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Spice It Up With Latin Flavor

Spice Up Your Recipes With Latin Flavor

Latin American cuisine is just as rich and varied as the countries that make up this part of the world. When you want to add Latin American flair to your culinary prowess, you have a broad scope of recipes and flavor profiles from which to choose.

As colorful, sumptuous, and complex as the recipes may seem, they can be easy to recreate in your own kitchen. Try your hand at some of the most common found in Latin America today.

Latin American Cuisine by Country

Latin America encompasses more than 20 different countries located on two different continents, as well as seven territories. Along with Mexico, located in North America, it includes Central and South American nations such as:

  • Brazil
  • Columbia
  • Ecuador
  • Argentina
  • Venezuela
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • French Guiana
  • Columbia
  • Chile
  • Uruguay

It also includes Caribbean island countries like:

  • Cuba
  • Haiti
  • Dominican Republic
  • Jamaica

The American territory of Puerto Rico, along with the French territories of Martinique, St. Martin, and St. Barthelemy, also are located in Latin America.

Examples of Latin American Recipes

Given the large geographical area that Latin American spans, it is little wonder that the Latin recipes found there is just as varied. In fact, recipes that are common in each country typically make good use of the ingredients that are grown or raised there. Dishes from one country can be entirely different from those found in another Latin American country.

One of Cuba’s most popular dishes, for example, is carne con papas, or meat with potatoes. This recipe calls for beef stew meat, white potatoes, and tomato sauce. They are all stewed together slowly and seasoned with achiote powder, cumin, white wine, salt, and black pepper. The stew is then served over white rice.

In Peru, many dishes feature common ingredients like chicken and legumes. One Peruvian dish that is not difficult to make in your own home is saltado de vainitas, or chicken with green beans.

It is made with chicken, frozen or fresh green beans, plum tomatoes, red onion, chile peppers and cilantro. These ingredients are sautéed together and seasoned with garlic, cumin, salt, and white wine.

To bring the flavors of Brazil into your own, try making feijoada, or black bean stew. This common Brazilian dish is made similar to ham and beans with which most Americans are familiar.

However, it calls for ham and bacon to be used. Both meats are browned in the oven first before they are added to the black bean stew, which is also flavored with coriander, cilantro, and bay leaves.

Finally, what would an authentic Latin American dish be without dessert? Mexico is famous for its simple yet flavorful desserts.

You can easily whip up a recipe like tomalito, or corn pudding, at home. This recipe uses masa harina, fresh corn, sugar, butter, heavy cream, baking powder and salt to make a cake batter that is then baked and served with ice cream.

Cuisine in Latin America is as unique the countries that make up this part of the world. Draw your culinary inspiration for it by trying out dishes that are popular in each Latin American nation.

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