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Bucket List Foods: South America

Bucket Lists don't always have to be for places, so here is another food bucket list. This one is specifically for South America. I found 16 food this time.


Pastel de Choclo from Chile

Chile's favorite home-cooked meal and Peru's national dish, the soft and creamy pastel de choclo is a casserole-like pie that is also popular in Argentina and Bolivia. It consists of ground beef, black olives, onions, hard-boiled eggs, and corn flour dough called choclo. Corn plays a key role in the dish, and unsurprisingly so – it was worshipped by the ancient Incas whose most important god was the Corn God. Corn was so important to Incas that their chief, believed to be a descendant of the gods, planted the first corn seeds every year. According to anthropologists, the dish probably originates from the Spanish conquerors who hired tribal cooks to make them a meal as a reminder of home. The cooks implemented corn dough into a dish similar to empanadas, and pastel de choclo was born. Nowadays, large raisins are sometimes incorporated into the pie, while the pie itself gets sprinkled with sugar before baking, ensuring that a caramelized crust develops on top. All that's left is to enjoy it while it's hot and consume a delicious slice of culinary history.


Aji de Gallina from Peru

Often consumed on rainy or cold days by many Peruvians, aji de gallina is a spicy dish consisting of shredded chicken in a creamy sauce. It is traditionally served over rice and garnished with black olives and boiled potatoes. The sauce is made with aji amarillo chilis, garlic, onions, walnuts, cheese, and crustless bread, and it is usually flavored with spices such as cumin, pepper, oregano, turmeric, and parsley. It is believed that aji de gallina originated from a dish called manjar blanco, made with a combination of chicken, almonds, sugar, and rice. After its arrival in Peru, the people adapted it using local ingredients such as the aji chili, and a new dish was created in the process.


Parihuela from Peru

This hearty and spicy seafood soup whose flavors and ingredients are uniquely Peruvian originated in the fishing communities of Peru; it is what the fishermen would enjoy after a long day at sea, and it is now a popular dish all along the coast. Parihuela recipes traditionally use firm-fleshed white fish as the main ingredient, such as the center cut of a cod or sea bass, crabs, and a variety of other fresh seafood, while the signature flavor comes from ají panca, a Peruvian chili pepper variety which lends an amazing floral bouquet to the dish, even when used dried. Other seasonings include cumin, ginger, cilantro, and lime juice, making parihuela particularly invigorating.


Maria-Mole from Brazil

Maria-mole, literally translated to soft Mary, is a popular Brazilian dessert that is similar in appearance to a marshmallow, but even softer, usually consisting of sugar, gelatin, coconut, and egg whites. The dessert is so popular that there are even boxed mixes for making it at home. Maria-mole was invented in São Paulo by Antonio Bergamo, a candy producer who wanted to use all of the egg white leftovers from making other types of candy. Today, the dessert is traditionally served during the Catholic festivals in June, called Festas Juninas.


Ajiaco from Colombia

Ajiaco is the national dish of Colombia, a flavorful chicken and potato soup with the addition of herbs and corn. Considered a poor man's dish in the past, Ajiaco must include three varieties of potatoes cooked together, abundant and inexpensive in Colombia. It is best to use the local varieties of potatoes: the waxy sabanera, the tiny papas criollas and the soft pastusa. These varieties provide a thick and creamy texture of the final dish. Simmered in chicken or beef broth until they break down, the potatoes also provide a unique combination of flavors. The soup is seasoned with a Colombian herb called guascas that provides an intense, grassy flavour that is of key importance for an authentic Ajiaco. There is also a vegetarian version where the shredded chicken meat is omitted, and when Ajiaco is done, it is often served with avocado slices, capers, mild sour cream, corn, cilantro, chives, black pepper and jalapeños. Traditionally, the soup is served in a rounded bowl with a rounded bottom that is placed in a basket in order to ensure stability. Some versions of Ajiaco have corn on the cob dipped into the soup as a garnish. Cooked until thick and fragrant, this creamy soup without any cream is best to try when in Bogota, where it's especially popular.


Arroz con Coco from Colombia

Both savory and sweet in flavor, arroz con coco is a flavorful Colombian side dish consisting of white rice, coconut milk, sugar, salt, and water. When mixed with raisins, arroz con coco becomes slightly sweeter, while the version without raisins is more savory and traditionally served with fish dishes. It is recommended to use coconut milk without stabilizers so that it can separate into fat and solids.


Bauru from Brazil

A true Brazilian classic, Bauru is a sandwich consisting of a crusty bread roll without the soft bread inside, stuffed with melted cheese, tomatoes, sliced pickles, and roast beef. Bauru was invented in the 1930s by Casemiro Pinto Neto, also known as Bauru (after his hometown), a law student and a customer at the Ponte Chic restaurant in São Paulo who told the cook to make a special sandwich just for him. Because the restaurant was frequented by politicians and footballers who loved the new sandwich, its popularity quickly grew and it became the restaurant's best selling item. Today, the sandwich still has an army of fans and numerous variations, for instance, using sliced ham instead of roast beef, or using sliced bread instead of the traditional French roll.


Pabellón Criollo from Venezuela

Pabellon criollo is a traditional Venezuelan dish consisting of black beans, white rice, and slices of steak cooked with tomatoes. The word pabellon means flag, referring to the colors of individual components, which are arranged to resemble the national flag. The dish is sometimes also served with fried plantains, known as tajadas, along with arepas and white cheese. The plantains keep the food from slipping over the plate, and in that case, the dish is known as pabellon con baranda, where baranda means guard rail. If the dish is served with a fried egg on top, it is known as pabellon a caballo. Pabellon criollo is especially popular with Venezuelan cowboys, known as llanos.


Fanesca from Ecuador

Fanesca is a unique Ecuadorian soup characterized by its thick consistency, consisting of fresh Andean grains, beans, peas, and lentils, combined with salt cod cooked in milk. There should be 12 different grains and beans in the soup, symbolizing the 12 disciples, as the soup is prepared only during the Easter festivities. Fanesca is traditionally served in round bowls, garnished with fried plantains, parsley, and hard-boiled eggs.


Encebollado from Ecuador

Encebollado is the national dish of Ecuador, a fish soup that is characterized by a large amount of onions. Very useful in curing hangovers, the dish is made with fresh tuna meat, cassava root, tomatoes, onions, coriander, and various spices. Tomatoes, onions, chili, coriander, and cumin form a pungent mix and a base for the soup, called sofrito, while pickled onions go either on top of encebollado or into it, giving it its name that is literally translated to onioned. The soup originates from Ecuador's coast during the time when the fishers were out at sea and made the soup out of necessity. As they had some spices, and fresh fish was readily available, encebollado was created and became widely consumed throughout the country. Today, consumers can choose their own condiments including toasted corn, banana chips, lime, mustard, and avocado. This traditional dish – a source of pride for the locals – can be found on various street corners, in small restaurants, hotels, and homes of people from various social backgrounds. Everyone eats it in Ecuador, that's just how good it is.


Kivevé from Paraguay

The most famous vegetarian dish in Paraguay is undoubtedly kivevé. This traditional dish is made with the most popular ingredients in Paraguay: pumpkin, cornmeal, and fresh cheese. It has an unusual light red color and a creamy texture, similar to polenta. The dish is not classified as sweet or savory, but rather lies somewhere in between. Usually, it is served as a side dish, especially when complementing traditional Paraguayan barbecues, but due to its slightly sweet flavor, it can be modified and served as a dessert. Sometimes, it can even be consumed as a light vegetarian main meal. The dish appeared in the 19th century during a time of hardship for the Paraguayans. It soon became famous because it was rich in calories and protein and used traditional ingredients which could be found in any Paraguayan household. However, even though humble in ingredients, kivevé is extremely rich in flavor, and soon after its origin, it became one of the most popular meals among Paraguayans. Today, it is considered a true symbol of Paraguayan culinary tradition and one of the national dishes of the country.


Fugazzeta from Argentina

Fugazzeta is a mozzarella-stuffed pizza topped with onions, originating from Argentina. The onions should be thinly sliced, and they can be either raw or sautéed. The dough is usually made with milk, water, yeast, flour, sugar, salt, and olive oil. It is believed that fugazzeta evolved from fugazza, a non-stuffed pizza that is topped with onions, and fugazza itself evolved from the Italian focaccia. When sautéed vegetables such as spinach are added to fugazzeta, it is then called fugazzeta de verdura, and when slices of ham are added to fugazzeta, it is known as fugazzeta con jamon.


Sandwiches de Miga from Argentina

Sandwiches de miga are prepared with crustless white bread, and they can consist of two or more bread slices per sandwich. It is believed that they developed under strong European influences, primarily British and Italian. The most common variety of the sandwich is made with mayonnaise, cheese, and ham, but there are no restrictions concerning the possible fillings. Although sandwiches de miga are usually consumed as an afternoon snack, they are also a staple at parties, celebrations, or family gatherings. A common variety is called a tostado – a toasted sandwich de miga that is traditionally served warm.


Chivito from Uruguay

Chivito is a delicious sandwich from Uruguay and the country's national dish. Meaning little goat in Spanish, a legend says that in the 1940s, a chef in a restaurant was asked to prepare roasted goat, but since he didn't have one - he made a sandwich with bits of just about everything he had in the kitchen, and chivito was born. The sandwich is filled with meat - slices of churrasco (grilled/roasted and thinly sliced beef), ham, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, melted mozzarella, and a topping of fried eggs. The sandwich buns should be quite large, such as ciabatta rolls. Optionally, it can be topped with olives, pickles, and cooked onions, while salsa golf - a popular mix of ketchup and mayonnaise, acts as a perfect condiment. It is a quite tall sandwich, due to all of the ingredients stuffed inside it. Praised by many world chefs because of the high-quality, grass-fed beef ingredients on the inside, chivito is finally getting the recognition it deserves.


Arepa from Venezuela

Arepa is a highly versatile cornbread made from ground corn dough or precooked corn flour. It is commonly consumed in Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. In Venezuela, arepa is eaten at any time of the day, throughout the whole country, and across all socio-economic groups. The golden disks with a crispy, browned crust are commonly stuffed with a variety of ingredients, and the combinations are seemingly infinite, from beans, cheese, and avocado to shredded beef and onions. For a Venezuelan breakfast, arepas are traditionally paired with a cup of strong coffee and hot dipping chocolate. Since they are not filled with anything for breakfast, they are commonly referred to as the viuda (widow). The name arepa comes from the word erepa, which is the indigenous word for this corn bread, as its origins are believed to be from the indigenous tribes across Venezuela, such as Timoto-Cuicas, Arawak, Carib, and Karina. Today, arepas are usually served at traditional eateries called areperas.


Picante de Pollo from Bolivia

Picante de pollo is a spicy Bolivian dish made with pieces of chicken cooked in a combination of onions, potatoes, tomatoes, aji amarillo chilis, peas, and chicken stock. The thick sauce is typically flavored with cumin, garlic, and oregano. It is recommended to serve picante de pollo with rice or boiled potatoes on the side and to garnish it with fresh chopped parsley.


There we have it, another 16 foods that you may want to add to your food bucket list. You don't necessarily have to travel to these places to try them rather you can find recipes online. All information and the photos comes from

Hope you have an awesome day :)


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