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Glossary of South American Cooking Terms

Search here for definitions of unfamiliar cooking terms and descriptions of unusual South American ingredients.

Achiote Seasoning
Achiote is a plant with bright red fruit and seeds that are used as both and colorant and flavor for food in South American cuisine.

Aji Amarillo - Peruvian Yellow Chile Pepper
Aji amarillo is a South American hot yellow chile pepper that is used in many traditional dishes.

Aji Panca - Peruvian Red Pepper
A type of aji, or chile pepper, used in certain Peruvian dishes.

Huacatay - Peruvian Black Mint
Huacatay is a mint-like Andean herb used in traditional Andean cuisine.

Empanadas - Definition and Information
Information about South American empanadas, including recipes from different regions of South America.

Key Limes - Definition and Information
Key limes are an essential ingredient in many important South American dishes, and are not to be confused with the larger Persian limes that are common in US grocery stores.

Kiwicha - Amaranth
Kiwicha (also known as amaranth) is another Andean supergrain like quinoa.

Lúcuma
Lúcuma is a subtropical fruit from the Andean regions of South America.

Masarepa - Precooked Corn Flour for Making Arepas
Explanation of the special precooked corn flour that is used to make corn cakes called arepas, staple treats in Venezuela and Colombia.

Passion Fruit
Passion fruit is a native South American fruit used in many dessert and beverage recipes. Learn more about passion fruit and how to use passion fruit in recipes.

Pimienta Molle - Peruvian Pink Peppercorns
Peruvian pink peppercorns are not true peppercorns, but are the small red berry of the Schinus molle tree that is native to Peru.

Quinoa
Quinoa is a grain native to South America that is prized for its high protein content.

Queso Fresco and Queso Blanco - Definition of Queso Fresco
Queso freso (literally "fresh cheese") is a white crumbly cow's milk cheese frequently used in South American cooking.

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