Thanks to the lovely Jenn we’ve got another round of questions. And the ever popular food topic makes a mighty comeback.
“Best alcoholic Guatemalan drink?” – Jenn
Contrary to the popular belief of some friends, Guatemala is not Mexico and tequila is not common. This is unfortunate, as I love tequila. So, what is there? Rum. Lots of rum. Whiskey is also popular. Though what is served is normally not of very good quality. There is also something called Quetzalteca – a very potent aguardiente made from sugarcane – that I try to avoid.
Then we have Guatemalan beer.
The most common is Gallo, which you can find in pretty much every tienda (and many pictures of me on facebook, funnily enough) produced by Ceveceria Centro Americana based out of Guatemala City. This brewery also produces Dorado (which seems awful, I’ve never found a reason to try it) and Moza (which is of better quality than Gallo), which aren’t quite as readily available. Brahva out of Brazil seems to be Gallo’s main competitor. Sometimes Corona pops up unexpectedly and I’ll splurge on it. But those are really your main options.
There is exactly one winery in Guatemala located outside of Antigua (run by a strange Frenchman with too much money who seems to have taken up winemaking on a whim) and a variety of local fruit wine ventures (one of the aldeas in my municipalidad makes Rosa Jamaica wine) but I’ve only seen other volunteers and tourists drinking wine in country. As for Kusha, or the local moonshine, I have yet to have the pleasure.
“Best dessert?” – Jenn
Guatemalans like cake. But they normally like it inundated with some kind of liquid (rum, milk, other unidentifiable sweet liquids) and I just can’t get myself to enjoy wet cake. Give me a chocobanana (or the more elusive but way more delicious chocococo) any day – they’re only 1Q!
“Do they have McDonalds?” – Jenn
McDonald’s can be found in the capital and Antigua. Along with Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell and even Subway and Quizno’s. With some menu changes, of course. I personally can’t get over the newest McDonald’s promotion utilizing Tortrix. Tortrix are really common Guatemalan snack chips, kind of like flavored fritos (they come in hot, BBQ and, my favorite, lime) and McD’s went and put them on a burger. Brilliant.
Really though, it’s all about the Pollo Campero. They are far more common (in all of the departmental capitals and even found in some larger municipios) and Guatemalans swear by them. I’ve even heard that families visiting relatives living in the states often pack Pollo Campero for them because they miss it so much. I also hear that there are a few Pollo Camperos that have recently opened north of the border in Miami and Los Angeles. I highly recommend the sandwiches or pechugitas and encourage you to marvel at the GIANT ketchup packets they give out.