Long before the Europeans discovered South America, the native populations knew how to cultivate an incredible array of plants. They developed elaborate irrigation systems and terraced the steep Andean mountain slopes to make them more suitable for growing food. They grew corn, lima beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, chile peppers, avocados, peanuts, chocolate, and raised llamas and guinea pigs. Each region developed its own traditional dishes. When the Europeans arrived, they incorporated some of these native dishes into their own cuisine.
- Dulce de Leche
Can you describe these lights as clouds, rich with caramel, and morsels of sheer pleasure? Dulce de Leche is the answer to your dreams. Eight years ago, in 2010, when the creamy caramel called dulce de leche (literally, candied milk) was declared in Buenos Aires to be part of “Argentina’s cultural and gastronomic heritage.
A popular seafood dish along with the western coastline of South America, ceviche is one of the most exported delights to have come out of the continent. Fresh, raw seafood (usually some sort of white fish) is cured in citrus juice (lemon, lime, or Seville orange), spiked with some heat from chili peppers served alongside complementing vegetables like boiled corn, plantain or sweet potatoes, ceviche is the kind of dish with which you could never overdose.
- Cazuela de Llama
In this dish, you will find chopped up pieces of llama meat slow cooked in a stew with carrots and papas andinas (native potatoes). This dish is delicious and the llama meat is full of flavor. You will not be disappointed, Buzzers!
- Steak and Chimichurri
Argentina boasts their best beef on the planet, resulting in the most mouth-watering steaks you’ll ever savor anywhere, but they also serve them alongside one of the most moreish BBQ sauces ever invented by a chef with a penchant for garlic called chimichurri. These two ingredients together are like music to your taste-buds.
- Ropa Vieja
Ropa Vieja is a national dish of Cuba. Ropa Vieja is often accompanied by black beans, fried plantains, and rice.
Empanada is small pies with a “croissant” shape, made of dough filled with different fillings which are mostly savory.
- Chivito Sandwich Uruguay
What does it say about the national palate of Uruguay that their national dish is a sandwich of such unparalleled deliciousness a sandwich of sheer amazing brilliance? The chivito is Uruguay’s classic sandwich. The sandwich is made with steak, ham, cheese, and sometimes other ingredients, like lettuce, tomato, and a fried egg.
- Mole Pablano
Poblano is a dark red-brown sauce usually served with chicken. Although it contains approximately twenty-five ingredients, Mole Poblano can be prepared in nearly infinite numbers of ways. It is often served when prepared for weddings, birthdays and baptisms. During the Christmas holiday season, it is often served over shrimp garnished with rosemary.
The art of fire-roasting meats was born in the 17th century during the colonial period of Brazil. The creators of this unique cooking technique are the Brazilian cowboys, known as “Gauchos”. This cooking breakthrough tale occurred over 300 years ago when an unknown “Gaucho” fire-roasted the first Brazilian churrasco at a camp-side feast. The beef was the one ingredient.
Tamale is the Spanish singular word for a packet of dough made from masa. Masa is ground corn enhanced with lime juice or calcium hydroxide to make the corn more bio-available. The masa dough is spread inside of a corn husk and filled with savory or sweet ingredients and then steamed or baked.