Fritanga is derived from the Spanish frito, which means fried. Only in Nicaragua does it apply to a place where food is cooked, although the exact origins of the word are lost in the smoke of the firewood of time. Some local historians believe that the tradition of fritanga as a recognized style of food dates back to the 1931 earthquake that devastated Managua, when street barbecues emerged as a consequence.
Although concrete archaeological evidence is lacking, the tradition of cooking food over smoked wood coals in Central America likely dates back to the days when indigenous people arrived here about 15,000 to 20,000 years ago.
The ingredients soon became uniform as the popularity of combining carne asada with Nicaraguan staples such as gallo pinto (rice and beans), salted fried cheese, crispy slices or ripe ones, with a cabbage vinegar salad, and chilero, a spicy but not fiery mixture of chopped onion and pickled goat pepper, grew.
Most fritangas have their merchandise on display and you can choose whatever you want, with the price of each item added to your final invoice.
Typical fritanga options include moronga, chorizo, tortepapa, a battered potato pie stuffed with cheese, tacos, a tube of fried tortilla with meat in the middle, and enchiladas, tortillas stuffed with rice and meat, folded in half, battered and fried.