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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23 Gifts For The Friend Who Always Has Hot Cheetos Fingers

Culture

23 Gifts For The Friend Who Always Has Hot Cheetos Fingers

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Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are life, need we say more?

They’re crunchy, they’re spicy, they make your mouth water just thinking about them. They’re the best thing that has ever existed in the history of the world. That might sound dramatic, but you know we’re not wrong.

This gift guide is for the friend in your life who’s always got Hot Cheetos stained fingers, but that could also be you. So you can either be selfish and get all the good stuff for yourself or be selfless and gift your BFF the best Hot Cheetos inspired holiday presents.

1. A Flamin’ Hot Cheetos card

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The perfect card to let your friend know what you think of them.

Buy here.

2. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos socks

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Keep them toes cozy with these flamin’ hot socks.

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3. Baked Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

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For that friend who’s trying to cut back on the Hot Cheetos, here’s a “healthy” alternative.

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4. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos leggings

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You’ll for sure make a strong statement wearing these.

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5. A Flamin’ Hot Cheetos keychain

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Look at that liddo Hot Cheetos keychain, we love it so much we’re about to recommend 3-4 more different versions of it.

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6. A Flamin’ Hot Cheetos travel mug

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Pour it up, pour it up.

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7. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Chipotle Ranch

hot cheetos
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For the Hot Cheetos obsessed friend who NEEDS to try every single type of Hot Cheetos flavored out there.

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8. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos hair bow

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Hair on fleek.

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9. Takis keychain

hot cheetos
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Obviously, these aren’t Hot Cheetos. But if you’re a true Hot Cheetos fan, you know these are the second best chips to eat when you want to take a break from the usual.

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10. Flamin’ Hot Ruffles

hot cheetos
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Again, for that friend who needs to eat anything that includes the words “Hot Cheetos.”

Buy here.

11. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos earrings

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Get that bling, honey.

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12. Hot Cheetos phone case

hot cheetos gift guide
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Protect your phone with these flamin’ hot phone case.

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13. Reusable chopsticks

hot cheetos gift guide
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We know there’s some of you out there who use chopsticks to eat Hot Cheetos to avoid the Hot Cheetos finger (they’re the best part though), so here you go, get you some chopsticks.

Buy here. 

14. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos sticker

hot cheetos gift guide
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Slap it on your laptop.

Buy here.

15. Flamin’ Xxtra Hot Cheetos keychain

hot cheetos gift guide
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Look! Another cute keychain.

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16. Takis and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos travel mug

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The best of both worlds, unite.

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17. Flamin’ Hot Fries keychain

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Look! Another cute keychain.

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18. Another pair of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos leggings

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Oh, boy. These leggings will for sure get some heads turning. Werk it.

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19. OG Flamin’ Hot Cheetos pin

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Perfect to pin on your denim jacket.

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20. A Flamin’ Hot Cheetos dress

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And we’re ready for the club in this Hot Cheetos inspired look.

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21. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos joggers

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Get cozy in these Hot Cheetos joggers.

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22. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos dad hat

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Wear your love for Hot Cheetos loud and proud.

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23. A Flamin’ Hot Cheetos print

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Check out this lovely piece of Hot Cheetos inspired art.

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It Could Be Time To Say Goodbye To Your Salsa Forever As Tomatoes And Chilies Are In Danger Of Going Extinct

Culture

It Could Be Time To Say Goodbye To Your Salsa Forever As Tomatoes And Chilies Are In Danger Of Going Extinct

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Two of Latin America’s most important ingredients – staples of cuisines across the region – are in danger of possible extinction thanks to climate change. Tomatoes and chilies both make up a huge part of traditional recipes from Mexico to Brazil and Argentina to Cuba – and they’re close to disappearing from grocery stores everywhere.

We know that tomato and chili are two fundamental ingredients in Mexican cuisine. Due to the threats suffered by its main pollinator, the bumblebee, these basic ingredients could disappear forever.

Climate change is wreaking havoc on the planet. But one of the most at-risk species is the humble bumble bee. These often feared insects are a vital source of pollination for thousands of plant and flower species around the world – if they disappear so too do the species of plants that depend on them.

Pollinators are species of great importance for a healthy environment. They are responsible for the the diversity and health of various biomes. Across Latin America, the bumble bee is largely responsible for the pollination of modern agriculture and this could have a major impact on the production of tomatoes and chilis.

Unfortunately, bumblebees are currently threatened, resulting in the possible extinction of different vegetables, including tomatoes and chili.

But why does the tiny bumble bee matter at all?

The bumble bee belongs to the insect family Apidae, which includes hundeds of different species of bumblebees. In fact, the bumble bee can be found on every continent except Antarctica and plays an outsized role in agriculture. The insects are often larger than honey bees, come in black and white varieties and often feature white, yellow, or orange stripes. This genus belongs to the Apidae family that includes different species commonly known as bumblebees. They’re almost entirely covered by very silky hairs. An adult bumblebee reaches 20 millimeters or more and feeds primarily on nectar from flowering plants. A curious fact is that females have the ability to sting, while males do not.

Bumblebees are epic pollinators of the tomato and chili plantS. Together with different species, the bumblebee helps produce many staple foods that are part of healthy diets around the world. If these become extinct the eating habits of all Latinos would suffer drastic changes as several vegetables would disappear.

So why are bumblebees in danger?

The main threat of these insects is the pesticides used in modern agriculture. That is why it is necessary to avoid consuming food produced in this way. We can all help the bumblebee planting plants, protecting native species and especially not damaging their natural environment.

But climate change is also wreaking havoc on the breeding patters of bumblebees – leading to colony collapse. With fewer colonies there is less breeding and therefore fewer bees around the world to pollinate our global crops.

Can you imagine a world without tomatoes or chilies?

Salsa. Moles. Pico de gallo. Ketchup. Chiles rellenos. Picadillo. All of these iconic Latin American dishes would be in danger of going extinct along with the bumblebee – because what’s a mole without the rich, complex flavors of dried chilies?

Several groups are already working hard to help fund programs that would work to conserve the dwindling bumblebee populations. While others are working out solutions that could perhaps allow tomatoes and chilies to self-pollinate – much as other plants already do.