Way before the Europeans came upon South America; the native people already knew how to cultivate different varieties of plants. In fact, they had already developed a unique irrigation system and terraced the very steep Andean Mountains to make them adaptable for growing food. Some of the crops they grew included chili peppers, sweet potatoes, and beans, while they raised guinea pigs and llamas.
Most of the natives found by the Europeans had already developed their own kinds of South American Cuisine, which they took back to Europe and did the same by introducing pigs, citrus, trees, wheat, almonds, goats, and cows in the region.
Some of the things Europeans took up included Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese dishes that had local ingredients. They also modified and mixed in whatever cuisine recipes they came across.
The state of South American cuisine today
As more people from South America make their way to Europe and the U.S., they bring along with them their cooking traditions and ingredients.
One good example is the Nuevo Latino cuisine, which is a fusion of traditional Latin Flavor with some of the global trends. The other regions of the world have also become interested in South American cuisine, and new combinations are emerging each day.
The history behind some of the main ingredients in South American Cuisine
For more than 5,000 years, corn has been cultivated in South America, and is currently the region's biggest food contributor. It also serves as one of the primary ingredients for most staple dishes including tamales, corn bread, and chichi, which is an ancient but popular drink.
Potatoes are also an old and valued South American crop, so it comes as no surprise why it is included in a huge portion of recipes. They can be mashed, freeze-dried, or combined with various sauces.
As you will most likely learn in any South American Restaurant, you will find that peppers are a very important ingredient. They usually come in either sweet or hot varieties.
When it comes to South American cuisine, a whole lot of tropical fruit is used, such as mango, guava, papaya, and pineapple just to name a few.
Queso Fresco or Queso Blanco
The Queso Blanco is a fresh type of cheese that serves as another one of South America's staple foods that is usually served with salads.
This is another very important food in South American cuisine. It is particularly popular in Brazil where it is used to make roasted farofa.
Visit Our South American Restaurant in Mountain View, California Today
The Voya Restaurant brings the best of South American cuisine to Mountain View, California. Beyond our South American based flavorful menu, The Voya Restaurant's beauty lies in its private dining options and it's artfully designed restaurant. For reservations or private dining options, contact us online or call 844.635.9430.