Culture

This Is A Roundup Of The Greatest Street Foods Of Latin America And We’re Sure You’ll Agree

Known for fresh ingredients, vibrant flavors, and colorful presentation, Latin American food is popular with foodies all around the world. While staple dishes like enchiladas and quesadillas can be found in restaurants in nearly any nation, there are countless other dishes that better represent the culture and tastes of the region’s culture. Keep reading to learn some of the very best foods from countries throughout Latin America.

Empanada

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A popular Latin American snack or street food that’s now easy to find worldwide are empanadas. These treats can be savory or sweet. They feature a pastry pocket that’s filled with meat, cheese, vegetables, fruits, or huitlacoche, a corn mixture popular in Mexico. These pastry pockets are then baked or fried.

Pabellon Criollo

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While not official, many consider this meal to be the national dish of Peru, though it’s also popular throughout Latin America. It features rice stewed with black beans and shredded beef. Traditionally eaten at lunchtime, it is usually served with fried plantains, also called tajadas, as well as a fried egg.

Tamal

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This traditional dish traces its roots back hundreds of years in Latin America. It starts with masa, which is a starchy dough made from corn. Then, other ingredients, like meat, cheese, vegetables, chilies, or even fruit are added. Finally, the concoction is wrapped in banana leaves or corn husks and either steamed or boiled.

Churrasco

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If you’ve ever been lucky enough to dine at a Brazilian grill, you’ve likely heard of churrasco. While not a singular dish, the term “churrasco” actually refers to beef or even other types of grilled meat. It’s also not exclusive to Brazil. You’ll find this name on menus in a number of other countries, including Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Columbia, Guatemala, and more.

Ropa Vieja

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The term “ropa vieja” translates to “old clothes.” This traditional Cuban dish gets its name from the shredded beef’s resemblance to a pile of torn old rags. The beef is seasoned with sofrito, which includes a mix of sauteed onions, garlic, tomatoes, and green peppers. This dish is usually served on top of black beans and rice, and may also come with a side of fried plantains.

Feijoada

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This traditional dish features a main meat, usually beef or pork, that is cooked in a stew of black beans. This dish is usually served with rice, vegetables, and assorted sausages such as churico, farinheira, or morcela. It may also come with other side dishes to make a full meal. One popular side dish for feijoada is farofai, which is toasted manioc flour.

Chipa

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Often served as a side dish or even a breakfast food, a chipa is a small baked roll that is cheese flavored. While you’ll find chipas in a number of Latin American cities, Coronel Bogado in Paraguay is considered the National Capital of the Chipa.

Mole

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One of the most popular types of mole is mole poblano. In fact, many people consider it to be Mexico’s national dish. It features more than 20 ingredients, including notable additions like chili and chocolate. In Mexico, you’ll often find this dish served around the holidays and for special occasions. It’s usually poured over turkey, though it can be served over any number of different dishes.

Ceviche

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Ceviche is so popular in Peru that there’s even a national holiday dedicated to it; Dia Nacional del Cebiche. You’ll also find this dish served in Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, and other countries throughout Latin and South America, as well as throughout the Caribbean.

Ceviche features raw fish that has been cured in the juice of key limes or bitter oranges. It is then mixed with chili peppers and onion, and flavored with salt and pepper. Traditionally served in a small glass, it may also be served with avocado, corn, or other toppings.

Tostones

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While different nations give them different names, tostones are a popular snack throughout Latin American. They are fried plantains, often sliced thin like potato chips and seasoned with salt or other spices.

Mofongo

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Another popular dish featuring fried plantains is mofongo. For this meal, fried plantains are mashed and a variety of seasonings and other ingredients, like onion and salt, are added.

Bandeja Paisa

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The term “bandeja paisa” actually refers more to the type of dish rather than to the ingredients themselves. A bandeja paisa is a large meal served on a platter and featuring several traditional dishes and side dishes.

Some popular items you might find in a bandeja paisa are white rice, red beans cooked with pork, fried eggs, plantains, chorizo, and avocado. You might also find other traditional dishes, like carne molida, which is a type of ground meat, arepa, a Latin American flatbread, and morcilla, a black pudding.

Tequenos

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Originally hailing from Venezuela, tequenos are fried cheese sticks made by wrapping bread dough around chunks of queso blanco. These treats are now a popular snack or street food in a number of nations.

Curanto

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Curanto may be made with a variety of types of shellfish and meats, served with either potato pancakes or potato dumplings, and a mix of seasonal vegetables. Before the heated stones are added, this dish is covered with rhubarb leaves, then wet sacks, dirt, and grass. While this is the traditional way to cook this dish, other Latin and South American countries may also bake or otherwise roast curantos.

Asado

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Asado is a barbecue technique that starts with flank-cut beef ribs that are flavored with a number of spices. The beef is then cooked over a grill, also called a parilla, or more traditionally, over an open flame. Alongside the beef, you’ll also likely be served a variety of other meats, like chicken or cured sausages called embutidos, as well as sweet breads, grilled vegetables, and salad.

Brigadeiros

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This simple, yet tasty dessert originated in Brazil. It is made from condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter, which is rolled into balls and covered in chocolate sprinkles.

Encebollado

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The word “encebollado” actually translates to “cooked with onions.” This Ecuadorian dish, sometimes called the country’s national dish, is a fish stew cooked with fresh tomatoes, coriander leaves, and a variety of spices for a flavorful, hearty meal. It is usually served with boiled cassava or yucca, as well as pickled red onion rings.

Tacos

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This is one Mexican staple that you’ll not only find in every Spanish-speaking nation but also around the world. The ingredients and varieties are truly endless. Traditional versions often feature corn tortillas and grilled meats such as beef or pork, though you’ll also find plenty of seafood and vegetable options as well.

Dulce de Leche

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Another popular dessert throughout Latin America is dulce de leche. It is made by slowly heating condensed milk and may be served on its own or poured over other desserts such as cake.

Antichuchos

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Served from street carts and market stalls, antichuchos are inexpensive skewers of meat that were originally developed in the Andes Mountains. The meat is often marinated in vinegar and topped with spices like cumin, garlic, and pepper.

Churros

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Known around the world as a sweet, easy to eat as a snack, churros are fried pieces of dough rolled in cinnamon and sugar. The Latin American version is often larger and thicker and is filled with a sweet filling, such as dulce de leche or fruit jams.


READ: These Substitutes Make Our Favorite Latino Foods Healthy, Delicious, Satisfying, And Good For You

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Taco Bell Is Celebrating The ‘Taco Moon’ With A Free Taco Giveaway Around The World

Culture

Taco Bell Is Celebrating The ‘Taco Moon’ With A Free Taco Giveaway Around The World

We’re only a few months into 2021 and we’ve already seen several special moons. We’ve had the “wolf moon,” the “snow moon” and even the “pink moon,” but the next moon may be the tastiest one yet.

In what maybe one of the best marketing campaigns in a generation, Taco Bell recently announced its plans to take over the night sky on May 4 during the crescent moon phase with its very own “taco moon.” And people around the world will be able to celebrate.

Taco Bell announces free giveaway to celebrate the upcoming ‘Taco Moon.’

“On May 4, the world’s largest and brightest object in the night sky will resemble a favorite indulgence, the taco — a new lunar phase* we are affectionately calling the ‘Taco Moon,'” the company shared in a statement.

It added that important asterisk to note while Taco Bell “does not claim to own copyrights to a lunar phase of the moon,” it “stands behind the fact this really does look like a Taco Bell taco.”

And, when the Taco Moon arrives on May 4, hungry fans in the U.S. craving a treat can score a free Crunchy Taco between 8-11:59 p.m. in-store or all day through the app or online.

Fans will need to head to their local Taco Bell restaurant and simply mention the ‘Taco Moon’ or say ‘I saw the Taco Moon’ to claim a free Crunchy Taco Supreme. This fan-fave Taco features a crunchy shell filled with seasoned beef, sour cream, fresh lettuce, tomato, and cheese. No stress for vegetarian taco-lovers, the Taco Supreme can also be made with black beans.

To help keep track of the special lunar phase, Taco Bell even released a helpful chart.

taco bell graphic

And Americans aren’t the only ones who can score a freebie. Some international locations are getting in on the action, too.

“Taco Bell has been an established brand in the U.S. for nearly 60 years and we are thrilled by the accelerating fandom we’re seeing globally,” Julie Felss Masino, president of Taco Bell, International, shared. “As we’re opening more and more restaurants internationally, we know the May 4 moon will take us to new ‘heights’ as we introduce ourselves to new future fans in a delicious way.”

Participating Taco Bell restaurants include some locations in the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico, however, in those markets, guests will get a local favorite like a free Crunchy Taco with the purchase of a beverage in Guatemala and the option of a free black bean or seasoned chicken Crunchy Taco in India.

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Women Are Marching In The Dominican Republic As Part Of A Green Wave To End The Country’s Total Abortion Ban

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Women Are Marching In The Dominican Republic As Part Of A Green Wave To End The Country’s Total Abortion Ban

For years now, women across Latin America have been fighting for their rights. In too many countries women are literally fighting for their safety and lives, not to mention access to equal pay, education, and safe and legal abortion.

Recently, these activists have started to see victories pop up across the region in what many are calling a green wave. With Argentina having legalized abortion late last year, many are hoping that the momentum will carry over into other countries.

Dominican feminists are demanding an end to the nation’s total abortion ban.

The Dominican Republic’s current penal code (which penalizes abortions) dates all the way back to 1884. It should go without saying that the time to update these archaic laws is long overdue.

The group of feminists use the hashtag #Las3CausalesVan and wear green, representing the latest in a green wave of reproductive rights that has spread across Latin America and the Caribbean.

“We are manifesting in front of Congress to demand respect to the life, health and dignity of women, emphasizing the inclusion of the three causals in the penal code,” Saray Figuereo, one of the activists involved in the movement, told the APP. “And we won’t let them make up an excuse that they’ll include them in a special law.”

The movement for the “Las 3 causales” (3 “causals” or “grounds/circumstances” in English) demands the approval of abortion in three extreme cases:

  1. When the pregnancy is a byproduct of a rape or incest
  2. When it represents a risk for the woman (or girl)
  3. When the fetus is nonviable

It’s the first time in generations that there is hope to update the country’s laws.

In 2020, the Dominican Republic held a historic election where Luis Abinader of the Modern Revolutionary Party won the presidential elections—the first time an opposing party won after a 16-year rule by the Party for Dominican Liberation.

In an interview with El País, he said, “Look, I disagree, as does the majority of the population, not only in the Dominican Republic but in the world, with free abortion, but I do think that there must be causals that allow the interruption of pregnancy. That has been the official position of our party.”

Reproductive rights in the Dominican Republic have long been an ongoing issue. The ratio of maternal mortality in the country is 150 per 100,000 births, higher than the average of 100 in Latin America.

“It’s been over 25 years fighting for this and all the lives that we keep losing, especially marginalized lives that are not even valuable enough for the media and the press to cover them, because the erasure of these voices is constant in the Dominican Republic,” activist Gina M. Goico told the AP.

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