Traditional Nicaraguan Foods Eaten around Pascuas (Easter)
The word 'pascuas' carries the Old Testament sense of Passover, making the sacrifice of Christ's life a deliverance from a 'modern' sense of bondage, whereas the anglicized name 'Easter' is for the bunnies, IMO. (Druids, besides oaks, worshipped rabbits, I learned someplace or other.) It happens the first Sunday after Spring begins ('equinox' is near meaningless here in the tropics) in a new lunar month (begun with the full moon).
Every Friday of 'Cuaresma' (Lent) observant Catholics in Nicaragua eat sopa de queso (cheese soup). During this 46d period of penitence, meats from mammals (animals with hair) are taboo. Fish & fowl are OK.
Semana Santa, the week from Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday, same root Ramadan?) to Domingo de Pascua (Easter) with old traditional Catholics of the Nicaragua countryside is especially solemn. No leña is cut or gathered for cooking fires. 'Tamales pisques' (smaller than nacatamales, & usually unfilled, though some are filled with beans) are eaten with eggs or sardines. The mass for making tamales pisques is prepared by boiling kernal corn with ash (Southern US grits are made in a similar fashion, but using lye or KOH, which is what dissolves in water from wood fire ash).
There's a special sweet treat eaten, and offered to those visiting your home, during this holy week. It's called 'almivar'. Something of a tropical fruit cocktail cooked up like folk in Appalachia still prepare apple butter, slowly in a huge caldron. Stirring the whole while it cooks is something of a communal project, taking turns, into the night, telling stories around the small fire under the kettle. What goes into the pot? Jocote (the small plum-like fruit, sold everywhere these days, that Nicas crave; I find it too bitter) + mango + tamarindo + nancite (yellow to red, sweet, size of a green olive, with 3 'pelos de colito') + grocea (tiny, black, acidic) + papaya verde + pimiento olorosa (black, pea-size, aromatic & picante). And like apple butter, it's cooked up with cinnamon & clove. I ate some once, a cupful sold on the street in Ciudad Sandino (cost some 10 pesos), but it was too foreign to my palate. A dark brown, bitter-sweet syrup covering lots of chunks of cooked fruit with occasionally weird textures, 'almivar' may take me several more years here to grow accustomed to.