I met these two lovely gals in California and they had me drooling with their South America tales. Immediately I wanted more and here it is. More! Yummy :D
South America, the world’s 4th largest continent offers plenty to see and do for any family vacation. Dominated by the Andes Mountains and surrounded by the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, there are many breathtaking natural attractions to be experienced. If you are planning a family trip to South America, don’t forget to explore the continent through taste.
We are Rosemary and Claire, co-founders of Authentic Food Quest and are on a mission to inspire you to travel through food. We spent 6 months in South America discovering the authentic dishes in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Peru.
To help you and your family have a local and authentic experience through food, we have put together the 8 authentic dishes to enjoy with your family in South America.
1. Instead of Pizza try Fugazetta in Argentina
On your travels, you and your children may want something familiar. A favorite meal that you know will please everyone. In Argentina instead of pizza, try the Fugazetta.
The Fugazetta is a 100-year-old pizza that made it’s way to Argentina from Italy. It is a thick crust mozzarella-stuffed pizza topped with onions. This classic pizza has become part of the Argentinian staple diet and it has even been listed by the Argentina government as a food under “Patrimonial Value.”
Dig in and enjoy this delicious authentic Argentinian pizza.
2. Go For Chicken - Pollo a la Brasa in Peru
Everybody loves chicken, and you can count on pleasing all members of your family. In Peru, the local and popular fast food is called Pollo a la Brasa. This chicken dish is also known as “Peruvian style chicken”, “Charcoal chicken” or “Rotisserie chicken.”
One of the reasons this chicken is so special, is the unique roasting style, invented in the 1950s in Peru which uniformly cooks the chicken at temperatures as high as 300-370°F. The secret to it’s delicious taste is the use of Peruvian herbs and flavors and each polleria or eatery has it’s own secret recipe.
Pollo a la brasa is beloved in Peru that it even has its own National Holiday. It has been declared a “National Culinary Specialty” and it is celebrated on the third Sunday of July.
Do not miss the most delicious chicken you will ever eat. The meat is tender and full of flavor.
One of the best things about this dish for traveling with a family is that eating with your hands is highly recommended.
3. Share The Ginormous Chivito Sandwich in Uruguay
The Chivito is the national sandwich and dish of Uruguay. This history of this sandwich goes back to the 1960s. “Chivito” means little goat in Spanish. In the story, an Argentine asked a restaurant owner for a dish of roasted goat like the one she was accustomed to back home. The chef had no goat, but he slapped together a sandwich and topped it with a little of just about everything in the kitchen. It was a hit, and the Chivito sandwich was born.
This sandwich is huge and filled with loads of meat. It is made up of a thin slice of churrasco (filet mignon beef), topped with bacon, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, ham, olives and a fried egg. It is served with french fries or baked potatoes.
It is big enough to share with your family and surprisingly delicious. Enjoy this sandwich on your trip as you explore Uruguay.
4. Explore Lomo Saltado in Peru
Lomo Saltado is one of the most important and emblematic dishes in the history of Peruvian cuisine. The Chinese came to Peru in the 1800s and introduced new ingredients such as ginger, soy sauce and scallion. They incorporated local ingredients like potatoes from the Andes and bananas and pineapples from the Amazon and created a new cuisine called “Chifa.” Lomo Saltado is a fusion of Chinese and Peruvian food.
The main ingredients in this authentic dish are: beef cut into pieces with sautéed onions, tomato pepper which are then flavored with a little soy sauce, garlic and cilantro. Served with a side of rice and Peruvian potatoes, this meal is sure to delight all members of your family. So simple and delicious, you can’t go wrong with this Chinese Peruvian dish.
5. Empanadas For An Easy Snack in Argentina
Perhaps you’ve been visiting the museums and tourist spots and you or a family member need a snack. It’s not quite lunch or dinner time, but you know what’s it’s like if you don’t eat or get one of the kids fed. If you find yourself in that situation, grab an empanada to tide you over.
Empanadas are small pies with a “croissant” shape. They are made of dough filled with different fillings which are mostly savory. The best empanadas, in our opinion are from Argentina and are usually baked. You will find them stuffed with carne (ground beef), picante carne (spicy ground beef), pollo (chicken), jamon y queso (ham and cheese) espinaca (spinach) and much more.
Please every member of your family with an empanada of their choice, and make the most of your experience.
6. Discover Sopaipilla, Street Food From Chile
Sopaipillas are simple fried flat breads. They are made from a mixture of pumpkins, butter and flour, flattened into small circles.
They are a popular and authentic street food found all over Chile. A versatile snack, they can be eaten sweet or savory. You will fall in love with sopaipillas especially when you eat them with the special sauce called “pebre.” The pumpkin flour is filling and gives them a really delicious and unique taste.
7. Feed Your Sweet Tooth With Alfajores in Argentina or Uruguay
When you are craving something sweet, go for the traditional sweets of Argentina or Uruguay called Alfajores. These delicious treats are made of two cornstarch biscuits joined together with dulce de leche.
You will find many different types of alfajores sold at bakeries, specialty stores or cafes. Some are coated with dark or white chocolate, or simply covered with coconut or sugar powder. Whichever ones you choose, these emblematic treats of Argentina or Uruguay must be enjoyed.
8. Delight Your Senses with Exotics Fruits and Ice-cream in Chile
In Chile, be sure to visit La Vega Central, one of main farmers markets in Santiago, the capital. Here you will delight your sense and your taste buds with unusual and exotic fruits. Look for the Lúcuma (lu-ku-mah) fruit, which is native from Chile. This caramel tasting fruit makes a delicious ice cream. Try the fruit from the market and then indulge in the exotic lúcuma ice cream.
In the comments below, please tell us which one of these specialties would please your family the most?