5 South American Dishes You Must Try

One of the greatest joys of travel is getting to sample new and exotic meals. Whether you find an authentic restaurant in your city, try to make the dish yourself at home, or head on a travel adventure, these are the South American dishes you don’t want to miss out on.

Empanadas

These delectable little semi-circle pastries can be stuffed with cheese, meat or veggies. They can be prepared either by baking or frying. They are most common in Argentina, where each region has a different speciality flavour. They make a great snack or serve a several with a salad as a meal.

Ceviche

Bursting with freshness and zesty flavour, this seafood dish originated in Peru, but is now also served in other coastal regions throughout South and Central America. Inspired by Japanese sashimi, ceviche is raw, fresh fish that is cured is citrus juice, then mixed in with chilies, onion and cilantro.

Moqueca capixaba

This traditional Brazilian seafood stew is packed full with the flavour of fish, lime juice, coriander, tomatoes, onion, garlic and sometimes chili peppers. Traditionally, Moqueca is cooked in a clay pot called panela de barro, where it is left to simmer slowly. It is usually served with white rice or a kind of porridge called pirão.

Arepas

These little corn flatbreads, stuffed with cheese, avocado, egg or jam can differ slightly depending where on the continent you find them. In Venezuela and Colombia, they are usually served for breakfast or had as a light snack.

Dulce de Leche

This delectable sweet treat – not to be confused with caramel – is the national obsession of Argentina and Uruguay. It is served on ice cream, in alfajores biscuits, and with churros. While caramel is made from cooking down granulated sugar, dulce de leche is made from a combination of sugar and milk, giving is a creamier taste.

Feijoada

This hearty black bean stew is widely considered as Brazil’s national dish, although it is also found in other Portuguese cultures. It is slow cooked in a thick clay pot, either as a vegetarian version with just beans, or more commonly with beef and/or pork. It is usually served with garlic rice, greens and farofa, a toasted cassava (corn flour) mixture.

Cuy (Guinea Pig)

While the guinea pig is considered a popular pet in other parts of the world, in Peru cuy is considered a delicacy, once reserved only for nobles. Today they are served both in high-end restaurants and as street food and are said to taste like chicken or rabbit. Reportedly, in ancient Incan times, they were used for sacrifice and fortune telling.

Coxinhas

This popular Brazilian street food is made by covering shredded chicken in a dough, shaping it into a rough teardrop (or chicken leg) shape, and deep frying it. The result is a delectable, creamy croquette, which tastes even better when paired with fresh tomato salsa. Coxinhas are often served at parties and in bars and can range in size quite substantially.

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