South American cuisine
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Due to the ethnic fusion of South America, South American cuisine has many influences. The most characteristic are Native American, African, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Indian-South Asian. The customs and food products greatly vary according to the physically distinct regions. The consumption of carne asada is wide spread throughout much of the continent. It is popular to grill in the open air as in asado or churrasco.
The food of the Andes is highly influenced by the indigenous peoples. The principal foods continue to be corn, potatoes and other tubers. The meats most characteristic of this zone are the llama (Peru) and the Guinea pig (Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Colombia). In areas where there is fresh water trout is consumed. Chupe Andino refers to various stews and soups that are prepared in the Andes mountains region. One of the most important drinks is chicha. Important dishes include humitas, Locro, Chanfaina, arepas, quimbolitos (dessert tamales), and peppers. A famous dish from the Peruvian Andes is pachamanca. From the mixture of German, native cuisine, and the Chiloe Archipelago in the southern Andes comes Valdiviano and curanto.
The tropical region of the continent is divided into two distinct areas, the coastal areas of the Atlantic and the Pacific and the Amazon area each with its distinct cuisines. Much of the fruits that are considered to be exotic are common in the tropical forests and fields, such as guava, pineapple, papaya, mango, banana, and elderberry.
The climate and geography also favour a great variety of crops: potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, complemented with meat and fish; grains, principally rice, corn, and wheat and beans.
The Amazon area is known for its utilization of native meats such as the Capybara, turtles, Peccary, and Paca. Common dishes are juane, tacacho, tacacá. There are a wide variety of fruits native to the Amazon with which are prepared a great variety of drinks.
The pampas have the most Italian and German influences. In Argentina they are the center of the three typical Argentinian dishes dulce de leche, asado (Churrasco in Brazil), and Milanesa. Argentina pizza is different from Italian pizza, being closer to calzones. Pasta and polenta are common on in Argentina and on the Pampas generally. Churros, Ensaïmada, Alfajor, Spanish tortillas with potato, Meatballs, Sopa de mondongo, Puchero are Spanish derived Pampas cuisine. Mate (beverage) is also found on the Pampas.
The Amazon basin of South America provides a plethora of fresh fish and tropical fruits. The Pacific Ocean provides a large amount of seafood, such as king crab (typically caught at the southern end of the continent), lobster (found in great quantities from the Juan Fernández Islands), and Antarctic krill, which was recently discovered. Tuna and tropical fish are caught all around the continent but are notably found in abundance near Easter Island. The many plains on this continent make it rich for growing foods like cereals, potatoes and quinoa. In the Patagonia region south of Chile and Argentina, many people raise sheep and cattle. In Brazil, the most traditional dish is the feijoada, a stew consisting of beans with beef and pork. Peruvian cuisine] is largely influenced by traditional Incan culture (see Incan cuisine).
- Argentine cuisine
- Bolivian cuisine
- Brazilian cuisine
- Chilean cuisine
- Colombian cuisine
- Ecuadorian cuisine
- Guyanese Cuisine
- Paraguayan cuisine
- Peruvian cuisine
- Surinamese Cuisine
- Uruguayan cuisine
- Venezuelan cuisine
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