Culture

Here Are The National Dishes That Belong To These Latin American Countries

National treasures can come in the form of poets, art, literature and even in food. Here are some common dishes you can find when sitting down at a traditional restaurant from these Latin American countries.

1. Chivito – Uruguay

RECETA N°11: El mejor sandwich de Uruguay 🇺🇾… Un chivito!! 😍😍🤤🤤. Quién lo ha probado? Es el más clásico de allá, y es IMPOSIBLE que te quede mal. Es que cuando mezclas churrasco, jamón acaramelado, queso mozzarella y gauda derretidos, lechuga, tomate, tocino ahumado crocante, pimentones caramelizados, mayonesa y huevo duro, tienes el 90% de la pega hecha jaja. MEDIA MEZCLA! Es casi puro montar, pero les doy algunos tips en el paso a paso. Primero, hagan el tocino (sin aceite, solo con su propia grasa). Cuando esté crocante, lo reservan en un plato con toalla nova, y en la misma plancha o sartén tiran los churrascos. Así se mezclan con los juguitos del tocino y quedan más ricos. Por mientras, echan los pimentones y si quieren les agregan un poco de azúcar. Envuelvan una lámina de cada queso en una de jamón, y también lo tiran a la plancha. Recuerden condimentar tanto el tomate como el huevo duro (también funciona increíble con huevo frito, ojo 👀), y luego solo quedar montar todo!! Clave la mayo en ambas partes del pan (y tostadito, please). Una bomba de sabor, rápido y rico. #365Sanguchez #365Recetas #sandwich #chivito #Uruguay #chivitocanadiense #chivitouruguayo #Beef #churrasco #tocino

A post shared by Felipe Sanchez (@365sanguchez) on

Cooked beef steak (churrasco), mayo, tomatoes, mozzarella slices, olives, bacon, hard-boiled eggs and ham are assembled in between two bread slices for a chivito—Uruguay’s national dish. If you head to Uruguay to try this dish in person, expect your platter to include Russian potato salad or French fries.

Need more proof this is the national dish? In the city of Maldonado in Uruguay, a celebration is held yearly for a chivito party, complete with games, dancing, pony rides and music. CUTE! ☺️ 

2. Sopa paraguaya – Paraguay

Sometimes you can’t take things literally, like this national dish from Paraguay. Sopa de paraguaya is not soup in the conventional sense. Similar to cornbread, the dish is often baked in the juices of a roasted chicken and made with cornmeal, eggs, chopped onions, cheese, cottage cheese, milk and lard.

3. Sancocho – Panama

Noted as the national dish of Panama, sancocho can also be seen on the menus of countries including Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. In Panama, the dish is called sancocho de gallina, and is made with chicken, the herb cilantro, mazorca, yuca, otoe, chopped onions, garlic and oregano. If you are suffering from a major hangover, sancocho is said to do the trick for getting you back into shape. 😎 

4. Pabellón criollo – Venezuela

Arepas might be the Venezuelan dish that is most widely known, but the national dish is actually pabellón criollo. White rice, black beans and shredded beef is placed on a plate and sprinkled with some queso palmita on top of the beans. If you want to get *que fancy* with it, ask for a pabellón a caballo, which means adding a fried egg on top.

5. Pupusa – El Salvador

Pupusa sunday!! #pupusa #brunch #homemade

A post shared by danielle nelson (@danie_dandelion) on

It doesn’t matter if you are eating them with a fork or with your hands (a common debate), pupusas are DELISH. The thick corn patties are stuffed with cheese and your choice of ingredients ranging from refried beans, chicharrones, and the loroco flower. Slather your pupusa with tomato salsa and curtido, a mixture of pickled cabbage and carrots. Started in 2005, there is even a National Pupusa Day in El Salvador. A holiday you can always be sure to put on your calendar.

6. Gallo pinto – Costa Rica and Nicaragua

Beans and rice. The yin and yang of many Latin American dishes. In Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the combination of this typical dish is called gallo pinto (spotted rooster) and is made with red or black beans, and arroz. The flavor comes from adding in chicken broth and chopped onion, sweet pepper and cilantro.

7. Pastel de choclo – Chile

Pastel de choclo is eaten in Chile, Argentina, Peru and Bolivia and uses ground up sweetcorn to make a paste. The paste is mixed in with some basil for a little kick and layered on top of a filling. Pino is used as the filling, which is onion, paprika and other spices cooked with minced beef.

8. Asados – Argentina

Grilling meat is one of the favorite pastimes for Argentines. It’s an opportunity for a communal gathering to talk about the past week, soccer and just have an all around good time. The meat (usually beef and sausage) is grilled on a parrilla and usually takes about two hours to prepare.  

9. Feijoada – Brazil

#feijoada 😋

A post shared by Laura Moura Lima (@lauramoulima) on

The Brazilian version of feijoada is often served with pork trimmings (ears, feet and tail), bacon, sausage, jerked beef, black beans and some rice. Depending on the region in Brazil you are eating this dish in, additional items are included, such as kale, bananas, celery and pumpkin.

10. Salteñas – Bolivia

Say it with us—savory foods are the holy grail of food. These baked type of empanadas are a little bit of sweet and spicy, often filled with a type of meat, raisins, olives, and potatoes. Fun facts: this empanada is named after the Argentine city of Salta and are baked upright instead of lying on their side.

11. La bandera – Dominican Republic

Papá (mi abuelo paterno) muy Cibaeño Dominicano decía: "Que comer comida calentá' daba cuaja" Básicamente decía que comer recalentado causaba pereza 🤣 Pero que Sabiondo Papá para que le hicieran su comida todos los días. Con este estilo de vida tan agitado, estos horarios de trabajo tan locos y esa comida que queda del día anterior y quien se resiste a no comérsela?! Felicito a todas (os) que pueden cocinar las 3 calientes todos los días… Yo mientras me voy a cenar este Calentao' Díganme a ver que opinan 🙄 . . . . . #cocinandoencasadeliz #cenandoencasadeliz #arrozconhabichuelas #ycarne #arrozconhabichuela #habichuelasguisadas #habichuelasrojasguisadas #labanderadominicana #albondigasguisadas #fritosmaduros #ensaladaverde #comidadominicana #dominicancooking #cocinadominicana #comidahechaencasa #rutagourmetdo #afuegoalto #dominicanfood #gastronomiadominicana #comidacalenta #recalentado #leftoverfood

A post shared by 🇩🇴Liz FernándezR🇩🇴 (@cocinandoencasadeliz) on

Literally translated as “the flag,” this Dominican dish often features stewed meat, rice and beans to represent the tricolored flag. The dish is also called “plato del día” or “el almuerzo” and is commonly eaten for lunch with a side of tostones, avocado and a side salad. SIGN US UP for this meal!

Are there any dishes on the list that you want to try? If so, share this article with your friends!


READ: In Case You Weren’t Already Aware, These Latino ‘Junk Food’ Snacks Are Totally Vegan

The Venezuelan Government Has Stopped Buying HIV And AIDS Medication

Things That Matter

The Venezuelan Government Has Stopped Buying HIV And AIDS Medication

Unsplash

While the international news about Venezuela may have subsided just a tiny bit, make no mistake that the crisis is still very alive. The difference now is that Venezuelans are not only protesting President Nicolás Maduro, but also President Donald Trump. For years, Venezuelans have pleaded that they’re in dire need of food and other essentials, but it’s as if no one seems to care. Trump has now imposed more economic sanctions on Venezuela, though it may be all smoke and mirrors. The reality is people want Maduro out, and they want to be able to survive there too. Most low-income people have to travel to Colombia in order to get essentials that they cannot get back home. But now the most vulnerable are paying the price.

The health care system of Venezuela has stopped purchasing HIV and AIDS medication, which means an estimated 7,700 Venezuelans that are living with the disease are facing a significant emergency.

Credit: @cmternes / Twitter

A new report in Foreign Policy informs that due to the dire situation in Venezuela, their healthcare system has been unable to purchase HIV/AIDS medication. This is putting thousands of people infected at risk. The turmoil of the country’s healthcare is the result of the corruption that has plagued Venezuela since former President Hugo Chávez was in charge. It’s even worse now under Maduro.

“As a result, the country’s medical system is severely under-resourced, FP reports. “Government funding for medical care has been slashed, more than half the country’s doctors have fled Venezuela, and drastic shortages in medical equipment have hampered the ability of hospitals to provide even basic treatment for their patients.”

People with HIV or AIDS are not the only ones suffering from this downturn in medical supplies; others, including children, need basic vaccines as well. 

Credit: @PattyLayla / Twitter

Marisol Ramírez is a 56-year-old Venezuelan who travels to Colombia not just for medication but also for food. She said she sometimes has to decide between food or medicine because it is too expensive to get both. Many others are in the same position. 

Just last month, they gave me enough [antiretroviral drugs] for three months, because due to the situation in the country, we can’t be going up and down to get here. The price of [bus] tickets are incredibly high, and we can’t be coming down here every month,” Marisol Ramírez told Foreign Policy.

There is some hope. The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) are reportedly going to send 12,000 doses of HIV/AIDS medication, but there are still several issues. 

Credit: @ReuterVZLA / Twitter

“When I was there I actually signed a letter of intent with the minister of health Juan Pablo Uribe for the United States to be providing HIV antiretrovirals to Colombia for the use with Venezuelan refugees,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar told Reuters. Azar also said there’s a plan in place to rebuild the healthcare system once Maduro is out, but who knows when that will be. 

“If you don’t have any money … or you don’t support the current government you don’t have anything,” a Venezuelan man told the Washington Blade. “It is, unfortunately, very sad.”

Some may assume that because HIV and AIDS are treatable that it’s not a problem like it was in previous years. However, people are only surviving this terrible illness because of medication, so, without it, people are likely to die. 

Credit: @PeterTatchell / Twitter

Jesus Aguais, founder of Aid for AIDS, an international organization, said that 80 percent of Venezuelans “with HIV who should be on treatment are not,” and added, “That’s terrible from a public health perspective. Not only are people going to get sicker, but HIV is going to spread faster.”

He also said another vulnerable group that is suffering from this disease that is not getting the help they deserve is the indigenous Warao community. He noted that HIV and AIDS are affecting them, and if they don’t get the proper medication, the community as a whole may be completely wiped out.

READ: The Crisis In Venezuela Is Worsening. Here’s What You Should Know Right Now

Argentinian Teen Electrocuted To Death While Walking Barefoot in the Dominican Republic

Things That Matter

Argentinian Teen Electrocuted To Death While Walking Barefoot in the Dominican Republic

Melina Caputo, 17, was on vacation in the Dominican Republic with her family when one misstep ended her life. Caputo was walking back from the beaches of Punta Cana to her hotel room when she came in contact with a live wire and was electrocuted. By the time paramedics arrived, they were unable to revive her, and she was pronounced dead on the scene. Her brothers and cousins reportedly witnessed her death.

Caputo’s grandparents hosted Melina and her brothers on the Dominican Republic trip.

Credit: leandrocaputo_ / Instagram

It was the last day of their trip, and the group was heading back to the hotel, Be Live, presumably to pack up and head back home to Argentina. Melina was walking back from the beach barefoot, and once she stepped up onto some metal stairs, she reportedly “came into contact” with a live wire. Preliminary investigations assert that the teenager died from cardio-respiratory failure, but the family is waiting for results from the autopsy.

The Director of Communications for the hotel chain insists there were no live wires on the hotel’s property.

Credit: melllchu / Instagram

The family was staying at Punta Cana resort Be Live of Bayahibe. Its parent company, Globalia, has issued a statement asserting that there is no live wiring on their property. There are no reports as of yet as to who is responsible for the live wiring found on the metal bridge linking the beach to the hotel property.

Melina’s father has since traveled to the resort to make arrangements for her body.

Credit: MeLina Caputo / Facebook

He’s also there to offer support to his family. Since her, her friends have posted emotional tributes honoring the young girl’s life. Nicolas Baistrocchi, who was Facebook married to Melina, shared, “We both thought that if we were going to separate, it would be when we are old, but I never imagined that I was going to lose you so soon.”

Her brother, Leandro, has taken to social media to honor her memory.

Credit: leandrocaputo_ / Instagram

“I saw you being born, I saw you growing up, I saw you fighting, I saw you crying, I saw you smiling, I saw you dreaming,” he wrote in an emotional post. “I know you were a good-intentioned person, as you were always fighting for the defenseless, I apologize my love for not being able to do more to have you by my side.” Leandro witnessed his sister’s death.

Just last week, Leandro shared a new tattoo: her name inscribed on his chest, por siempre.

Credit: leandrocaputo_ / Instagram

In pure poetry, Leandro captions the post, “We had those same pleasures, those of scratching ourselves like a school bench, those “gustos” of piercing our ears, nose, weird clothes, extravagant hairstyles. The sad tunes that only our souls could feel hugged by, and now it’s my turn to follow without you, how? I still don’t know, but with the hope that you give me, las fuerza hermanita, I love you madly, my guardian angel and wait for me, please. We still have a thousand songs to dance to.”

The last thing Melina posted on her social media before she died was, “me voy despidiendo,” which means “I’m saying goodbye.”

Credit: leandrocaputo_ / Instagram

Melina also had a separate Instagram account for her band. The photos she posted of herself wearing goofy, white plastic glasses with her friends and side-view car mirrored selfies are all framed with beautiful images of roses and palm fronds. 

After 13 Americans have died in the Dominican Republic so far this year, Melina’s death is only the latest.

Credit: MeLina Caputo / Facebook

It’s hard for any family to make sense of the reported deaths in the Dominican Republic thus far. While the DR’s minister of tourism, Francisco Javier Garcia, balked at the notion that the DR is any less safe than its ever been, the United States’ own FBI launched its own investigation. Since then, tourism has dropped by 74 percent on the island, and Javier Garcia is finally acting.

New measures have been put in place that could help save lives, and assure tourists that they are safe.

Credit: MeLina Caputo / Facebook

The Dominican Republic has newly officiated a Department of Tourism Services and Companies. The department will oversee the enforcement of new policies that include ensuring medical professionals on staff at hotels are sufficiently qualified, that lifeguards are fully certified, along with reinforcing an existing law that requires hotel staff to notify guests of what to do in the case of an emergency. After a string of deaths related to consuming mini bar liquors, resorts are now required to release their standard operating procedures for handling food items and a list of all their beverage suppliers.

READ: Dominicans Are Taking To Social Media To Make Sure That People Stop Trying To Cancel The Dominican Republic