New World Adventures in Food

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guatemala Pre-Hispanic civilization provided the staple ingredients of corn and beans on which much of Guatemalan cooking is still based today, however it was Spanish cooking styles that introduced using corn and many other native vegetables, fruits and meats in a variety of ways. Guatemalan gastronomy is one of the country’s cultural treasures, according to chef Mircini Moliviati, the host of Guatemala’s popular gastronomy TV program, “El Sabor de mi Tierra” (The Flavors of My Land). During a recent New York City visit, she pointed out that, “Our cuisine is linked to every activity we do as a society: the celebration of life and the embracing of death; the dismissal of the old year and the welcoming of the new; the cultivation of earth at planting and harvest time; the observation of Maya and Christian ceremonies.”

Illustrating Moliviati’s point, Avanti Destinations puts the accent on gastronomy in its 6-day Guatemala Culture and Cuisine vacation. Travelers start this journey (on Sundays and Wednesdays) in Guatemala City with a transfer to colonial Antigua for two nights, dining the first evening at a local restaurant, and the following day preparing several local dishes at a half-day cooking class, taking a city tour and enjoying a wine tasting and private dinner at Meson Panza Verde. En-route to Lake Atitlan, travelers visit the Azotea Coffee Farm and Maya Traditions Museum, and during a 2-night lakeside stay, travel by boat to villages noted for their weaving and paintings, Maya costumes and ceremonies. The itinerary includes a visit to the famous market at Chichicastenango, en-route to Guatemala City for the final night. The tour cost starts at $1,725 pp dbl.