Veni, Vidi, Comi: South America’s Most Delectable Dishes
We came, we saw, we ate.
Yup, that handily sums up our South American travel experience. After all, no foray into a new country is complete without noshing on the local cuisine. The food of a nation – good or bad – defines it just as much as it’s culture, landscape or people.
Fortunately, this is one area that we especially enjoy exploring. 🙂
Ceviche in Lima, Peru
If you’re seafood fanatics like we are, ceviche will be just your thing. Lemony, flavourful, and oh-so-fresh, ceviche might be the best thing we ate in all of South America.
Lima’s versions were the best (and probably the safest), but that didn’t stop us from trying it wherever we could.
It probably wasn’t very smart to eat a street cart version on Puno’s streets, late in the afternoon, but well…we couldn’t resist.
Grilled Pineapple Sandwiches at Cervantes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Our last supper in Rio, was also it’s best. Founded in 1965, and best known for it’s grilled pineapple sandwiches, it’s a tragedy we didn’t discover Cervantes earlier.
Unfortunately, my tender filet mignon, grilled pineapple, and melted cheese sandwich filled my belly a wee bit too much. I had no room for seconds.
Fresh Fruit Juice at Big Bi in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
There are open concept juice bars on almost every corner of Rio’s Zona Sul, but they are not all created equal. We know, because we tried a good number of them, and none compared to Big Bi’s.
We simply could not get enough of the freshly squeezed fruit juices there, and a stop or two during the day for a refreshment, quickly became mandatory.
Our addiction was so strong, that on our last day in Rio, we walked for blocks and blocks in the searing heat, passing many other juice bar pretenders, just to get one last fix.
Steaks at Montevideo’s Puerto Mercado
Everyone raves about Argentina’s steaks, but they paled in comparison to Uruguay’s bovine offerings.
We had great carnivorous meals all over the country, but it was tough to beat the dazzling picanha we had at Montevideo’s Puerto Mercado. Tender, flavourful, perfectly grilled and served with a side of fries (of course), this is what steak should taste like.
Touristy, yes. Expensive, yes. Worth it? Definitely.
And Two to Skip
A popular northeastern Brazilian street food, acarajé is made from peeled black eyed peas formed into a ball and then deep fried in palm oil. The snack is considered to be an important part of Bahia’s heritage, so we were anxious to give this a try. It was a mistake.
A doughy, greasy ball served with a side of strange, sour boiled shrimp and flavourless tomato cubes, we could barely finish 1 portion each.
Agri is definitely the more adventurous of the 2 of us, when it comes to trying strange foods, so when he found out about cuy, or roasted guinea pig, he had to give it a go.
Imagine his surprise when a furry friend appeared crucified on his plate, with it’s head and teeth still intact.
He made a good effort, but eventually the greasy taste and horrible presentation, wore him down.
This is one guinea pig that should’ve remained a pet.
What’s the best thing you’ve eaten on your travels? The strangest? Is there something you crave to this day?