Honduras Plays Ketchup Tajadas and enchiladas at Mi Tierra

by Christiaan Mader

Photo by Robin May

Green bananas are not the same thing as plantains.

Photo by Robin May

Seems obvious, I know, but it’s still worth the distinction lest you find yourself confused by a plate of tajadas at Mi Tierra. Tajadas are essentially a Honduran entrant into the mutt food category I’ve called “food piles” (see above) that I imagine are not-so-distantly related to nachos. I’m having some trouble with pluralization here. Is nachos a single thing or plate of many things? I’ve taken it for granted that one could eat a single nacho, but now I’m not so sure of my subject/verb agreement.

Whatever grammatical/metaphysical properties are expressed by nachos, the same would be said of tajadas. As noted, the presentation is quintessential piling, a mound of ground beef, cabbage and pickled things spooned gob over gob onto a brickets of sautéed green bananas. Two squiggles of mayonnaise and ketchup traverse the pile’s top and give festive coloration to the impending mess.

On paper this really shouldn’t work.

Try dipping a banana in ketchup. Better yet, don’t. But sautéed green bananas, like plantains, read like a cross between steak frites and yucca — savory and starchy. Once you mix it all together, the apparent harmony will make you forget ketchup was even part of the picture.

I asked the owner if ketchup is a staple of Honduran cuisine. “Not necessarily,” he replied. I don’t know what that means.

Photo by Robin May

PRO TIP - A trip to Mi Tierra is worth it just to try Sabor Olanchano, a Honduran tabasco sauce. Without naming names, it obliterates other tabasco-based hot sauce in the flavor category.

Mi Tierra is located at 1523 N. Bertand Drive in Lafayette.