South America has one of the largest populations in the world, as well as one of the most diverse culinary offerings on earth. These 8 delicious South American dishes will prove just how amazing this region’s food really is. You can’t leave South America without having tried at least one of these!
Brazil – Feijoada (Black-bean stew)
A dream for many travelers, Brazil is the fantasy destination where you lounge in a beach chair and sip a cool alcoholic drink called caipirinha, watching the people walk by. With its natural beauty, outgoing people, and blend of European, African, and Indigenous influences, this country captivates us.
Any Brazilian menu – from fine dining restaurants to mom-and-pop shops – will undoubtedly include Feijoada: a delicious stew made with black beans, beef or pork trimmings, and sausage.
Because Brazil is such an expansive country, people throughout the country prepare feijoada differently. For instance, some may choose to add spicy chorizo picante, while others may opt to use mild sauces. The only rule is always to make sure that the feijoada you order contains rice, collard greens, and carne seca (corned beef). For to make it more authentic, add any parts of the pig.
A staple of Brazilian cuisine, feijoada is celebrated every Saturday as “day of feijoada.”
Peru – Ceviche
Peru is a complex country similar to its complex weaving patterns. The word ‘Peru’ actually comes from the ancient Incan language Quechua meaning the land of abundance, which aptly summarizes this gorgeous country packed full of both natural and man-made attractions.
One of these attractions is the ceviche, which is a popular dish. Typically, ceviche is made from fresh fish marinated in citrus juices like lime and spiced with chili peppers. Mixing in salt, red onion and ají, Peru’s traditional chili pepper, the mixture is then drenched in lime juice.
The key lies in the acidic marinade, referred to as leche de tigre (tiger’s milk). It converts the proteins in the fish’s flesh into a lighter, spicier version. whether eaten as an appetizer or as a main course, ceviche is a savoury and spicy dish that tastes especially good when enjoyed near a body of water.
Ecuador – Encebollado (“Onioned” soup)
A visit to Ecuador will reveal startlingly different scenery, as well as everything an adventurous visitor could ask for. With its outstanding biodiversity, exquisite colonial architecture, quaint Kichwa villages, and the enigmatic Galapagos Islands, the country is renowned for its rainforests, and bustling markets.
One element in the mixture of uniquely Turkish experiences is the country’s national dish An important ingredient in this dish is an onion. When its name is translated, it is essentially an onion soup.
This dish, very helpful in curing a hangover, includes fresh tuna, cassava root, tomatoes, onions, coriander, chili, coriander, and cumin that all make a potent mixture. The soup, known as sofrito, will also have pickled onions added on top of it, or it will have it inside it.
Encebollado soup originates from Ecuador’s coast where the fishermen out at sea resorted to eating soup. Having the basic ingredients of salt, oil, pepper and vegetables in their ships, this is the soup they concocted, and because the locals ate the soup with lots of shrimp, it came to be one of their signature dishes.
Chile – Pastel De Choclo (Corn pie)
The most well-known aspect of Chile is its unusual shape, extending in a tongue-like fashion from the southern end of South America. It is noticably thin in comparison to the country’s extremely lengthy borders. Traveling between the regions of this country you will encounter deserts with magnificent vistas, among rolling dunes and flamingo-filled lakes, followed by sandy beaches and indigenous forests, on to a mix of glamorous resorts and picturesque ice-capped glaciers and fjords.
Chile is so tiny that one might feel like they are still in the same neighborhood, no matter where they travel. Locals cook adventurous home-style food in this country as well.
We now turn our attention to Chile’s national dish, Pastel de Choclo. “Pastel de choclo” translates as “corn pie,” though it’s more of a casserole. Ground beef, chicken, raisins, onions, black olives, and hardboiled eggs are usually included in the filling, similar to the English corn pudding.
Argentina: Asados (Grilled meats to die for)
Argentina – just the word is enough to conjure up the image of languid tango dancers, a hearty gaucho wandering the pampas, elegant Malbec, and rich cuts of meat.
The national dish in Argentina is an asado: a variety of barbecued meat including steaks, ribs, chicken, beef, pork, and blood sausage grilled on a large grill. This culinary term from Argentina comes from asado, which means grilled in Spanish. It not only denotes the bond that Argentinians have in connection with the simple joys of cooking and dining together, but also points out the importance of meat in Argentinian cuisine.
Colombia – Bandeja paisa (“Medellin Tray”)
However, the once prominent Colombia associated with crime lords, drugs, and combat fatigues is gradually shifting to the magical reality of the nation, now appreciated for its decadent coffee shops, intriguing dance movements, and mouth-watering home-cooked foods.
La bandeja paisa, which translates to the “Paisa tray,” is a typical Colombian dish that comes from Medellin, Colombia’s second-largest city.
The dish consists of ground meat, fried pork belly, fried eggs, plantains, hogao sauce, and black pudding. It also includes white rice, avocados, and limes. This tray dish usually includes an arepa, which is the traditional Colombian tortilla.
Uruguay: Chivito sandwich
Embraced by Argentina’s sensuous glamor and Brazil’s carnivalesque glitter, Uruguay has remained relatively obscure. While Latin America’s most diminutive country has lived in the shadow of its flamboyant neighbors for centuries, it has now caught the attention of international tourists.
Uruguay is more proud of its national cuisine than its soccer team. It produces some of the best quality beef in the world, which is used in a variety of traditional dishes. It consists of tenderized beef steak between two buttered buns, ham, melted cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and mayonnaise.
It can be made with bacon, egg, ham, and steak strips, plus mozzarella melted cheese, lettuce, olives, and tomatoes, for the perfect South American sandwich. In Uruguay, the chivito sandwich, which is translated as “little goat”, is the ultimate protein-packed sandwich.
Bolivia – Salteñas (Bolivian empanadas)
Bolivian cuisine preserved a traditional dish in Salteñas, a type of empanada. Empanadas, which are Latin for “wrapped in bread,” are traditionally filled with a savory filling made up of beef, chicken, or pork, along with chopped vegetables. Its filling is runnier than empanada filling, resembling soup or stew more than the regular stuffing used in empanadas. Salteas are made with gelatin, which allows the ingredients to harden and marinate so that they can be softened and melted in the oven without making the dough exterior soggy.
The distinctive upright shape of salte’as helps distinguish them from traditional empanadas which lie on their sides. You can easily identify salte’as in a lineup. The pinched seam is found along the top rather than the side of the half-circle pastry, making Saltekas a popular breakfast or snack item. It goes great with a spicy Bolivian sauce!