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

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

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

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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

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

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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

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