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Explore South American Food - History, Ingredients, and Basic Recipes

Start here for a quick overview of South American food. Learn about the rich history and culture behind Latin cuisine and its exotic flavors and ingredients. Find all the information you need to get cooking with some basic recipes.

An Introduction to South American Food
Each country is South America has a unique cuisine that was shaped by its history, geography, and culture. The result is an exciting variety of flavors and traditions.

Peruvian Food - A List of Traditional Peruvian Recipes
Peru has an amazing cuisine, one that has evolved from both local and immigrant traditions. Foods that were prepared by ancient civilizations are still enjoyed today, while typical Peruvian dishes have also benefited from European, African and Asian influences. Peru's geographic characteristics yield diverse ingredients: abundant seafood from...

Ceviche 101 - Marinated Seafood Salad
An explanation of ceviche, its ingredients, and preparation. Try some recipes for traditional ceviche as well as trendy variations of this popular dish.

Argentinian Food
Argentina is a large and very developed country that produces and exports a lot of food. Argentina is particularly famous for its beef, and the asado, an elaborate meal of grilled meat, is one of the most important culinary traditions in this country. Argentina's cuisine is very influenced by Europe, and includes many Spanish-style dishes,...

Chilean Food
Chile has a distinctive cuisine, one in which the influences of Europe and indigenous traditions are both prominent. Chile is know for its fantastic seafood, grilled meats (think Patagonia), stews and pasteles, empanadas, corn, beans, potatoes, exotic tropical fruit (lucuma and chirimoya), pisco, and excellent wines. To a casual observor,...

Colombian Food
A list of traditional and modern recipes from Colombia.

Ecuadorian Food
A list of tradition Ecuadorian recipes, including appetizers, main courses and desserts.

A Brazilian Menu - Recipes For Traditional Brazilian Foods
This collection of Brazilian recipes is organized so that you can choose from the categories and plan your own Brazilian meal. Choose a main course, pair with Brazilian cheese bread, and you have a simple supper. Or go all out and make a traditional feijoada-a Brazilian meat and black bean feast with all the trimmings.

The Cuisine of Suriname
The cuisine of Suriname is as diverse as the country's population.

Venezuelan Food
A collection of traditional Venezuelan recipes, from drinks to desserts.

Recipes for Grilling
In South America weekends are a time to get together and eat meat – lots of it! Hosting a grilling extravaganza called an asado is a great way to celebrate. The tradition of slowing roasting many different cuts of meat over a fire comes from the cattle farming countries such as Argentina and Uruguay, but it has spread throughout South America.

South American Asado
Grilling is a serious pastime in Latin America, and a favorite way to spend time with friends and family.

Five Fun and Easy Latin Desserts
If you are just beginning to explore South American cuisine, the variety of exotic pastries with unusual names can be overwhelming. But not all South American desserts are complicated. The recipes in this list are traditional, popular desserts that are easy to make at home, perfect for your first foray into South American pastry.

Breakfast in Brazil
Brazilians enjoy a wide variety of different types of food for breakfast - from cake to cheese to tropical fruit.

Brazilian Street Food
A collections of recipes for Brazilian street food specialties.

Recipes for South American Appetizers
A collection of South American appetizers, from entradas (first courses) to bocaditos (little bites).

Empanada Recipes
To the novice eye, the stuffed pastry known as an empanada might look the same from country to country in South America, but there are distinct differences in each region. Most countries have a basic beef version and chicken version. Ham and cheese, potatoes, chile peppers, vegetables, seafood, hearts of palm, tropical fruits...whatever is...

Empanadas de "Leftovers"
Empanadas are the perfect way to reincarnate your leftovers into something new and exciting.

All About Tamales
Tamales are a very traditional South American dish - an ancient portable meals.

Arepas, Pupusas, and Gorditas
A comparison of three different types of corn cakes - all delicious.

Aderezo, Sofritos and Refritos
The secret seasoning technique behind many Latin American dishes.

Alfajor - The South American Cookie
Alfajor cookies are one of the most beloved snacks in Latin America. Enjoy this collection of alfajor recipes.

Pollo a la Brasa - Peruvian Roasted Chicken
A collection of recipes for the famous Peruvian roasted chicken called pollo a la brasa, with accompaniments and salsas.

Peruvian Dinner Party Menu
Make Peruvian food the theme of your next dinner party with this delicious menu.

Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken
Peruvian chicken take out is a delicious option for busy nights.

Brazilian-style Pizza
South Americans have enthusiastically adopted pizza into their national cuisines, adding their own flavors and style. Brazilians are particularly creative with this Italian treat.

Peruvians Visit Peru, Nebraska - Campana Marca Pais Peru
A remarkable video about what happens when Peruvians bring their culture to Peru, Nebraska

Best Dulce de Leche Desserts
Dulce de leche is a thick caramel sauce made from milk and sugar. Although it's delicious plain, it's in lots of Latin desserts. Dulce de leche pairs well with both chocolate and tropical fruits. It spreads beautifully, and is a common cake filling. The iconic http://alfajor sandwich cookies are fill

Recipes for Fall
South American cuisine has many of the ingredients and flavors that North Americans associate with fall, like squash, corn, sweet potatoes, and cinnamon. Enjoy this collection of recipes with fall flavor.

Quinoa, The Super Grain
Quinoa, prized by the Incas and cultivated for thousands of years in the Andes, is a nutritious and tasty addition to many dishes. Learn about this healthy grain and try some recipes.

Top Five Breakfast Picks
The midday meal is the biggest and most important meal of the day in most Latin countries. Breakfast is usually something quick, often a sandwich. Here are some delicious options for grab-and-go breakfasts, as well as some ideas for when you have time to enjoy a more leisurely meal.

Açai - Brazilian Superfruit
Açaí is a staple food in the Amazonian regions of Brazil, and is becoming popular in the US.

South American Breads
Photos with links to recipes for a variety of South American bread.

Tortilla a la Española
A classic, nourishing, one skillet dish of potatoes, onions, chorizo and eggs.

La Marraqueta
La marraqueta is a Chilean bread roll with a distinctive shape, perfect for sandwiches and sharing.

Merienda - South American-style Afternoon Tea
Merienda is a late afternoon fourth meal of coffee and baked goods, meant to tide you over until dinner.

Everything about Empanadas
All about making empanadas, including traditional empanada recipes from different South American countries.

Chorizo Sausage
Spicy chorizo sausage is widely enjoyed throughout South America, and not just on the grill.

Traditional Andean Cuisine - Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs are an important source of protein in the Andean region, and are a very traditional Peruvian food dating back to pre-Colonial times.

Brazilian Cakes
A large collection of uniquely delicious Brazilian cakes.

Photo Gallery of Quinoa Recipes
Try these recipes featuring quinoa, the high-protein grain from the Andes.

South American Unrefined Brown Cane Sugar:
Panela is the brown, molasses-like unrefined sugar that is traditionally processed from sugar cane.

Quick and Easy Recipes for Hot Summer Days
Stay out of the kitchen as much as possible with these easy and quick summer recipes.

Frozen Fruit Treats - Helado de Hielo
Frozen fruit popsicles are very popular in South America, and come in many exotic tropical fruit flavors.

Cookbooks About South American Food
A list of classic and recent cookbooks about Latin American cooking.

A List of Recipes with Mango
Mango is an important ingredient in South American cooking. Mangoes thrive in tropical climates, so they are plentiful in many different varieties. The taste of a locally ripened mango is a world apart from those that have been picked while still green and shipped to colder climes. But fortunately for those of us who live in nontropical...

Easy Pineapple Passionfruit Jam - Jalea de Piña y Maracuyá
These sweet pineapple and passion fruit preserves have lots of tropical flavor.

Gifts to Inspire the South American Cook
South American cuisine has its roots in simple home cooking. Good South American cooks can adapt to any circumstance, and know how to cook a stew underground in a homemade clay pot when necessary, or make a homemade baster out of corn husks. That said, there are certain things that are useful when you are preparing traditional South American...

Shopping for South American Ingredients
Certain specialty ingredients in South American cooking can be hard to find outside of Latin America. Learn how to find out what's available in your area.

Online Resources for Recipes, Ingredients, Blogs, and More..
The internet is a perfect place to seek out unusual recipes, order hard-to-find ingredients, and research cuisines. The global marketplace is making niche products from other countries increasingly available. I have listed some of my favorites sites here - ones that I keep bookmarked and return to again and again. Some of them are recipe...

Yuca/Cassava/Manioc - A Collection of Recipes
Yuca is a starchy root that is used in many different ways in South American cuisine.

Homemade Masa for Tamales - Masa Para Tamales
Fresh homemade masa, made from freshly ground soaked hominy corn, is a delicious alternative to commercial masa harina when making tamales.

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