South America is a cultural hot-pot with a diverse number of countries in the region offering a vibrant and unique mix of cultures. With so many local flavours on offer, it can be hard to know what cuisine is the best for you to indulge in. We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite foods and drinks that you have to try when visiting South America:
Ceviche – Peru
The best place to try this popular seafood dish is in Lima where it is considered the dish of the city. Ceviche consists of fresh fish marinated in a zesty marinade of lime juice and chilli. Served cold, the acidity of the citrus juice ‘cooks’ the raw fish. You can find the dish at food stands and restaurants throughout South America with different twists on the flavour.
Empanadas – Argentina
Hand-sized and savoury, empanadas are a culinary staple in Argentina. Empanadas are pocket-sized pastries which are baked or fried and filled with meat and other ingredients such as onions, spices, hard-boiled eggs and olives. Different provinces in Argentina will offer a variety of flavours and fillings, from creamy sweet corn and spinach and ricotta.
Feijoada – Brazil
Considered the national dish of Brazil, feijoada is a stew of black beans with beef or pork. Slow-cooked and served with rice, sliced orange and fried bananas. The meal is warm, comforting, flavoursome and typically shared amongst family and friends. It is often considered ‘food for the soul’.
Dulce de Leche – Argentina & Uruguay
If you consider yourself a sweet-tooth, you can’t go past the Dulce de Leche in South America. The most popular sweet treat in Uruguay and Argentina, Dulce de Leche consists of milk, sugar and vanilla and tastes similar to caramel. It is used as a flavouring, spread or dessert topping on crepes, cookies, pastries and ice cream.
Pisco Sour – Peru
The Pisco Sour is the signature cocktail of Peru. It is made with pisco, a brandy made in Peru, combined with egg whites, lime juice, syrup and a dash (or two) of bitters. Paired well with ceviche, be sure to try both when in Peru!
Yerba Mate – Argentina
A traditional South American infused drink that is the national drink of Argentina. The tea is made from the leaves of the South American rainforest holly tree and gives a similar amount of energy as coffee without the jittery feeling. Sipped through a metal straw, it is an acquired taste due to its bitterness and typically shared amongst friends.
Keen to venture off-the-beaten-path and discover South America? Check out our tours today!