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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He Gave Away Free Oxygen To Those Who Needed It, Then People Burned Down His Home

Things That Matter

He Gave Away Free Oxygen To Those Who Needed It, Then People Burned Down His Home

Peru is being ravaged by a deadly second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. Few parts of the country are as badly affected as the remote Amazonian villages in the northeast of the country and cities like Iquitos.

The country has been one of the worst hit by the pandemic. For several months last year, it topped the per capita death charts. Officially, 1.2 million have been infected here while 43,880 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

One man’s effort to help those who have been most impacted, has nearly cost him his life.

As Peru now faces a daily oxygen shortage of 100 tons, Peruvians are becoming desperate for whatever oxygen they can get their hands on. Oxygen mafias are rising up to steal oxygen products and sell them on the black market for obscene prices.

Juan Torres Baldeón is a good samaritan who has, by his own estiamte, donated free oxygen to 8,000 desperate families in the jungle city of Iquitos. With his generosity, he’s likely saved hundreds if not thousands of lives in the process. But his generosity has also come with risks.

It began with crooks infiltrating the long lines outside Baldeón’s warehouse. The problem became so severe that the police and the military had to be called in to maintain order.

“We only give oxygen to those with prescriptions,” Baldeón told VICE News. “Normally, just half a tank, unless the patient is really sick, because we have to ration what we have. But we kept finding people in the queue who didn’t have a prescription, and when you asked them the name of the patient, they didn’t know what to say.”

Then he began receiving threatening phone calls, demanding he surrender his entire lifesaving supply of oxygen or leave his city behind.

That was when the criminals, who Baldeón believes are a local cocaine cartel, made their move.

In late January, Baldeón had left his home to go to the gym but quickly had to return. When he got back home, his office/home and four others alongside it were on fire.

“They probably thought I was inside,” he told VICE. “There’s nothing left now, just ashes. I feel for my neighbors. They didn’t even have anything to do with the oxygen.”

Thanks to Covid-19, oxygen has become a necessity for so many.

From Lima to Mexico City, residents have been forced to stand in line for hours on end and search far-flung neighborhoods to refill their oxygen tanks.

Normally, refilling a 10,000 liter tank of oxygen would cost around 100 Sols ($27). But with Covid-19 forcing so many to seek care at home with supplemental oxygen, some are paying more than $1,000.

Baldeón isn’t the only person to be threatened over oxygen supplies.

In Peru’s capital city of Lima, a district mayor was forced to send his family abroad following death threats that he received after setting up a municipal oxygen plant and distributing the essential gas to needy families, including to those from outside his district.

Yet even outside of Peru, his family remain unsafe, and they have had to change hotels after their whereabouts were discovered by the criminals, who also threw a grenade at his house.

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Once A Cartel Hub, Colombia’s Medellín Has Become A City Of The Future

Culture

Once A Cartel Hub, Colombia’s Medellín Has Become A City Of The Future

Medellín, Colombia was once home to one of the world’s most powerful cartels – Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel. During the ’90s, drug gangs and guerrilla fighters controlled the city’s streets and few people ventured out the relative safety of their immediate neighborhoods.

That Medellín is a distant memory for many Paisas thanks to the fall of the cartels, but also to a distinct set of ideals and values that have shaped the city’s development over the last decade.

Medellín was named the world’s third city of the future and it’s leading in so many categories.

Medellín is nestled in a valley high in the Andes, and many of the city’s poorest residents live in comunas they built on the steep slopes. And although the city still struggles with high rates of poverty, city planners are working to bridge the divide between these poor communities with little access to public amenities and the core of Medellín.

The technology that helped save Medellín is not what you’d see in San Francisco, Boston or Singapore—fleets of driverless cars, big tech companies and artificial intelligence. It is about gathering data to make informed decisions on how to deploy technology where it has the most impact. 

Where most smart-city ­initiatives are of, by and, to a large extent, for the already tech-savvy and well-resourced segment of the population, Medellín’s transformation has for the most part been focused on people who have the least.

The city’s cable car system is one out of sci-fi novels.

Think of a gondola suspended under a cable, floating high off the ground as it hauls a cabin full of passengers up a long, steep mountain slope. To most people, the image would suggest ski resorts and pricey vacations. To the people who live in the poor mountainside communities once known as favelas at the edges of Medellín, the gondola system is a lifeline, and a powerful symbol of an extraordinary urban transformation led by technology and data.

“The genius of the Metrocable is that it actually serves the poor and integrates them into the city, gives them access to jobs and other opportunities,” says Julio Dávila, a Colombian urban planner at University College London. “Nobody had ever done that before.” As people of all classes started using the cars to visit “bad” neighborhoods, they became invested in their city’s fate, heralding a decade of some of the world’s most innovative urban planning

Designers have created safe spaces for all with parks and libraries.

The Metrocable succeeded in connecting Medellín’s poorest neighborhoods to the rest of the city – but where would they hang out? This lead to the construction of five libraries sprinkled throughout Medellín, all surrounded by beautiful greenery. These “library-parks” were among the first safe public spaces many neighborhoods had ever seen. 

The key ingredient of Medellín’s transformation, experts agree, is perspective: The city looked beyond technology as an end in itself. Instead, it found ways to integrate technological and social change into an overall improvement in daily life that was felt in all corners of the city—and especially where improvement was most needed. “Medellín’s vision of itself as a smart city broke from the usual paradigms of hyper-modernization and automation,” says Robert Ng Henao, an economist who heads a smart-city department at the University of Medellín.

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