Chocolate, Chili’s and Churros – a Gourmet’s Guide to South American Cuisine

barbequeAs a cruising destination South America has a lot to offer in the way of spectacular scenery and exotic cities, and what more enjoyable way is there to travel and enjoy the local cuisine?

Pisco, Peru

Visited by Princess Cruises, this first port of call is home to the Pisco Sour, a cocktail made from the local Pisco brandy, sugar syrup, lime juice and Angustura bitters, whisked up with egg whites to produce a foamy concoction. The dish of ceviche which is a local delicacy also uses lime juice, but this time to ‘cook’ thin slices of the freshest fish. Cuy or as we know it guinea pig is widely eaten throughout the country, baked or barbecued on a spit. This is of course home to the potato which can be found in the dish causa, where it is layered with avocado iand baked before being served in cold slices.

Manta, Ecuador

A stop over spot for regent Seven Seas cruises, here we can find llapingauchos which are traditional Andean potato patties that are stuffed with cheese, then cooked on a hot plate until brown and crispy, finished with a fried egg on top, real comfort food. Yuca or cassava, is the third largest source of carbohydrate in the world and here it is used to make tortillas and pan de yucca. Choclo con queso is a traditional dish of corn cobs served with the local cheese which is moist and bland, a bit like tofu.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

One of the destinations of luxury cruises from Azamara Club. Beef is very popular here and Argentina is the second largest consumer in the World, traditionally it is served with chimichurri sauce, a mix of garlic, parsley, vihnegar and dried peppers. Empanadas are savoury patties filled with either mat or vegetables. Asado is the local term for a barbecue where almost all parts of an animal are cooked and eaten. Carbonada is a typical stew of meat, potatoes, pumpkin and corn, often baked in the pumpkin itself.

Valparaiso , Chile

Check out the local fish market to sample chupe, a thick casserole of cheese and creamto which crab and mixed shellfish are added. Prietas are a Chilean blood sausage that are most often found as part of a mixed grill. On most restaurant tables you will find Pebre, the local condiment, a mix of tomatoes, onions, coriander and chillies.

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Another destination popular with cruiselines, here we can find Feijoada which is recognised as the national dish which arrived with the Portuguese and consists mainly of black beans, smoked beef and pork. Virtually any type of meat can find its way into the dish including tails, ears and trotters. Churros are deep fried pastries, sold as street food, with a chocolate dipping sauce.

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