Fiambre a Traditional Guatemalan Dish


Ashley Padilla

FIAMBRE – A Guatemalan dish made in the month of November. This holiday dish is made from a different combination of canned food.

Ashley Padilla , Photography Editor

Fiambre started out from the tradition in Guatemala of taking the favorite food of passed family members to the cemeteries for the Day of the Dead. However, the tradition continues for all of November. Guatemalans that live in the United States make this food either on November 2nd or Thanksgiving. The tradition started off with various families bringing different foods to the celebration, and eventually, they mixed them together to create this all-encompassing salad. 

This dish varies from family to family, and recipes are traditionally passed on to the younger generations. Because of this, it is customary to share your fiambre with other families and relatives. 



  • 3 carrots, sliced or diced
  • 2 cups green beans
  • ½ cauliflower, cut in small florets
  • ½ cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 cup of beets 
  • 1 cup canned corn
  • 3 pacaya flowers
  • ½ cup pickled baby corns
  • 4 tablespoons capers
  • A few lettuce leaves 
  • 4 radishes, carved in roses (for garnish)


  • 4 oz. cecina (dried smoked and salted beef)
  • 12 oz. chicken breast, cooked
  • 4 oz. chorizo Colorado sliced
  • 4 oz. black chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 4 oz. hot dog, cooked and sliced
  • 4 oz. ham, cut in long strips
  • 4 oz. longaniza 
  • 4 oz. salami, cut in large cubes

Eggs and Dairy (a combination of)

  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, halfs
  • ½ lb cheddar cheese, sliced
  • 12 oz. queso fresco 


  • ½ bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig oregano
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of salt 


The day before

  1. Cook the vegetables separately (times are indicative, vegetables need to be cooked but still firm).
  2. Boil the sliced carrots for 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Blanch the green beans for 5 minutes. Cut in 1-inch (2.5 cm) sections.
  4. Boil the cauliflower for 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Blanch the cabbage for 5 minutes.
  6. Blanch the asparagus for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut half of them in 1-inch sections, and keep the rest to decorate the salad.
  7. Boil peas for 6 to 8 minutes.
  8. Boil the chicken in water seasoned with salt and pepper for about 20 minutes.
  9. Skim off the fat once it has cooled.
  10. Shred the cooked chicken and set aside.
  11. Keep some of the broth and mix in a blender with the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, parsley, thyme, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes then chill overnight.
  12. Combine all the cooked vegetables with the beets and corn. Let them sit overnight in the refrigerator.

On the day of serving

  1. Boil the chorizo, as well as the sausages and meats that need to be boiled beforehand.
  2. Mix the vegetables with the meats. Keep a few slices of ham (or other cold cuts) to decorate.
  3. Place lettuce leaves to cover a large serving platter.
  4. Arrange a layer of the vegetables and meats.
  5. Decorate with the asparagus, baby corn, capers, radishes, hard-boiled eggs, ham and cheese.
  6. Serve chilled.