Part of being a consummate foodie (and/or travel bug) is the joy of experimentation. I, of course, enjoy trying new cuisines and new recipes. I love the art of experimenting with different combinations of flavors and textures. Being bold and pushing your tolerance for the strange (and the incredibly spicy). And for a certain kind of food lover, the kind that is passionate, fearless, and always open to experimentation, South America is the only place to be!
There’s no other continent on the planet (sorry Asia) where you’ll find such extraordinary diversity, such magic worked with such simple and humble ingredients or more of a spirit of celebration when it comes to food (sorry Italy). It’s a place where you can explore extremely diverse countries and explore their many beautiful cultures through their equally diverse dishes. From carnivorous delicacies to plant-based bounties, you’ll find yourself energized, excited and ecstatic as you visit this continent looking for new culinary challenges. So, look up where to stay in Quito, brush up on your Spanish (and Portugese), buckle up for adventure and get ready to put some fire in your belly. We’re about to take you on a tour of the dishes that make South America a food lover’s paradise…
Arepas from Venezuela
Every now and then you encounter a dish that reminds you how the simplest foods are so often the best. Arepas are tasty flatbreads made from ground maize dough or cooked flour are so tasty that you’ll forget everything you think you know about the humble sandwich. Usually packed with meats, cheeses, eggs and all kinds of veggies, there are arepas for everyone.
Platanos fritos, are a quintessential South American delight. Although if you’re familiar with Caribbean food, you’re likely already familiar with the chief ingredient of plantain or breadfruit. These fried savory treats have a soft melt-in-your-mouth texture combined with the satisfying crunch of the crumbly exterior. Best of all, these tasty snacks treats can be found pretty easily all over South America.
If you’ve ever visited Florida, you’ll may be familiar with this tempting seafood dish. While its origins are in Peru it is widely popular all over south and central America. Fresh, raw seafood is cured in citrus juice (lemon, lime, or Seville orange) and the citric acid actually cooks the raw fish. Throw in some chili peppers, onion, and cilantro and you have a simple but devastatingly tasty dish.
If you haven’t stepped out of your comfort zone and tried one of these amazing dishes, I highly recommend it. At least get out there and try new foods. You never know what you might discover to be a new favorite!