Baleada: The Honduran Street Food That’ll Have You Asking For Seconds
You gotta admit: As fun and exciting as it is, scuba diving is not always playing nice with your appetite. In fact, more often than not, divers claim that their underwater adventures are the reason they can’t wait to munch on a juicy burger or a sizzling hot dog once they’re out of their suit.
But, when you are in Roatan, Honduras, these post-diving cravings take on a whole new meaning. The Central American island is not familiar with the concept of fast food chain restaurants, so your best chance at scoring some delicious street food is baleada. This burrito-like treat combines everything that hits home with Honduras, from tortillas and cheese to beans and plantains (yep, we said it!).
So, if you are ready to dive into Roatan’s food culture and not just its waters, here’s everything you need to know about baleada and its lip-smacking effect on your taste buds.
The Anatomy of A Baleada
Pronounced as bah-le-ah-da, baleada is one of Honduras’ most iconic dishes. This delicious handheld has been around for many generations. So, at this point, it’s basically everyone’s favorite option for any meal of the day, even breakfast.
Despite looking like a deconstructed burrito, this Honduran street food has an identity of its own. Specifically, it consists of a flour tortilla filled with mashed refried red beans, cheese, and mantequilla which is Honduran-style sour cream. Note, though, that this is just the basic version of the handheld.
Locals have found various creative ways to enrich baleada’s flavor and texture by adding more ingredients to the mix. Some of these include scrambled eggs, avocados, fried plantains, meat in the form of sausage, chicken, steak or ground beef and chismol which is a Honduran condiment made of bell pepper, tomato, onion, cilantro, vinegar and lime juice (think of it as jazzed up salsa).
How to Order A Baleada in Roatan, Honduras
Given the wide variety of add-on ingredients, ordering a baleada can be a bit confusing, especially if this is your first time visiting the island. To help you out in this quest, we’ve gathered around the three most common versions of the Honduran dish and the ingredients featured in each of them.
- Simple Baleada
This version is composed of a flour tortilla which is filled with mashed refried red beans, sprinkled with cheese and smeared with mantequilla (Honduran sour cream). The creamy and filling texture of the beans comes in perfect harmony with the cheese’s salty and cream’s sour flavors, resulting in a savory taste bud explosion.
- Special Baleada
This version contains everything included in a simple baleada plus a generous serving of scrambled eggs. This ingredient adds some much-needed protein to this carb-dominated dish while cranking up the flavor factor.
- Super Special Baleada
In addition to all the ingredients in the special baleada, this amped up variant of the dish includes veggies (avocados and fried plantains), the meat of your preference (pork and beef are the most popular options), chismol and hot sauce. Yum!
Ever tasted this unique Honduran street food? Share your experience with us in the comment section down below!