10 Typical Dishes Of Latin American Gastronomy To Enjoy This Christmas

Christmas dinners in Latin America are a great mix of flavors that represent the identity and culture of each country. Here we present 10 typical dishes of Latin American gastronomy to enjoy this Christmas.

Christmas dinner

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LatinAmerican Post | Erika Benitez

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Christmas is coming, a time when families get together, decorate their homes, and share gifts and their most traditional foods. Thanks to culture, climate, and customs, in every corner you will find a wide variety of typical Christmas dishes with common elements, but with their special touch. This is part of the gastronomic diversity that characterizes Latin America and this time we will take a trip through some of them. We present you 10 typical dishes, one per country, of Latin American gastronomy to enjoy this Christmas.

Venezuela: Hallacas and ham bread

The hallaca cannot be missing from the Venezuelan Christmas party. It is part of their culture and traditions since the whole family gathers to make them. The dough is made from corn and filled with beef, pork, or chicken stew with olives, capers, raisins, onion, and paprika. The mixture is wrapped in a banana leaf and brought to a boil. It is very common to accompany them with ham bread, which also has raisins and olives. It is a tasty combination of sweet and salty.

Argentina: Roast beef

This country is known for its spectacular barbecues and the finest cuts of meat and this could not be missing for the festivities. This is why its typical dish is roast beef, however, some decide to change the recipe a bit and prepare it with pork or chicken, accompanied by fresh salads, and to sweeten the palate, nougat. Beyond the plate, its preparation is an ideal moment to share with the family around the grill.

Brazil: Roasted Turkey Or Bacalhau

It is the largest country in Latin America, so it is difficult to generalize and talk about a single Christmas meal. But one of the most traditional is roast turkey, its origin dates back to the original peoples of America who served it as an offering and symbol of abundance. To give this dish a Brazilian touch, it is served with a variety of exotic local fruits. Other options offered by the vast Brazilian cuisine are Bacalhau (cod) popular in coastal cities, roast suckling pig, kale, rice with raisins, slices, sonhos, and Christmas logs.

Mexico: Marinated Leg And Tamales

The December season brings a variety of Christmas dinners in Mexico and in each region, you can find a diversity of dishes and recipes. However, two foods coincide in almost the entire territory: turkey and pork, especially the marinated and stuffed leg. The marinade with which it is prepared is a thick sauce of dried chilies, to give it its spicy touch. Accompanied by spices, vinegar in which the meat is marinated and then cooked over low heat. Christmas salads, enchiladas, sandwiches, roasted meats, tamales, romeritos, and cod are also traditional on these dates.

Colombia: Custard, Fritters and Tamales

In Colombia, as in other Latin American countries, Christmas dishes vary by region. Typically, the holiday celebration is accompanied by pork or turkey, but two items are common in various regions: custard and fritters. The custard is a kind of artisan flan that is made with cornstarch, milk, cinnamon, grated panels, and butter, it is the perfect dessert to share at this time. The fritters, for their part, are little balls made of cornmeal and coastal cheese that give it a salty touch. Tamales are also one of the most traditional gastronomic expressions.

Also read: Cheap destinations in Latin America to travel this Christmas

Chile: Turkey With Chestnuts And Easter Bread

To celebrate Christmas dinner in Chile, turkey with chestnuts is prepared, accompanied by potato salad and some delicious empanadas. For dessert, pan de Pascua (a variant of Argentine sweet bread). After the banquet, the famous "monkey tail" is taken, it is a drink with liquor made from milk, brandy, sugar, coffee, cinnamon, and spices.

Peru: Roasted Suckling Pig And Sweet Potato Puree

The typical Peruvian Christmas dish is the "roasted suckling pig", which is accompanied by sweet potato or apple puree. However, like any recipe, the ingredients may vary according to tastes or region. A common choice for the filling is a mixture of rice, egg, and bacon. There is the "panetón" or sweet bread, along with hot chocolate for dessert.

Paraguay: Chipa Guazú, Paraguayan Soup And Clericó

In Paraguay, the "Chipa Guazú", the Paraguayan soup, and the clericó, are the star menu of Christmas. La chipa is a kind of cake made of corn or sweet corn, with onion, milk, Paraguayan cheese, salt, and pepper, everything is mixed and baked. For its part, the soup, which is not a soup, is a corn tortilla, roasted with eggs, cheese, and milk, among other ingredients. The clericó is very similar to the sangria, it is wine served with ice, sugar, and tropical and citrus fruits.

Ecuador: Honey Bread And Canelazo

For Ecuadorians, it is a Christmas tradition to eat roast turkey or turkey stuffed with chicken and minced pork, walnuts or almonds, bread soaked in milk, raisins, peas, and carrots. The turkey is usually accompanied by Russian salad with peach sauce. Honey bread and other sweets like donuts are responsible for sweetening Christmas. As a typical drink, the canelazo from Quito (aguardiente, cinnamon, and naranjilla).

Bolivia: Christmas Picana

On Christmas Eve, the Christmas Picana cannot be missing from the Bolivian table; It was declared a cultural heritage of the city of La Paz. It is a dish that combines the typical flavors of the region with that sensational sweet touch, typical of the Chapaca gastronomic culture. It is a soup that contains corn, beef, chicken, lamb, raisins, wine, anise, and white pepper to give it the characteristic spicy touch.

Finally, in the Central American area, the countries of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico usually coincide in their Christmas gastronomy. What changes are their preparation and the names, which go according to their culture? So, if you travel this Christmas to one of these places, take the opportunity to delight yourself in the great variety of Latin American gastronomy.

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