front of me.) Do you think money would be safe in there? It's difficult when the market crowd surrounds you --
Also, does Antigua Tours have a website, or a contact number? They might be able to help with a helicopter ride? Of course, it would be very expensive, I think. Will probably enquire at CP -- if that trip works out -- what type of transportation they offer. My rich uncle hasn't died yet -- Ha!
I'd really like to return to the Filadelfia Resort, if ony for a couple of days. Looks like late November will be the best time to travel -- since Thanksgiving will give us the two holidays. If this all works out, we'll definitely return to La Fonda de la Calle Real. Do you think the climate will be pleasant at that time of year? The rainy season should be over.
Hi S & O. Thanks O for passing on Elizabeth's info. She runs a great organization.
I had no idea I was being pickpocketed. My pants were tight so I was very surprised. I had $33 USD in my one pocket and Guatemala quetzals in the other..guess which one was taken!! Oh well...hopefully someone could use this to better their life or donated it to a local church. I learned my life's lesson to not be soooo trusting whether abroad or in my own neighborhood.
November is a great time but do expect a little rain. The rainy season can continue into the beginning of December. No problem though. Hard to plan a trip anymore based on weather. The temperatures should be fine.
What plans do you have for your trip? Are you flying from the east coast? I have seen some good prices on AA from the east coast.
showard1....your quest for jocon....actually, I think the locals call it "chirmol"....can easily be attained in Casa Palopo, if you make an advanced request to Chef Mario (he is the personal chef of the owner of CP....and is generally present Thursday - Sunday to oversee the kitchen staff). The salsa is made with tomatillos....not green tomatoes. One of the kitchen staff will be happy to shop at one of the local mercados and pick up the tomatillos.
We made a similar special request for a couple of our favorites and the staff was pleased to handle the shopping and Chef Mario actually got up earlier than normal on a Sunday morning to prepare chilequilles.
I would suggest you place a telephone call to the toll-free number at CP and speak with Jennifer, the GM, and let her know what you would like to eat. I think bonniejoy03 will also confirm the staff is pleased to take on your dining challenges!
Yes, I will take your advice and contact Jennifer prior to our trip. I have not eaten chilequilles -- delicious?
As for the jocon (or chirmol), I would definitely like to try it and, hopefully, Chef Mario will be able to accommodate. Our trip will most probably encompass a Sunday thru Wednesday. Then I would like to spend a couple of days in Antigua before returning home -- at Finca Filadelfia, of course.
Still haven't decided on dates --
Hi S and O...Mario is wonderful and do take advantage of his skills. We tried the fried planteens (suggested by O). Mario made them and what a treat! Other guests were wondering about this and we did share a little. We LOVED enjoying his nacho platters in the evening on the terrace with a few drinks....we look forward to going back. (see you got the bid...we were bidding with you!!).
Our next trip is to Florida then Virgin Gorda.
Is this your 2nd trip to Guatemala? Will you be flying from the east coast?