Cuisine in South America
Awaken your tastebuds with a South America foodie tour, as this vast and varied continent promises a platter of downright delectable dishes, divine drinks and irresistible ingredients.
One of the highlights of any trip to South America has to be experiencing incredible new tastes and flavours. From traditional Andean dishes to modern culinary delights, upscale restaurants to street food, dining brings South Americans together and is the beating heart of the colourful continent. South America offers one of the most diverse gastronomic landscapes in the world, but with so much deliciousness on offer, it can be tough to know where to begin!
You could start by getting stuck in to a cookery class, learning the history and recipes of typical South American cuisine from the experts. Often, chefs will take you to local markets first, where you can witness the abundant produce piled up on stalls in traditional fashion, providing an insight into what goes into South American gastronomy. There are some staple ingredients that crop up in many of the continent’s dishes. For example, owed to its vast coastline, lakes and rivers, seafood is a speciality here, particularly the highly prized corvina fish; especially delicious in Peru’s national dish, ceviche. Empanadas – moreish dough pockets stuffed with meat, cheese, beans or vegetables – are popular across South America, while trusty staples like potatoes, rice, quinoa and corn are in abundance almost everywhere.
Interestingly, the beauty of South American cuisine is in its fusion food, where traditional dishes meet flavours from around the globe. Much of Brazil’s gastronomic landscape is African-influenced, with moqueca, a flavourful mixed stew, and the heady caïpirinha, Brazil’s favourite cocktail, high on the must-try list. In the north of Colombia, the coastal regions deliver delectable, Caribbean-influenced cuisine, while across the country gourmet highlights include crispy arepas and rich, smooth coffee produced from some of the world’s finest beans.
Then, no visit to Argentina would be complete without experiencing steak sizzled on a parrilla, an iron-grill barbecue ubiquitous across the country. Fill up on succulent lamb and beef, paired with Malbec, for a gorgeously authentic Argentinian meal. In Ecuador, be sure to try the mouth-watering arroz con pollo, a classic dish of browned chicken, rice, onions and tomatoes, bursting with flavour. Over in Chile, you’ll be spoiled for choice, with iconic cazuela (Chilean stew), lip-smackingly tasty completo – a variation on the hotdog – and traditional curanto, a type of ‘surf and turf’ bake cooked in the ground which is said to be Chile’s most ancient food. All these dishes, and more, clamour to be tasted, savoured and shared on a culinary tour in South America; the question is, where to first?
- Try a Pisco Sour cocktail and enjoy a lively flavour fusion of sweet and sour, Peru
- Sample a range of tamales as you make your way across Colombia
- Sip exceptional wines, from Carménère to Chardonnay, in Chile
- Enjoy a flavour-filled chola sandwich and savour salteñas in Bolivia
- Pair rich Tannat wine with rib-eye steaks when you dine in Uruguay