In the streets of Managua, just like in other Nicaraguan cities-especially in Granada-it's common to see street vendors with large baskets, full of ingredients ready for making the traditional vigorón. This name might seem funny, and really doesn't have much to do with the ingredients, but it's practically an institution in this Central American country.
This typical dish is prepared with cooked yuca combined with crispy pork chicharrón and served with the classic Nicaraguan salad: cabbage, tomato and a little onion. This same salad is used for accompanying tajadas (fried plantain chips), carne asada, tortillas and many other local specialties.
Vigorón is usually served mid-morning, accompanied by fresco de cacao (a chilled home-made hot chocolate), tiste or pinolillo, two similar versions of a drink made with ground corn and cocoa. If you purchase vigorón on the street, you'll usually see it served over a banana leaf or sometimes over a disposable plate and bagged to take home.
This dish is the quintessential plato casero or home-made meal that is also popular for special occasions; it's a national favorite, easy to prepare and always rico.
The city of Granada and vigorón have a special connection as well. Frequently, Nicaraguans will travel to this delightful colonial city just to have a plate of vigorón under the pergola of the Central Park. The atmosphere is simply beautiful; in the shadow of the Mombacho volcano and at the edge of the largest lake in the country, between the small streets where horse-drawn carriages can still be seen, you can find the most famous dishes of vigorón.
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