Latin American food and its history
Thanks to the geographical location of the United States with Latin American countries, its food has become very well known with Americans. From tacos to roast pork to fried plantains, name them and you’ll get them in plenty of American stores. This food is well known for its labor-intensive preparation techniques and bold flavors.
If you haven’t had the chance to try Latin American food yet, I’m sure that after reading the article the first thing you’re going to do is go to your nearest restaurant and order the best dish on offer. But before trying the delicious food, knowing the history of Latin American food will make the meal even more enjoyable.
Historical past on Latin American Food
Just like cooking, even the storied past in food is as complex as it is unique. It is a mixture of different cultures and different traditions. Just before the Europeans discovered South America, the latter knew everything about growing a wide variety of plants. They had had enough knowledge about the irrigation system, the cultivation on terraces on the slopes of the mountains. They knew about tips on how to grow corn and beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, chili peppers, avocados, peanuts and chocolates and also how to raise llamas and guinea pigs. Each region of Latin America really had a personal special cuisine.
Then came the Europeans, the Asians (both Chinese and Japanese), along with the Africans (Slavs), and incorporated many of their personal ideas and traditions into the Latin culture, and vice versa. There was a mix in the Latin American food lifestyle as well as the food lifestyle with the other civilizations. The Europeans introduced pigs, chickens, citrus fruits, wheat, almond trees, cows and goats and brought to their country several of the food customs of the Latin Americans. Asians, mainly Chinese and Japanese immigrants, came to this land wearing the theme that Asians are well known for; spices Africans came to Latin America as slaves. Throughout their eating time, they were given those pieces of meat that no one ate. The slaves modified these non-edible foods with what they got and transformed it into something new and better, which was brought into Latin American traditions.
The great diversity in the South American food lifestyle was not due only to colonizers or immigrants or slaves, but also to the various traditions followed on the continent. The food lifestyle in Brazil was different from that of Cuba, that of Argentina or even that of Mexican food and the rest of the countries of the continent. The cultural exchange between these nations is also responsible for the great diversity within Latin American gastronomic traditions.
Now that we know the history, let’s take a look at some of the popular food solutions from Latin America.
Some food products predominant in Latin Americans
Some of the popular meal solutions that you will appreciate when you are in one of the Latin American countries are
* Tropical fruits such as coconut, mango, lucuma, etc.
* Fresh cheese / White cheese that is a fresh cheese, applied to Latin American cuisine
* Cassava or cassava, the starchy edible roots of the cassava plant
So, these are some of the popular Latin American food products that form an important part of their staple diet.