Latin American cuisine


Latin American cuisine


Latin American cuisine is a whole layer of intermingled culinary traditions of the countries and peoples of South and Central America, as well as Mexico. This region is inhabited by both indigenous people and migrants and emigrants of many nationalities. Since ancient times, the indigenous people living in these territories have grown many vegetable crops, such as cucurbits, which became the main crop in agriculture. Many recipes of Latin American cuisine, in which the main ingredient is corn, have survived to our time. It is used to prepare both main dishes and side dishes. Even corn flour is used, which is the basis for making traditional and favourite tortillas. These tortillas have long been an independent dish of Latin American cuisine.



In order to prepare tortillas, it is necessary to add spices and spices to the dough, and then the finished tortillas are greased with butter or vegetable oil and eaten with hot or cheese sauce. It should be noted that tortillas (or tortilla) form the basis for very many dishes in Latin American countries.

A meat-filled burrito is a Mexican dish consisting of a soft wheat tortilla (tortilla) with a filling wrapped in it


Latin American cuisine is characterised by the use of masses of spices and savours. In one dish there should be at least 5 types of spices - this is the main rule of cooking traditional dishes. Basil, thyme, mint, sage, pepper and other spices give them a special unique flavour. Pepper is the most favourite component of cooks. The most famous pepper in Latin American countries is "jalapeño (jalapeno)". Although not inferior in primacy and pepper "chilli", it is actively used in the traditional cuisine of this region. As for the varieties of chilli peppers, in the country of Chile alone there are more than 70 types! And all of them are used in cookery. The cuisine of Latin America itself is referred to as "fiery" because of the huge amount of spices and spices, seasonings, which are generously added to all dishes cooked according to traditional recipes.

Stuffed jalapeño in batter

Chilli peppers


Tomatoes and potatoes are as frequently used ingredients as spices. Chefs and residents have a great love for legumes, red beans are a particular favourite, with as much popularity as corn.

Red beans


Despite the understandable differences in the national cuisines of different Latin American countries, nevertheless, in the methods of cooking the main traditional dishes, in the ingredients used, there are many similarities. The national cuisines of Cuba, Brazil and Mexico are most similar. First of all, due to the unification of the traditions of national dishes of indigenous people (Indian tribes) and European colonists - Spaniards and Portuguese. The most popular among Cubans and Mexicans is cooking meat, especially pork and beef, over an open fire. This gives the meat a special flavour, and with the addition of a special sauce of tomatoes and spices, as well as wine as a marinade, it becomes an unqualified favourite of traditional cuisine.

Lombo de porco is a roasted sirloin of pork, a dish particularly popular in the north-east of Brazil


Speaking of South American cuisines, the dominant position of Brazilian cuisine should be emphasised. Brazilian gastronomy was formed under the influence of African, Portuguese, Indian traditions and represents a "puzzle" of regional cuisines. It is worth noting that often the dishes of one Brazilian region are strikingly different from another and have the specifics of geographical location. The most revered and favourite dish of the whole nation is feijoada - beans with various types of meat, cassava flour and spices. The most characteristic products for Brazilian cuisine are beans, rice, seafood, fish, all kinds of meat, coconut milk and fruit. Brazilians do not think of their existence without coffee. Brazilian and Colombian coffee are famous all over the world for their aroma and flavour.

Feijoada meat with beans

Brazilians drink this invigorating beverage all day long, so making coffee here is equated to a cult


Mexican cuisine is a cuisine that is a synthesis of Aztec and Spanish culinary traditions. The Spanish traditions themselves were formed at the turn of classical Europe and the Moorish East (the Mexican burrito resembles a shawarma). Mexican national cuisine, many of whose recipes come from ancient times, was inscribed on UNESCO's list of World Cultural Heritage at a UN international conference in Kenya in November 2010. The basis of many Mexican dishes is made up of tortillas (corn pita, tortillas) with seasonings, among which the first place is occupied by chilli peppers and salsa. Tortilla rolls are used not only for burritos, but also for enchiladas (a large envelope with cheese sauce with chicken, meat, beans), and chimichangas (tubes fried in boiling oil with cheese, chicken or beef meat and tomatoes), and fajitas (grilled meat and vegetables wrapped in a tortilla and cut into strips), and tacos (tortilla with a seasoning of silantro and onions), and others.

Various types of salsa, a typical Mexican sauce made from crushed tomatoes and/or chilli, with coriander leaves, onions, garlic and black pepper added

Chimichanga with rice


Cuban cuisine is a fusion of African, Spanish and Caribbean culinary preferences. The main thing that distinguishes Cuban cuisine is its simplicity in preparation and choice of ingredients. Cubans accept only chicken or pork meat, beef and lamb are not favourites in this Central American country. A popular holiday dish in Cuba is spit-roasted suckling pig. Potatoes, which we consume in immeasurable sizes, are replaced in Cuba by beans, rice and corn. Instead of the usual potato, Cubans eat sweet potatoes. Rice, which came from China, has also won universal popular affection. It was and is cooked with various additions of vegetables and fruits, with meat and seafood, with beans and pumpkin. Africans could not stay aside. It was they who taught Cubans how to fry banana, prepare yucca sauces flavoured with garlic and spices. Banana can be dressed with olive oil, added cheese and other products.

Roast pork (lechon) is a popular dish of Cuban cuisine


The formation of traditional Chilean cuisine was influenced by the cuisine of Spain, Italy, Croatia, as well as the recipes of indigenous peoples living in the area. Its main feature is the presence of a large number of dishes from seafood, which is rich in the Chilean coast. In addition to seafood, Chilean cooks often use wine, as Chile is considered one of the largest producers of this hoppy beverage. For many people it comes as a surprise that the traditional cuisine of Chile is mostly not spicy, although the name of the country is associated with the famous hot peppers. In fact, Chile is so called because of its geographical contour, which resembles a pepper pod. All inhabitants of the country have a great love for fish, shellfish and other seafood.

Ceviche is a popular Chilean dish of fresh raw fish marinated in lime or lemon juice and seasoned with chilli peppers, onions, coriander and pepper


Argentine cuisine is full of vegetable dishes. Vegetables are an indispensable side dish for meat, but they are also ingredients of very complex gourmet dishes. In Argentina they love salads, but they, unlike the usual ones, are not just a mixture of vegetables with mayonnaise or oil, Argentine salads consist of nourishing animal products, such as sausage, eggs, fish and seafood. The national dishes of Argentina are the well-known cold soup "gazpacho", as well as vegetable stew "saltado". Gazpacho is so famous all over Latin America that all the countries of Latin America are constantly arguing about the superiority of its invention. The main ingredients of gazpacho soup are cucumbers and tomatoes. In Argentina beef is very much loved, this meat is also considered a national product, and it is used to make meat rolls, chops, make meat with blood, beef is stewed, fried and baked here. In addition to classic national dishes in Argentine cuisine there are also exotic dishes. They include nandu meat, stewed armadillo, roast of oxtails, roasted meat of Argentine rodent Visachi.

Cold gazpacho soup


Alcoholic beverages are a separate niche in the national cuisine of Latin American countries. Wine is often used for cooking, meat is marinated in it, added to sauces or confectionery. It is also worth mentioning fruits, which are the basis for the preparation of many desserts, drinks and juices. Vegetables in Latin America are used to prepare salads, which are dressed exclusively with olive oil. It is believed to be the only oil that will not spoil a cooked dish.