Visiting South America? You Need to Try These 5 Typical Dishes

South America is the perfect destination for you if you are looking for a place to live the most memorable vacations. A continent full of diverse cultures, historical locations, and unforgettable flavors will make you wish your stay was much longer.

There is no greater way to explore a country’s culture than with its food. Luckily, South American cuisine has that figured out, with a wide variety of delicious, seasoned, and one-of-a-kind dishes passed from generation to generation. Continue reading to learn 5 of the most sought-after meals to indulge in these colorful nations.

Visiting a new place for the first time doesn’t fail to leave a mark on you, but besides the photos that you take and the experiences you come across, we question how we can relive these wonderful moments from the comfort of our homes. Well, the answer is plain and simple, with food! The smell, taste, and textures can transport you anywhere in the world. So, if you are feeling up to reminisce on your trip, look for recipes of your favorite dishes you tried to while away. For inspiration, start with some Peruvian food (the famous home of Machu Picchu – Lost City of the Incas) and feel right at the core of these extraordinary ruins:

Arepas – Venezuela  

The country is located in the north of South America and is a go-to location to enjoy vastly diverse landscapes and meet the kindest people. Food in Venezuela combines traditional indigenous food with European influence, making it eye-catching and distinctive. Arepas are made of cooked ground maize dough molded in a circular shape that can be filled with many ingredients, going from plain cheese or scrambled eggs to pulled meat, chicken, and avocado! The options are endless; depending on the region you visit, they can get more and more creative. If you visit Venezuela, make sure you collect as many Arepas as you can during your stay there.

Plátanos fritos – All South America  

Fried plantains are a delight throughout all South American households; considered a staple in lunch or dinners, they have a soft and sweet taste that stands out from the other ingredients. Plátanos fritos are a delicacy often served with cheese toppings and invited into many dishes from each culture across the continent, so once you try them, you will be hooked in no time.

Yerba Mate – Argentina  

You have to have heard of Mate, a type of herbal tea insanely popular that originated in the southern nation. Yet it is not actually a dish but a drink; it is a must-try on your visit to the country of the tango. Although some claim that the first sip is quite a shocker, once you get past the initial taste, Yerba Mate becomes a favorite in the drinks gastronomy from the region. It’s even considered part of the Argentinian’s identity.

Ceviche – Peru  

Eating seafood has a whole new meaning in Peru. Marinated in citrus juice (mainly lemon) and sprinkled with greens like cilantro and onion, this specialty has traveled to other regions of the continent, gaining popularity due to its strong and remarkable flavor. It’s usually eaten as an appetizer or even paired with crackers as an early afternoon snack. Either way, if you visit the Peruvian coasts, don’t miss out on this white-fish deliciousness.

Sancocho – Colombia  

Colombia’s traditional soup, Sancocho, is a meat and veggies-loaded broth usually served as a main dish. Taking up to a whole day to cook thoroughly, the family gathers around and enjoys this delicious meal with bread or other sides. This soup is prepared in different ways according to the region, usually made with large chunks of meat, vegetables, and tubers served in broth. That’s some comfort food you don’t want to pass!

Ultimately, trying to mention a few of the most memorable meals from such a vast continent is hard, but hopefully, we were able to give you some insight on what to expect on your visit and get the most out of your time there. We promise you definitely won’t feel disappointed; South America’s food is different from place to place, giving it its own characteristics and unforgettable essence.



Food & Drink

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Rasha writes about family, parenting, and home décor for Unfinished Man. Drawing from her experiences raising her own kids, she provides tips on creating warm, welcoming spaces. Rasha also shares home staging expertise to help transform houses into magazine-worthy dream homes.

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