Nopales being prepped for cooking. Photo © Joep Van Der Werff/123rf.

San Miguel de Allende’s Highland Cuisine

Mexico’s color and creativity are reflected in its wonderful food. Though San Miguel de Allende and the surrounding region aren’t well known for their distinctive culinary traditions, there are several dishes and some unusual ingredients that are frequent features of regional cuisine.

A woman sells meatballs and sausages on sticks in a bag with sauce in Phuket market, Thailand.

Enjoying Meals in Thailand

Thailand is having a love affair with food, which ensures that you can generally eat whenever you want to without worrying about offending anyone (the one place you can’t eat, however, is on the Bangkok subway or Skytrain). Learn about common meal times in the region and what to expect from Thai cuisine.

Cookies rest on a saucer beside a cup of tea.

London’s Tea Culture

It is odd how some stereotypes never really ring true to form, and yet others are spot on. Certainly the stereotype of the British loving tea is very apt, and this affinity with a cup of tea is incredibly pervasive; tea is offered on social and business calls, it’s a mid-afternoon snack, it’s a meal, it is everything and anything it needs to be. As a foreigner, learning these customs and all the various meanings of ‘tea’ makes life in London much easier, and much more enjoyable.

Picture-perfect beach in Piñones. Photo © Angel Xavier Viera-Vargas, licensed Creative Commons usage.

Fun in Bosque Estatal de Piñones, Puerto Rico

There’s no other place in Puerto Rico like the spectacular Bosque Estatal de Piñones. Stretching from the eastern tip of Isla Verde, San Juan, to the town of Loíza, this pristine reserve is a natural wonderland of deserted beaches; mangrove, pine, and palm forests; sand dunes; coral reefs; bays; salt flats; and lagoons.

Mmmm, chocolate. Photo © Cindy Eccles/123rf.

A Taste of History: Aztec Chocolatl

The refreshing drink chocolatl enjoyed by Aztec nobility is a remote but distinct relative of the chocolate consumed today by hundreds of millions of people. In Mexico, chocolate is more than mere dessert; used to spice the tangy moles of southern Mexico, it’s virtually a national food.

Cochinita Pibil is a traditional dish of slow-roasted pork. Photo © Alexander Mychko/123rf.

Traditional Food in the Yucatán

Like many regions of Mexico, the Yucatán Peninsula has a cuisine all its own. The base is recognizably Mexican, but the dishes here are strongly influenced by traditional Maya ingredients and techniques, with dashes of Caribbean and Middle Eastern flavors. Here are some popular menu items.

Pollo Campero. Photo © Jerry Huddleston, licensed Creative Commons usage.

Pollo Campero: Guatemala’s Cult of Fried Chicken

If like most people traveling home from Guatemala you fly out on a commercial airline, don’t be surprised by the distinct smell of fried chicken onboard your aircraft. Meet Pollo Campero, which, along with coffee and bananas, may be one of Guatemala’s main exports.

Nacatamales. Photo © Daniel M. Hochbaum.

Food in Nicaragua: Corn, Corn, and Corn

Maíz (corn) is central to the Nicaraguan diet. Beans are just as critical a staple, but in Nicaragua, corn is prepared with more variety, taste, and frequency. Corn here is eaten and drank in more than a hundred different ways.

Dobladas de queso (folded tortillas stuffed with cheese). Photo © Al Argueta.

Traditional Guatemalan Food

Guatemalan food may at first seem a bit odd to gringo palates, though the freshness and pungency of local ingredients, including a bounty of tropical fruits and vegetables, soon have many people enticed by the local flavors.

A small bowl of shrimp ceviche sits on a wooden table.

Where to Eat in Cartagena’s Old City

Seafood reigns supreme in Cartagena cuisine, and though many restaurants in the Walled City sport Manhattan prices, an inexpensive meal is not impossible to find. Here are local favorites from Caribbean-influenced dishes to always-popular pizza and pasta to truly authentic fritos, all with an Old City touch and a perfectly-matched drink.