Ceviche in Peru

The culinary scene in Peru has jumped off the page in the past few years, and a large part of that is seen in Ceviche. A typical ceviche dish is comprised of several main ingredients; raw white fish (sea bass or flounder), lime, and chilis. A simple dish accompanied by sweet potato and large kerneled corn, but it certainly packs a punch. In fact, there are over 20,000 cevicherias in the capital city Lima alone.

Yerba Mate Tea in Argentina

This is very much a way of life in Argentina and you won’t be there long before you’re offered a cup of mate. Argentines drink mate throughout the day and generally from a gourd or metal cup with a metal straw. While this tea certainly has a distinct flavor that takes some getting used to, it is definitely a must-try if you’re in Argentina.

Feijoada in Brazil

Think hearty chili, but better. Typically made in a thick clay pot with salted pork, beef and black beans, this dish is served alone or with a variety of sides. While this dish is also served in many countries in Africa, it is considered the national dish of Brazil. Because this dish is cooked in a clay pot, it has a rich smoky flavor that is consistent among Brazilian cuisine.

Empanadas in Argentina

Many of us are familiar with empanadas, but South America — specifically Argentina — does it better than any other place. These flaky crusted pies are filled with a mix of meat and vegetables and because they are so tasty, you may just want to live off of them. In Argentina, there are two distinct ways to prepare an empanada — Salta or Tucuman Style. The Salta style are simply baked and the Tucuman style are fried in a tray of fat in a clay oven. Naturally, there is much controversy among locals as to what is the preferred way to enjoy empanadas.

Salchipapas in Ecuador

Where to start with salchipapas? Such a simple and odd dish, but it’ll hit just the right spot. Perfectly fried french fries topped with sliced hot dogs — and not the gross rubbery hot dogs you’re thinking of. These are served with either ketchup or a local sauce and the perfect dish with a pint of beer.    

Pisco Sour in Peru

This is considered to be the national drink of Peru. For visitors it may remind you of a classic margarita, but this drink is made with Pisco — a colorless or yellowish brandy that Peru is known for. A Pisco Sour is mixed up with egg whites, lime, bitter and simple syrup in either a blender or a shaker. The blending or shaking creates a nice frothy top on the Pisco Sour and is perfect on a hot Peruvian day.

Dulce de Leche in every country

Although this deliciously sweet treat originated in Argentina, many of the other South American countries have taken a note from the Argentinians and made this dessert a staple as well. Dulce de Leche is made by heating milk on a very low temperature and slowing stirring in sugar, vanilla, and baking soda until you’re left with a thick, rich caramel colored sweetness. Often times this is then placed between shortbread and then enjoyed. You’ll be sure to see these little sweet treats in restaurants and street food vendors alike — definitely do not pass them up!

Chorillana in Chile

Potatoes play a key role in South American cuisine and this dish is no exception. A bed of crispy fries and topped with spicy sausage, a beef steak, finely cut onions and topped with a couple fried eggs. This is typically a dish meant to be served, but we don’t blame you if you want it all to yourself.