7 Local Foods of South America to Tickle Your Latin Taste Buds ...


It’s not all about the Andes, the Amazon, Machu Picchu, Copacabana Beach and the Tango – there are some local foods of South America that should be on your list of must-try along with all the fabulous attractions. Food is such an integral feature of the various cultures you’ll encounter on your travels and to me, it’s hugely important you eat local foods rather than seek out the Golden Arches or the Colonel’s favorite chicken. There’s a mass of culinary variety across the continent, but these are some of the local foods of South America not to miss.

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Here, There, Everywhere – South America’s Empanadas or Salteñas

Here, There, Everywhere – South America’s Empanadas or Salteñas All over South America, you can find variations on empanadas (known as salteñas in Bolivia). Empanadas are basically baked or fried pastries stuffed with various fillers, ranging from fruit to cheese to meat. Found in Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Colombia, empanadas are perhaps the most international of the local foods of South America; however, the country variations are quite distinct, each personalizing their take on the tasty dish. For instance, the dough for Argentinian empanadas is commonly made with wheat flour, and the filling selection includes beef, chicken, fish, ham, or a white sauce made with sweet corn, called humita. In Colombia, the dough for empanadas is commonly made with corn or potato flour, and the filling selection often consists of beef, potatoes, rice, or peanuts and is topped with Picante or Aji, spicy sauces to give a bit of a kick. Every country puts a twist on this delectable dish, so you must try them all!


Colombia’s Ajiaco

Colombia’s Ajiaco Ajiaco is a hearty potato soup made from two or three different types of potatoes. Variations upon the ajiaco recipe often combine corn on the cob with pieces of chicken, the potato of course, chopped in chunky pieces, and a touch of guasca, an aromatic herb and a staple of Colombian cuisine. With a broth of capers and avocado mixed in heavy cream, ajiaco fills the belly with a warm, zesty meal, making the soup one of Colombia’s most loved comfort foods.


Peru’s Ceviche

Peru’s Ceviche Peru’s national dish can also be found throughout South America with various local touches. As a centuries-old worst kept secret, ceviche is typically made from fresh seafood, marinated in a sauce of chili peppers and lemon juice. Ceviche is often served alongside corn on the cob or sweet potatoes in Peru, and in Ecuador, onion is laid on thick, and the dish is commonly served with nuts or popcorn.


Argentina’s Parrillada

Argentina’s Parrillada If you’re a vegetarian, you might want to steer clear of Parrillada; if you’re a meat-lover, welcome to a glutton’s paradise. Parrillada is an incredibly popular dish in both Argentina and Uruguay and consists of a spread of grilled meats, often including beef, chicken or sausage. The meats are slowly grilled or roasted and are often served communally on a platter. If you order a Parrillada Mixta, you’ll receive a selection of various meats, including all the above mentioned, as well as some less common meats.


Venezuela’s Arepas

Venezuela’s Arepas A local favorite in both Venezuela and Colombia, arepas are round, flat, unleavened bread, somewhat pancake-like in appearance and texture, which are made from a combination of cornmeal, salt and water. Though commonly fried, arepas can be baked or grilled as well. Again, local variations appear throughout the region, but arepas are traditionally filled or topped with fish, meat, cheese, eggs or salad.


Paraguay’s Chipas

Paraguay’s Chipas Not to be confused with chips (although somewhat similar in that they’re most certainly a popular snack), chipas are a favorite in both Paraguay and Argentina and can be bought at every street vendor. Chipas are essentially cheese bread bites, made from cornmeal, corn flour, or tapioca flour. Often baked on banana leaves in mud ovens, these small balls of cheese bread are one of the most irresistible local foods of South America.


Ecuador’s Patacones (also Known as Tostones or Tachinos)

Ecuador’s Patacones (also Known as Tostones or Tachinos) Patacones, tostones or tachinos are not only popular in Ecuador, but in parts of Colombia and Venezuela as well. Patacones are thick slices of ripe green plantains that are twice fried, and are often eaten as either a tasty side dish or as sandwich filler. Patacones are often served in combination with a special sauce or they can be used alongside chicken, beef and vegetables in the making of sandwiches.

South American foods are beyond delicious and will most definitely be an essential factor of the amazing experience this continent offers. Which tickle your taste buds most?

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

What about "curanto"? A seafood sort of bbq (steamed in a deep hole covered by big leaves) ... Pair it with a good Chilean white wine ... A luxury!

As a Latina you hit the nail on the head

Love this

Yum amazing!

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