TOP TIP: if you're ever overseas for an extended amount of time, don't embarass yourself at the outset, by uttering the following amateurish phrase:
"Oh I would never touch a hamburger. Really all I need is (insert local staple here)"
It will not last. One day, when you are sneaking a Big Mac, or a poor copy in some backpacker hovel, you will be reminded of your smug former utterings.
The truth is we all miss certain foods when our choice becomes limited.
And your cravings aren't always easy to predict.
I mean, when I was in England I ate food from all over the world: Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Indian etc etc. I probably ate pasta more than I ever ate potatoes.
(Side note: while Googling Fray Bentos Pies I learned that they are banned from the USA. Land of the Free? Ha!.)
Most of all I miss fish and chips.
I mean English fish and chips. Battered fish (not breadcrumbs), chips cooked in animal fat, not vegetable oil, and served up with ketchup, salt and vinegar.
Those of you who have followed my blogging since Hanoi might be surprised by this but... Give me Nicaraguan food over Vietnamese any time.
Vietnamese food may be praised from the heavens by bloggers in Hanoi and (formerly) Saigon. But it never worked for me. I have a hunch that most people who say they love Vietnamese food have mostly eaten it in California or Sydney.
In Hanoi I ate my fair share of pork fat, offal and over boiled veg. I miss pho and that is it.
Nicaraguan food might be a little muted in comparison but its fresh and its honest. The meat comes in lumps, not slivers, the veg is usually raw and tasty, the beans are filling. The rice is not cooked into submission.
It tastes of what it is.
Sure a little more salt wouldn't go a miss and I wish there was a tad more spice. But it's solid food.
It's consistent too. Eat in any house and you'll enjoy your meal. In Vietnam eating in people's homes could cause nightmares.
Granada, however, is not the sprawling metropolis that Hanoi was. In Hanoi there was food from around the world. It's pretty good here but not on the same scale. I'd kill for a chicken vindaloo.
I have to say though that there was nowhere among all the Hanoi expat haunts that comes even close a Granada breakfast. There's not much to choose between Edward's Nica Buffet and Kathy's Waffle House but what they serve up is just incredible.
The special: rice and beans, eggs, fried potatoes, bacon, toast and jam.
The eggs are the best I have ever tasted. You know those chickens spend their days roaming free.
Not to forget a mug of Nica Coffee too (which just edges it over the admittedly delicious Cafe Sua Da)
* The picture above comes from a website called British Favourites. It turned up in the adbar after one gmail post that included the words expat and food. I'm not tempted but thanks for the inspiration for the post.