Culture

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

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!

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Peru’s President Survives Impeachment Over Handling Of Coronavirus But What Happens Next?

Things That Matter

Peru’s President Survives Impeachment Over Handling Of Coronavirus But What Happens Next?

Chris Bouroncle / Getty Images

Earlier this month, Peru’s Congress moved to initiate impeachment proceedings against the country’s president over his alleged involvement with a singer involved in a fraud case. However, Peru’s struggle to contain the Coroanvirus outbreak also became a focal point of the impeachment proceedings.

Although, President Martín Vizcarra survived the impeachment vote this week, his country is still spiraling out of control in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic. Peru now has one of the world’s highest mortality rates, made worse by political strife and Peruvians are wondering where the country goes next amid all the turmoil.

Peru’s President survived his impeachment trial but he still faces serious hurdles in the road ahead.

What started out as an alleged fraud and corruption case, devolved into a sort of referendum on Vizcarra’s handling of the country’s failed Coronavirus response. The Coronavirus tragedy has fueled political insurrection. On Sept. 18, an opportunistic legislature tried to oust the president, who has been dogged by accusations of misusing public funds and then covering up the scandal.

However, the revolt fell flat. Just 32 lawmakers voted to remove Vizcarra, glaringly short of the 87-vote impeachment threshold, which is a good thing. Regime change on top of a public health hecatomb might have pushed the afflicted nation that much closer to collapse.

The decision came after long hours of debate in which legislators blasted Vizcarra but also questioned whether a rushed impeachment process would only create more turmoil in the middle of a health and economic crisis.

“It’s not the moment to proceed with an impeachment which would add even more problems to the tragedy we are living,” lawmaker Francisco Sagasti said.

The original impeachment case stemmed from his alleged involvement with a singer who faced serious charges of fraud.

President Vizcarra faced the challenge to his leadership after the Congress approved a motion to start impeachment proceedings against him over leaked audio tapes and alleged ties to a singer involved in a fraud case.

Lawmakers in Peru’s Congress, a mosaic of parties from the left and right with no overall majority, heard recordings of two private conversations between Vizcarra and government officials about meetings with Richard Cisneros, a little-known singer.

Vizcarra told reporters that the new challenge represented “a plot to destabilise the government.” “I am not going to resign,” he said. “I have a commitment to Peru and I will fulfill it until the last day of my mandate.”

Presidential elections are due to be held next year and Vizcarra has already said he will not run again.

But given Peru’s failed Covid-19 response, the president also faces serious doubts in his abilities to bring the country back from the brink.

Latin America has been devastated by the pandemic and it’s only been exacerbated by the total obliteration of growing wealth across the region – as millions are left out of work. The pandemic has largely undone decades of hard work that helped pull millions of Latin Americans out of poverty.

And Peru once the showpiece of Latin American economies — growing at a pacesetting 6.1% a year between 2002 and 2013 and lifting 6.4 million out of poverty — the country saw gross domestic product fall 30% in the second quarter, and is likely to finish the year aound 17% poorer before rebounding next year, according to Bloomberg Economics. Despite generous aid to the poor and strict social distancing rules that drew international praise, the Andean country has been burdened by the pandemic with one of the world’s highest mortality rates.

The possibility of a president being impeached amid the pandemic, had many in the U.S. wondering if we could do the same.

In the U.S., Donald Trump has left much of the country to fend for itself as the pandemic ravages state after state. There has been little in the way of a national plan for how to overcome the outbreak. In fact, many lies about the virus, treatment, and contagion have come directly from the president himself.

He’s even instructed the CDC to stop sharing pandemic-related information with the public, and instead to send all data directly to the White House.

Donald Trump and his administration have sowed division and false information that has resulted in the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans and months of on and off again quarantine orders that seem to have no end in sight. With policies like this, it’s no surprise that some are seriously considering a second impeachment trial.

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Peru’s Indigenous Are Turning To Ancestral Medicines To Fight The Coronavirus

Culture

Peru’s Indigenous Are Turning To Ancestral Medicines To Fight The Coronavirus

Joao Laet / Getty Images

With news headlines like “How Covid-19 could destroy indigenous communities”, it’s hard to understate the affect that the Coronavirus has had on Indigenous communities across the world.

Even before the pandemic hit, native populations were already at increased risk of health complications, poor access to medical care, lack of proper education, and even premature death. The pandemic has only exacerbated these issues as government programs and NGOs who delivered aid to far flung communities have grind to a halt.

However, many communities have started taking the matter into their own hands by creating their own impromptu healthcare systems based on ancestral techniques and others have barricaded off their villages from the outside world in an effort to stem the flow of the virus.

In Peru, many Indigenous communities are turning to centuries-old medicines to fight back against the Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on Peru – the country with the world’s highest per capita Covid-19 mortality rate. At particular risk is the nation’s large Indigenous community, who often lack proper access to education efforts and medical care. This has forced many Indigenous groups to find their own remedies.

In the Ucayali region, government rapid response teams deployed to a handful of Indigenous communities have found infection rates as high as 80% through antibody testing. Food and medicine donations have reached only a fraction of the population. Many say the only state presence they have seen is from a group responsible for collecting bodies of the dead.

At least one community, the Indigenous Shipibo from Peru’s Amazon region, have decided to rely on the wisdom of their ancestors. With hospitals far away, doctors stretch too thin and a lack of beds, many have accepted the alternative medicine.

In a report by the Associated Press, one villager, Mery Fasabi, speaks about gathering herbs, steeping them in boiling water and instructing her loved ones to breathe in the vapors. She also makes syrups of onion and ginger to help clear congested airways.

“We had knowledge about these plants, but we didn’t know if they’d really help treat COVID,” the teacher told the AP. “With the pandemic we are discovering new things.”

One of the plants the Shipibo are using is known locally as ‘matico.’ The plant has green leaves and brightly colored flowers. And although Fasabi admits that these ancestral remedies are by no means a cure, the holistic approach is proving successful. She says that “We are giving tranquility to our patients,” through words of encouragement and physical touch.

Even before the Coronavirus, Indigenous communities were at a greater risk for infectious diseases.

Indigenous peoples around the globe tend to be at higher risk from emerging infectious diseases compared to other populations. During the H1N1 pandemic in Canada in 2009, for example, aboriginal Canadians made up 16% of admissions to hospital, despite making up 3.4% of the population.

Covid-19 is no exception. In the US, one in every 2,300 indigenous Americans has died, compared to one in 3,600 white Americans.

Indigenous groups are particularly vulnerable to dying from Covid-19 because they often live days away from professional medical help. As of July 28, the disease had killed 1,108 indigenous people and there had been 27,517 recorded cases, with the majority in Brazil, according to data published by Red Eclesial Panamazonia (Repam).

Some communities are turning inward to survive COVID-19, barricading villages and growing their own food.

Despite the immense threat they face, Indigenous communities are fighting back.

“I am amazed to see the ways that indigenous peoples are stepping up to provide support where governments have not,” Tauli-Corpuz, a teacher at Mexico’s UNAM, told The Conversation. “They are providing PPE and sanitation, making their own masks, and ensuring that information on Covid-19 is available in local languages, and are distributing food and other necessities.”

They are also choosing to isolate. In Ecuador’s Siekopai nation, about 45 Indigenous elders, adults and children traveled deep into the forest to their ancestral heartland of Lagartococha to escape exposure to the Coronavirus, says the nation’s president Justino Piaguaje.

Despite their best efforts, many experts are extremely concerned for the survival of many Indigenous communities.

Credit: Ginebra Peña / Amazonian Alliance

They are already facing the ‘tipping point’ of ecological collapse due to increased threats of deforestation, fires, industrial extraction, agribusiness expansion and climate change,” Amazon Watch executive director Leila Salazar-Lopez told UNESCO of Amazonian Indigenous groups.

“Now, the pandemic has created one more crisis, and as each day passes, the risk of ethnocide becomes more real.”

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