Top 22 Guyanese Snacks To Satisfy Those Cravings!
There’s no debate when it comes to Guyanese food. The dishes are simple yet tasty and comforting and this is also reflected in the snacking culture.
Guyanese snacks are a combination of Caribbean, Asian, and South American flavors. Together, they offer a diverse range of street food and snacks.
Most snacks in Guyana are homemade and aren’t mass-produced as opposed to many snacks the world over. This is what lends to the authenticity and the full Guyanese experience when sampling these tasty treats.
You can find these snacks on the corner of most streets so they are easily accessible. The snacking culture is so popular that street vendors can sometimes hardly keep up with the demands.
So what are these popular snacks that people can’t get enough of? Let’s get right to the details and round-up some of the most popular Guyanese snacks.
Pholourie is a fritter made from a split pea batter. It is flavored with a variety of spices and peppers.
The batter is mixed to a slightly thick consistency and dropped in oil by hand or tablespoon. It is fried until golden and served with mango sour or another type of sour drizzled on top or completely soaked. Sour is basically mango, tamarind, and cucumber boiled with cloves of garlic seasoned with pepper and salt with a hint of sugar. It is then puréed to a slightly runny consistency.
This snack is so popular that you can now find various pholourie mixes from different brands available in supermarkets and online. All you need to do is add water to the mix, fry, and enjoy.
Eggball is yet another popular snack that you will find almost anywhere in Guyana. Some people even substitute it for breakfast since it’s an easy grab-and-go option that keeps you full up.
Eggball is simple and consists of a boiled egg coated with boiled cassava. The boiled cassava is crushed into a very thick paste and used to cover the entire egg. It is then rolled in a whisked egg or flour to keep the ball together and deep-fried in oil.
Eggball is also served with mango sour or some other type of sour to tickle those taste buds.
3. Cassava Ball
A cassava ball is an eggball without the egg in the middle. Cassava is boiled, crushed, seasoned, and rolled into a ball. It is then rolled in egg and flour to stop it from breaking apart while frying.
The ball is fried until lightly golden and served with sour. Cassava balls have a soft exterior and fluffy interior that’ll melt in your mouth.
4. Potato Ball
Potato ball is similar to cassava ball but the cassava is swapped with potatoes. Potatoes are boiled, crushed, seasoned, shaped into balls, rolled in eggs and flour, and fried. They are served with mango sour as well.
5. Meat Ball
Meatball is another variant of eggball. However, while it is called a meatball, it is more oval-shaped than round. Boiled, crushed, and seasoned cassava is used to coat pan-fried and seasoned minced beef or chicken. It is then rolled in egg and flour then fried. Meatballs can be served with mango or any other sour.
Channa aka chickpeas are prepared in two ways.
The first method includes soaking the chickpeas overnight, splitting them into two, deep-frying them then seasoning with salt and other spices. This leads to a crunchy snack that can be eaten dry or with sour.
The other method is soaking the chickpeas overnight then boiling and pan-frying. This is called boil and fry channa. It is usually soft, well-seasoned, and flavored. Like the previous method, it can be eaten without condiments or with any condiment of your choice.
7. Chicken Foot
Chicken foot oddly enough does not include any part of the chicken. It is made with flour seasoned with curry powder and cumin. The ingredients are mixed into a soft dough then sliced into thin strips and deep-fried in hot oil. What you’re left with is an extra crunchy and tasty snack.
Today, people are experimenting with different ingredients such as cheese and creating their own version of this favorite snack. Chicken foot can be enjoyed without sour if you like crunchy snacks. However, if it is too crunchy, some mango sour will help soften them up.
8. Tamarind Balls
Tamarind balls are a crowd-pleaser. It is the perfect combination between sweet and sour.
Fresh tamarind is peeled and mixed into a thick paste. It is then flavored with salt, finely crushed garlic and pepper. The paste is then rolled into small balls and coated with sugar. Some people prefer spicy, some prefer it sweet and some prefer it sour.
9. Pickled Mango
Pickled mango or mango with salt and pepper is one of the most popular fruit snacks in Guyana. Half-ripe or semi-ripe mangoes are typically sliced and sprinkled with salt and pepper depending on your preference. Some people may preserve the slices of mango in vinegar and salt and pepper for several days until the slices are infused with the mixture.
The Guyanese will pretty much pickle any fruit or eat it with salt and pepper. The country has an abundance of fruit trees so several fruits are in season year-round
10. Honey Roasted Peanuts
Peanuts are loved worldwide, except by those who are allergic of course. This snack involves peanuts which are roasted in a honey syrup mixture to give it a sweet and toasty flavor.
They are usually served in paper bags and some street vendors roast them fresh, right in front of your eyes. This ensures you get them hot for the best experience.
Mithai is a sweet snack for anyone with a bit of a sweet tooth.
It can be made in two forms. You can enjoy it crunchy or soft depending on your preference. A simple dough consisting of flour, sugar, butter, ghee, and milk is rolled and cut into thin strips for crunchy mithai or into triangular shapes for soft mithai. The dough is then dropped in hot oil to fry and then coated with crystalized sugar for an exceptionally sweet treat.
12. Coconut Buns
Coconut buns are the perfect mid-afternoon snack when it’s too early for dinner but you want something to keep you going till then.
These buns are made from a dough-like mixture consisting of coconut, flour, and other ingredients. Some people throw in some raisins or cherries while some prefer them plain with just a drop of almond and vanilla extract.
Coconut buns are dense and compact yet flaky and tasty. However, you’ll need a beverage to wash them all down. You can choose from the many fresh local juices or beverages that pair well with this snack.
Another great mid-afternoon snack is salara. This snack is made from a bread-like dough with swirls of coconut in the center. Coconut is shredded and toasted with cinnamon and colored with red food coloring.
Yes, it looks and tastes as good as it sounds. The brown outer crust and the white and red swirls of coconut center are truly a work of art.
Quinches are based on the same shredded coconut mixture used in salara. However, this snack uses cassava instead of a bread-like dough. At first glance, it looks like a cassava bread wrap but the technique used is different. This cassava coating is different and has a softer consistency so it can wrap all the coconut goodness securely. What you’re left with is a snack that tastes of cassava, coconut, and spices.
15. Cassava Pone
Cassava pone confuses some people since it’s not a pudding or a cake. It is kind of both and kind of not as well.
Coconut, spices, such as cinnamon, milk, and sugar are added to finely grated cassava and it is all placed in a baking pan. It is then baked until it becomes dark brown, when you’re left with a dense and gummy-like cake with crunchy edges. The flavor and difference in textures are quite an experience.
16. Cheese Straw
If you’re a cheese lover, then you’ll enjoy this next snack as it is an explosion of flavors and highly addictive. Cheese straws are made from a mixture of butter, flour, salt, pepper, and loads of shredded cheese. The dough is then cut into ¼ inch strips then placed on a baking sheet and baked until golden.
17. Cheese Pie
Cheese pie is another cheese snack for cheese lovers. This small cup-shaped pastry is filled with a mixture of cheese, eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. It is baked for 25-30 minutes until the outside is flaky and the cheesy milk and egg mixture is fully cooked.
18. Cheese Roll
We’re once again talking about cheesy snacks. Cheese rolls are flaky pastries filled with a cheese mix. The cheese mix is wrapped in dough with the edges folded and pressed with a fork for a nice design.
Pinetart is for jam lovers. Pastry is rolled out and stuffed full of delicious pineapple jam. It is then folded inwards to create a triangular shape, glazed with an egg wash, and placed in the oven to bake.
The beautiful golden flaky outer crust and sweet pineapple jam in the middle make for a delectable treat any time of the day.
20. Pine Slice
Pine slice uses pineapple jam as well. However, instead of pastry, the jam is sandwiched between two layers of fluffy cake. It basically tastes like you’re eating cake with jam.
Guyanese fudge comes in various flavors and colors. They also feature different toppings and additives such as nuts and raisins. However, the fudge base is usually the same. Milk, sugar, and butter are heated and stirred until it gets a creamy consistency. The mixture is then left to cool and harden slightly. It is then cut into squares for a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
22. Plantain Chips
Bagged potato chips step aside, there’s a new boss in town. Plantain chips are a cult favorite and with an abundance of plantain country-wide, this go-to snack can be prepared without much hassle. Plantains are cut into thin rounds and long thin strips and deep-fried.
They can be eaten alone or with a side of mango sour, pepper sauce, or ketchup. There are also cassava chips and sweet potato chips that follow the same steps. They are even eaten with the same condiments.
This is not an exhaustive list of Guyanese snacks. This list highlights some of the most popular that are easy to find no matter where you are in the country.
They are all pretty simple yet bursting with flavors that tantalize your taste buds whether you have a sweet tooth or would rather snack on something sour or savory.