RealWorld Guide to South American Food
Eating out should be one of the real pleasures of any holiday in South America, but many people don't have a clear idea of what to expect when it comes to South American food. Hopefully this quick guide to food in South America will give you a better idea...
The first thing to say is that unless you go some way off the beaten track, you're unlikely to stray far from some familiar favourites. Large-scale immigration into various countries in South America from not just Spain but countries like Italy and China, means that you can find pizza and pasta just about everywhere, as well as a good helping of stir-fries and noodles. Of course, you always have the ubiquitous American influence as well, and you'll find Coke ads in the most unlikely places...
However, if you stick to what you know you will miss out on potentially some of the best experiences of your holiday, so do take the time to sample some of the local favourites!
Traditional Dishes in South America
Obviously each country has its own traditional dishes, so do check out the regional pages for more details, but some deserve your special attention... In Argentina it may be a cliche but the steaks truly are fantastic, and the Italian food is also superb. Further north in Brazil, they are also great meat-eaters and their all-you-can-eat rodizio grill houses are a source of joy for any carnivore. It's not all about the meat in Brazil, though, with some of the best Japanese food on the planet, and a great street food culture, much of which is vegetarian.
Meanwhile, in Peru a new generation of chefs is fusing Peruvian ingredients and indigenous cookery with the latest European and Asian techniques to create some of the most exciting food in the world. Eating out in Lima, the capital of Peru, can be a fantastic chance to enjoy Michelin-star quality restaurants at a fraction of the price.
And even if you're not going for fine dining, traditional Peruvian cuisine is guaranteed to tickle your tastebuds, with different regional specialities throughout the country, from the Chinese-influenced beef and peppers lomo saltado on the coast, to the traditional Andean delicacies like grilled trout in the highlands. The sheer quality of the ingredients shines through in every dish and makes every evening meal a real pleasure.