Culture

These South American Foods Are Getting A Revamped Kick Thanks To Some Clever Fusions

sushisamba / Instagram

South American food has become synonymous with dishes such as lomo saltado, arepas, asado and churrasco. These chefs are thinking outside of the skillet and mixing in new flavors and presentations when it comes to these South American staple dishes. Welcome to the new South American fusion food.

1. Peruvian/Chinese – Madam Tusan

While those familiar with Peruvian food have probably seen elements of Chifa in the cooking (Cantonese cooking elements mixed with Peruvian traditional cooking, like arroz chaufa), Madam Tusan in Lima takes it to another level. The fortune cookies are in Spanish and the feels get fancy upgrades, like green arroz chaufa with duck.

2. Peruvian/Japanese – Chotto Matte

London’s Chotto Matte restaurant in the city’s SoHo district is plating Japanese food with touches of Peru. Chicha morada is brewed for holiday cocktails with special spices to celebrate the UK’s Bank Holiday. Wasabi gets put on the bench by this restaurant—instead, marinated chicken gets dressed with yellow chili salsa to get the spice meter up.

3.  Colombian/Italian – OCIO Coral Gables

This Miami restaurant is drawing inspiration from Italian and Colombian platters. You can order up an “arepa ociosa” with melted cheese and chopped pork rinds while another guest at the table chooses pollo rockefeller. Gives new meaning to ‘the best of both worlds.’

4. Venezuelan/Multiple Cuisines – Doggi’s Arepa Bar

Colombians and Venezuelans playfully spar on who has the best arepas, but there is no denying that Venezuelan cuisine might take the maize cake when it comes to modernizing its national dish. Doggi’s multiple Miami locations feature piping hot arepas filled with the creativity of its chefs. On the menu, you can find arepas including ‘arepa mexicana’ with pico de gallo and churrasco, ‘arepa Santa Barbara’ piled high with cheese, avocado slices and marinated steak, and ‘arepa tripleta’ stuffed with shredded gouda cheese, reina pepiada sauce and your choice of protein.

5. Peruvian/Japanese – Suviche

If we could dip any type of carb in huancaina sauce, we would tell you to hand over loaves of bolillos, baguettes, all of the carbs. What Suviche is doing at its various posts across South Florida neighborhoods is playfully mixing Peruvian staples with Japanese cuisine—with lots of the yellow spicy sauce. One of the restaurant’s signature dishes is lomo saltado stuffed into wonton bits that you can dunk again and again in huancaina sauce.

6. Japanese/Brazilian/Peruvian – SushiSamba

We did not think you could fuse this trifecta of cuisine traditions—but here we are and we are feeling blessed by it. 🙏

SushiSamba has outposts in Las Vegas, Miami, London and Amsterdam “celebrating the culture and cuisine” of these three countries, according to the restaurant’s Instagram account. Guests in London can try robata octopus with aji panca, while in Amsterdam, one menu item is the short rib croquetts made with Peruvian purple potato. *Checks cheapest flights to Europe.*

7. Chilean/German – Fuente Alemana Alameda

Santiago’s Fuente Alemana Alameda restaurant showcases Chile’s take on burgers. The sandwiches are stacked high with juicy cuts of meat and melted cheese. Wash it all down with a schop (draft beer) and eat like a true local.

8. Ecuadorian/Multiple Cuisines – Fried Bananas Restaurant

First Ecuadorian meal! #quito

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Located in Ecuador’s capital city of Quito, Fried Bananas gives a quaint take on Ecuadorian food. Guests can munch on popcorn baskets while waiting for their main entrees to come out, ranging from Ecuadorian spaghetti, mozzarella with honey dish, to tofu ceviche and more.

9. Uruguayan/Armenian – Erevan

READ: Here Are 11 Vegan Versions Of Staple Latino Foods That Will Make You Consider Going Vegan

What are some of your favorite South American fusion dishes? Share this with your friends and tell us in the comments below!

Colombia Is On Alert After Six Candidates Running For Mayor Have Been Murdered In The Past Six Weeks

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Colombia Is On Alert After Six Candidates Running For Mayor Have Been Murdered In The Past Six Weeks

Stern / Instagram

Yesterday saw police in Colombia arrest two people in connection to the death of Orley García, the mayoral candidate for the municipality of Toledo. But the wildest thing is that García isn’t the first mayoral candidate to have been killed this election cycle in Colombia. In fact, he’s actually the sixth

The most heartbreaking death was that of Karina García.

Pinterest / The Guardian

The 32-year-old was running to be the first female mayor in the rural municipality of Toledo when she was attacked. Following a day of campaigning on September 1, García was returning to her hometown of Suarez when the car she was traveling in was shot at, before being set on fire. Six people died from the attack, including García’s mother, three local activists and a candidate for the municipal council, who were also in the car at the time. According to authorities, a grenade was used in the attack. Somehow, though, García’s bodyguard, who was driving the vehicle, survived.

Before she was killed, Karina reported receiving threats and asked for security.

Twitter / @JZulver

A reward of almost $44,000 has been offered for information leading to the capture of the dissidents who were responsible for the murder of Karina García, who is survived by her husband and three year old son. It seems like a case of too little, too late, though, as García had already reported to authorities that she was on the receiving end of death threats. It was only in August that four armed men confronted members of her campaign, ordering them to take down banners and posters supporting her candidacy. García took to social media, calling on authorities to protect her and her fellow candidates against harm. “Please, for God’s sake, don’t act so irresponsibly,” she said in a video posted to Facebook on August 24. “This can bring fatal consequences for me.”

Authorities are blaming the killings on FARC rebels.

Instagram / @stern

And just who are FARC? The Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, on the most fundamental level, are a guerilla movement that began in 1964. Motivated by Marxist-Leninist leanings, on paper they’re a peasant force that promotes anti-imperialism. However, what this means in practice is that they kidnap, ransom, drug run and extort their way into opposing Colombian authorities and consolidating power. By the time 2016 rolled around though, the group was running out of steam. This led to a ceasefire accord between FARC and the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos. June 2017 saw FARC hand over its weapons to the United Nations.

Yes, FARC legitimized itself legally but several dissidents disagree with that decision.

Instagram / @leperejulot

Obviously, that’s not the end of the story. Despite the peace deal, and despite the fact that FARC had officially announced its transformation into a legal, political party, there are still plenty of dissidents out there who disagree with the change and still operate under the original FARC doctrine. What’s most likely sparked the recent mayoral candidate killings is FARC’s announcement, on Youtube no less, that it’s resorting to violence due to the Colombian government’s failure to comply with the peace agreements from 2016. Of course, Colombian officials heartily disagreed with this statement, and responded with offensive strikes against FARC.

This has basically turned into tic for tac killing.

Twitter / @Citytv

And the repercussions of the violence and killings are far-reaching. Beyond the devastated friends and family left behind, this also spells trouble for the democratic process in Colombia. Because who’s going to risk running for office, if they’re risking not only their own life, but the lives of their friends, family and coworkers? And who’s going to even consider turning up to vote, when the candidates themselves are being murdered, left, right, and center? It’s hard to conceive of cultural and legislative change in a country where part of what needs to be changed is what’s preventing change in the first place.

The other thing to keep in mind is that this is the exact kind of violence that people are fleeing when they arrive at the US border and make an appeal for asylum.

Instagram / @every_day_donald_trump

It’s a legitimate fear: the operation of gangs and cartels negatively impacts on the safety of the citizenry, as well as influencing the way that the entire country can be governed. However, because US legislation under the Trump administration states that asylum seekers cannot be granted refuge against gang violence, it means that these people have no choice but to go back to their country of origin and continue to risk theirs and their family’s lives. Something’s gotta give – otherwise, we’re going to see a lot more deaths at the hands of these gangs.

At this stage, we can only keep our eyes peeled for more news coming out from Colombia, as the elections are to be held October 27, across almost 1,100 municipalities. Unfortunately, with the murder of the sixth mayoral candidate in Colombia, this marks an even more violent election season than that of 2015, which saw the deaths of five mayoral candidates.

The Venezuelan Government Has Stopped Buying HIV And AIDS Medication

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The Venezuelan Government Has Stopped Buying HIV And AIDS Medication

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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