The two cities of Nagarote and La Paz Centro have a disagreement that started decades ago.  The legend is that in the 1980’s, when the government of Nicaragua started promoting tourism, La Paz Centro put up a big sign that said “Birthplace of the Quesillo.”  Nagaroteñans disagree heartily, claiming that the Quesillo originated in Nagarote and was stolen by La Paz Centro.  Given that the two towns are only 9 miles apart, this is a disagreement that is not likely to be resolved any time soon.

A quesillo is a tortilla with a thin stretchy cheese (kind of like mozzarella), chopped onions, and heavy cream.  They roll them up in a plastic bag of course, and I just learned the Nicaraguan trick to eating them without spilling the cream everywhere.  Eat the tortilla and cheese 2/3 of the way down, then tie a knot in the plastic bag.  Flip it over, and bite the corner off the plastic bag, so you can suck out the cream along with the rest of the creamy, gooey, flavorful quesillo.


Luis quiere una más…

After two weeks of bugging me every time we drive past La Paz Centro for quesillos, I treated the interns and project Coordinator Luis to Quesillos and Tiste, a drink made from corn, ground cocoa, and cinnamon.  We are drinking the tiste out of traditional cups made from Jicaro shells.