Guatemala, The Country Of Eternal Spring
Guatemala is a country with 14 million people located in Central America between latitudes 14° and 18°N. This country, together with the south of Mexico, Belize, part of El Salvador, and Honduras, form the Mesoamerican region where the Mayan culture nourished before the arrival of the Spaniards. The land area of Guatemala is 109,000km2 which is equal to 97% of the land surface area of the Mexican states of Veracruz and Yucatan. New Zealand is almost 2.5 times larger than Guatemala. Tropical regions have been defined as areas located between 23.5°N and 23.5°S of the equator. About 70% of Guatemala consists of mountains or tropical highlands, and available lands up to 3000m altitude are used for agriculture.
Guatemalan Coffees are defined in eight coffee regions under the slogan "A Rainbow of Choices". The regions are: Acatenango Valley, Antigua Coffee, Traditional Atitlan, Rainforest Coban, Fraijanes Plateau, Highland Huehue, New Oriente, and Volcanic San Marcos.
The highlands of Guatemala produce several of the world’s finest and most distinctive coffees. The mountain basin surrounding the austerely beautiful colonial city Guatemala Antigua produces the most distinguished of these highland coffees: Guatemala Antigua, a coffee that combines complex nuance (smoke, spice, flowers, occasionally chocolate) with acidity ranging from gently bright to austerely powerful. Fraijanes displays similar cup characteristics. Other Guatemala coffees display slightly softer, often less powerful, but equally complexly nuanced profiles. These softer Guatemalas include Cobán, admired for its fullish body and gentle, deep, rounded profile, Huehuetenango from the Caribbean-facing slopes of the central mountain range, and San Marcos coffees from the Pacific-facing slopes. Coffees from the basin surrounding Lake Atitlan in south central Guatemala typically offer the same complex nuance as Antiguas but are lighter in body and brighter in flavor.
The avocado, originating in southern Mexico and Guatemala, is loved for its rich taste and creamy texture and was a treasured crop of the ancient Maya. Even today a person from Antigua Guatemala is called a panza verde, or green belly, because of the region’s reliance on avocados in hard times.
Combined with chilis, garlic, cilantro, onions, and lime or lemon, avocados become guacamole, a sumptuous appetizer.
In 1917, Wilson Popenoe, a California Avocado Association explorer, reported why Guatemalan avocados are best:
“The flesh is of a deeper yellow color, smoother, more buttery in texture, and richer in flavor than any varieties yet known in the United States.”
Hass avocados are a hybrid Guatemalan type. While dozens of cultivars are grown, the Hass avocado is today the most common and accounts for 80% of cultivated avocados in the world. All Hass avocado trees are descended from a single “mother tree” raised by a mail carrier named Rudolph Hass.
Next Time You Enjoy Your Chips And Guacamole, Think Of Guatemala !