Dinner parties, weekend brunches, nacho-loving happy hours. Chances are you are no stranger to the social side of eating. But, if you are anything like us, nothing hits home quite like a hearty BBQ meal; and here’s where carneada steps in. This traditional Honduran dish can take your BBQ craze (and Roatan diving vacay) to a whole new level merely by allowing you to feast on a delicious combo of grilled meat and exotic sides, with fellow divers and locals by your side. FYI: That’s Honduran food at its finest. So, if you think carneada is the most flavorful way to treat your taste buds between dives, here’s what you need to know right now.

The Anatomy of Carneada

Usually served at BBQ parties, picnics, and other social activities, carneada (also known as plato tipico) is considered the ultimate party food and is always part of a typical Honduran fiesta. But, here’s the plot twist. The name “carneada” doesn’t refer just to the dish but everything that this dining experience has to offer, from how the meat is prepped and cooked to the drinks it’s served with to the festive music that accompanies every bite.
What’s also noteworthy about this Honduran classic is that many tend to confuse it with Mexico’s grilled beef specialty, carne asada. The truth is, though, that these two are more like distant cousins rather than copies of each other. So, even though they share many qualities like, say, their ingredient list, they are two different dishes.

Carneada, in particular, consists of grilled cuts of beef which are previously drenched in a pungent marinade of sour orange juice, olive oil, garlic, spices (salt, pepper, and cumin) and the occasional dash of Worcestershire sauce. The meat is cut into thin slices once it’s cooked which allows locals to tuck it inside a flour tortilla and devour as is. One of the secrets to the dish’s unique taste is that locals tend to marinate the meat overnight, allowing it to fully integrate with the flavor of the seasoned mix.

Thanks to its strong flavor, the Honduran favorite pairs well with a variety of mild-tasting side dishes which help tame the beef’s piquant aftertaste. Some of these entrees include chimol (a salsa-like topping made of chopped tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, coriander and lime juice), roasted or fried plantains, flour tortillas, refried mashed beans and spicy chorizos.

Carneada also pairs great with various alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, but the most popular option is horchata. The cinnamon-infused, rice-based drink adds to the meat’s intense flavor, making the experience all the more delicious. We also recommend you try carneada with a pint of cold beer or a refreshing cocktail. If you are not a fan of alcohol or want to head for a dive later that day, you can always opt for a Honduran mocktail.

Why Carneada Is A Must-Try Dish For Divers

By now you know that beef is a rich source of protein. But, what you may not know is that it contains all nine essential amino acids which means it’s a complete protein. If you are an obsessed admirer of the underwater life, your muscles need all the help they can get to recover after a long dive which usually comes in the form of the macronutrient mentioned above. So, cue the carneada! The Honduran dish is packed with beef plus it’s uber delicious, so you’ll have no trouble downing it. Bon appetit! Or should we say “buen provecho”?

So, would you add carneada to your post-diving menu? Let us known in the comment section below, and follow us on Facebook for more food inspo like this.


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