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|Life in Nicaragua|
Nicaraguan cuisine includes a mixture of indigenous, Spanish cuisine and Creole cuisine. When the Spaniards first arrived in Nicaragua they found that the Creole people present had incorporated foods available in the area into their cuisine. Despite the blending and incorporation of pre-Columbian and Spanish influenced cuisine, traditional cuisine differs on the Pacific and the Caribbean coast. While the Pacific coast's main staple revolves around local fruits and corn, the Caribbean coast's cuisine makes use of seafood and coconut.
As in many other Latin American countries, corn is a main staple. Corn is used in many of the widely consumed dishes, such as nacatamal, and indio viejo. Corn is not only used in food; it is also an ingredient for drinks such as pinolillo and chicha as well as in sweets and desserts. Other staples are rice and beans. Rice will be eaten when corn is not and beans are consumed as a cheap protein by the majority of Nicaraguans. It is common for rice and beans to be eaten as a breakfast dish. There are many meals including these two staples; one popular dish, Gallo Pinto, is often served as breakfast, sometimes with eggs. Nicaraguans do not limit their diet solely to corn, rice, and beans. Many Nicaraguans will have small gardens of their own full of vegetables.
Commonly used ingredients include fruits and vegetables include: jocote, grosella, mimbro, mango, papaya, tamarind, pipian, banana, avocado, yuca, and quequisque. Herbs such as culantro, oregano and achiote are also part of the cuisine.
Nicaraguan cuisine makes use of fruits, some of which are only grown in that particular region due to their location. Many fruits are made into drink, such as melon, papaya, guayaba, guanábana, coconut, pina, and pitahaya, among others. Pinolillo is very popular among Nicaraguans, as many times they refer to themselves as pinoleros. Many drinks are also made from grains, seeds, mixed with milk, water, sugar and ice. Other drinks include: