Gallo pinto is a traditional Central American dish that consists of rice and small kidney beans. Basically, it’s magic in food form. I started writing this poem while I was in Nicaragua and I just finished it tonight. I have made gallo pinto a few times since returning to the states and every time it simultaneously comforts me and makes me miss Nica even more. It’s delicious- it tastes like home. It is an incredibly simple dish that serves up a whole load of complex emotions for me and for that I will always love gallo pinto.
It has always been interesting to me that tastes and smells have such power over our memories. One bite of gallo pinto and I’m back in Nica, sweaty and tired after a day teaching our kiddos, and so incredibly happy that my favorite meal is being served. That meal being absolutely anything served with, you guessed it, gallo pinto.
So, without further ado, enjoy my awful attempt at poetry!
Beans, rice, onion
Oh, but so complex,
I thought I would be sick
Of you by now
Since I eat you
At least once a day.
Oh, but gallo pinto!
You cheer me with your chewiness,
You charm me with your crucnch.
You make lunch and dinner,
And even breakfast,
You bring pizazz to huevos fritos,
Even marinara sauce gets better
Because of you.
So, thank you gallo pinto.
Thank you for making everyone jealous
That I can’t eat gluten
And for accompanying me on every plate
At every meal.
You taste like the memory of Nica.
I love you as I loved the mountain view,
And I can’t wait to experience you
Again in your hometown.
Until tomorrow, folks!