Nicaragua’s national dish, the quesillo

Not to be confused with the vastly different versions of quesillo around Latin America, Nicaragua’s quesillo is a matter of pride and intense competition among roadside vendors, especially two on the road between Managua and León that claim to be the original and the best.

Tortilla is wrapped around a block of cheese, placed in a plastic bag, and pickled onions and cream are added. I found them interesting but the elements did not harmonize to my liking.

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Panama Costa Rica Nicaragua 155

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Panama Costa Rica Nicaragua 252

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  • Doña Cecilia

    ¿Quesillo? ¡Qué horror! You obviously have pedestrian tastes.

    I would think that gallo pinto, vigorón, or nacatamal would be more representative of a national dish than quesillo.

  • Quesillos never really grabbed me. Gallo pinto, on the other hand, is the world’s greatest rice-and-beans preparation, bar none. And I’m talking about Nicaraguan gallo pinto, not the stuff they serve in Costa Rica.

  • @Doña Cecilia – my tastes certainly are pedestrian, though in this case, as I noted the quesillo didn’t really work for me. I don’t speak Spanish but the people I interacted with all talked about quesillos, so that’s what I tried and wrote about. In León I walked about half an hour looking in vain for a place without eardrum-shattering music and something interesting to eat, and ended up choosing a half-Latin/half-Chinese place that was quite poor. Grenada has plenty of tourist-y places but I was in and out, and other meals I just grabbed at the roadside due to limited time. I wish I would have found better dishes like those you recommend.