How to Make the Best Colombian Chicharrón

Chicharon, chicharrón, or chicharrones are some of the names I have seen and heard for these delicious pork fritters that are originally from Andalusia, Spain.

Many Hispanic countries eat pork fritters, and they are prepared and served a bit differently from country to country. In many South American countries this delicious pork fat is used to stuff arepas or pupusas, as a side dish like in bandeja paisa, a typical regional dish in Colombia or as a meat portion in soups.

Mexicans eat pork fritters in gorditas and tacos with salsa verde, in soups, or as side dishes. In Colombia, pork fritters are made of the pig skin and meat. They are one of the several fried meats we use in a picada, a big dish that also includes chorizo (sausage), beef pieces, morcilla (pig stuffed intestine), and chicken chunks.

Peruvians boil the pork skin and meat in water with salt and let it fry in its own fat to serve it with bread, salsa criolla or camotes (small batata). Bolivians mix the pork skin and meat with Chicha, an alcoholic beverage made from corn.

In chile pork fritters are a side dish, and they are fried at high temperatures. Chileans serve pork fritters inside a piece of bread to create the famous tortillas con chicharrones or use it as flavoring for some meals.

Guatemalans serve pork fritters freshly fried inside corn tortillas with drops of lemon. In the Philippines, Hispanics eat chicharon by dipping it in vinegar with a little salt, garlic, onions, and crushed chili pepper. Also many Caribbean countries love pork fritters, and eat them with tostones, which are fried green plantains.

Best Recipe for Chicharon, Chicharrón or Chicharrones

Here is a simple recipe for pork fritters that our Colombian food expert Patricia McCausland recommends.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of pork ribs with 11/2 inch of meat and fat on it (6 to 8 ribs)
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Preparing Chicharrones Picture by Patricia McCausland

Preparing Chicharrones
Picture by Patricia McCausland

 

How to Prepare:
1. Lay the ribs flat, and cut the meat horizontally from the bones. (Save the ribs to prepare beans.)
2. Cut the meat and fat lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips.
3. Next take each strip and cut it crosswise without cutting completely through, or you will end up with squares. You want to have strips with cuts that open up but are held together by the thick pork fat skin.
4. Rub the baking soda and salt over all the pork strips.
5. Place in a medium, heavy pan with just enough water to cover them. Cook over medium heat until all of the water evaporates. Watch that it doesn’t burn.
6. Remove from the pan; wash the pork well with a lot of water.
7. Put the pork back in the pot and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the fat has all rendered out and you have crispy pieces of pork.
8. Serve, or put aside to use in other recipes.

Do you have a recipe for chicharrones?  Send it to us through the contact page or simply let me know your secret to prepare them!

Easiest Buñuelos Recipe of Colombian Corn Fritters

Get ready to entertain during Christmas time or simply serve a tasty brunch Latino Style with buñuelos. These delicious savory or sweet balls of corn come from the Moors who occupied Granada in the south of Spain for many years.

Origins of Buñuelos

The typical corn fritters Arabs used to make, were a mass of dough fried in oil and submerged in boiling honey. In ancient times Moors street vendors sold buñuelos every day.

The word buñuelo may come from the French “beignet” or the roman word “puñuelo” which represented a ball the Romans made with their hands.

Bunuelos are versatile because they can be mixed with yeast, egg, milk, and water. They can be sweet or savory depending on the filling or the country they are made.

Easy Bunuelos or Buñuelos Recipe

Here is a simple recipe for buñuelos from our Colombian food expert Patricia McCausland included in her book “Secrets of Colombian Cooking” a Hippocrenne Publishing book.

christmas-in-colombia-11

Buñuelos or Corn Fritters
by Cirofono

Ingredients:
  • 2 cup (3/4 pound) very finely grated white farmer’s cheese or queso blanco
  • 1/3 cup yucca flour or starch
  • 1/4 cup precooked white corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups oil for frying

How to Prepare:

1.Place the cheese in the food processor and mix to a fine grind, approx 30 seconds. Add starch, corn flour, sugar and salt process 10 seconds more. Drop the egg while the processor is on and continue mixing for 1 minute or until the dough has formed and leaves the sides of the processor bowl.

2.In a deep heavy pot, heat the oil to 325F. Form 1-inch balls and drop into the oil, they should float after about 30 seconds. Decrease the heat to 300F and cook covered for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden. Drop few buñuelos at once as they will expand and turn by themselves and will need enough space in the pot for this to happen.

3.Drain over paper towels and serve.

Bolivian Food How Is it?

Although it has been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, in Bolivia, lunch is actually the main meal. Bolivian food like the food of all countries, depends on the ingredients that are abundant in the area as well as the climate.  Many Bolivian recipes include potatoes, which Bolivians love and serve several times per day. Bolivia makes use of a multitude of spices in their cooking as they abundant in the country.

Traditional Bolivian food uses meat in a lot of dishes, and this meat is either fried or boiled. Bolivians also use fish like Trout as a main protein in their dishes.

Bolivians use spices like ajíes and peppers in large amounts. They also use the same cooking tools as other people when making foods like lechon, and tools for grinding and spreading the condiments and spices.

In Bolivia foods and dishes can be served as poco picante, medio picante or just picante.. Picante, by definition literally means hot to the taste buds. When you’re talking about the levels of spiciness in Bolivian food, you can understand that it’s mainly food made with high quantities of condiments like peppers, meats, potatoes and the like.

Representative Bolivian Dishes

  • Salteñas A warm savory baked pastry made with chicken or meat, greens and sauce. Salteñas are only for breakfast or to eat in the mornings.

    Salteña - Bolivian Empanada

    Bolovian Food Salteña

  • Humitas are a similar dish to tamales. Bolivians make them with corn and cheese, and wrap them in corn leaves to steam them.
  • Empanadas are also fairly common in Bolivia like in many other Hispanic countries. In Bolivia empanadas are a savory pastry made with cheese, cheese with onions, olives and locoto. Locoto is a word that comes from the Aymara Luqutu and it is a round chili pepper of medium size.
  • Sandwich de Chola is a delicious sandwich Bolivians make with roasted pork leg, lettuce and locoto.
  • Roast suckling pig or lechon is an important meal in Bolivia like in other countries of Hispanic America, for example Cuba and Puerto Rico.
  • Chanka de pollo o de conejo is a soup with chicken or guinea pig, potato, peas and green onions. Interesting to see the similarity with a soup Colombians from the capital eat called Changua. It is also made with chicken, potatoes and green onions.
  • Chicharrones or pork fritters are pieces of fried pork. The interesting difference with most of the chicharrones throughout Latin America is that Bolivian chicharrones are cooked with chicha. Chicha is the fermented food Incas made from corn.
  • Charque de llama is simply dried llama meat. Bolivians fry it and serve it with stewed corn, hard boiled eggs and cheese. Other traditional dishes like pique a lo macho and sajta de pollo are examples of fantastic and delicious dishes from Bolivia.

Together with these foods, you might like to drink beverages like the api which is a Bolivian tea made out of lemon, corn, cloves and cinnamon or mate de coca which is a tea made out of the coca leaf.

There are many fruit shakes that Bolivia specializes in as well as wines. The best bottles of Bolivian wine can be found in the Tarjina region.

Bolivian Cooking Styles

When you’re talking about cuisines of Bolivia, there are two kinds of cooking styles and recipes that stem from the type of regions. There’s the altiplano cuisine and the lowlands cuisine. They both use ingredients that are native to the region.

There might be times when you’re in Bolivia where a certain kind of dish or meal is only eaten during a festival. While it’s tradition to cook and eat certain foods on a holiday, they can be prepared and cooked on regular days. An example of a traditional dish that’s consumed in festivals is the puchero and that’s served for carnival days.

Weather you decide to eat a typical Bolivian food or a dish Bolivians eat on a special holiday be sure to be ready to enjoy a dish filled with taste and some spice.

Bizcocho Recipe or Colombian Black Cake

The Easiest Way to Make the Best Bizcocho Negro

This bizcocho recipe is a must for weddings, quinceañeras, Catholic First Communions, and very special occasions amongst Colombians and Hispanics.

This cake takes a lot of work to do but don’t be discouraged because it is not complicated, instead it is labor intensive.

A very important ingredient is dulce quemado which is a bitter sauce we make with a sugar cane loaf or panela, that we completely cook with water until it burns and then we dilute it with a mix of warm wine.

bizcocho-negro

If you are in Miami or New York you are able to get panela easily. I am not sure if it is easy to get it in California overall. I know in Brentwood and Hempstead in Long Island, NYC, and many towns in New Jersey you can buy panela in bodegas and in some specialty sections of supermarkets like C-Town.

To make your perfect black cake or bizcocho recipe make sure to start at least 2 weeks in advance because it requires you to moisten it with wine on a daily basis to get the perfect flavor. You can also use cognac or brandy in very small quantities with a brush or a spray bottle.

Bizcocho Recipe

Ingredients for 45 to 50 People

  1. 500 grams. or 1 lb. of butter
  2. 500 grams. or 1 lb. of sugar
  3. 650 grams. or 1.4 lb. of flour
  4. 100 grams. or 3.5 oz. of flour for the molds
  5. 12 eggs
  6. 1 Tb of baking powder
  7. 250 grams or 9 oz. of raisins
  8. 350 grams or 12 oz. of prunes
  9. 500 grams or 1 lb. figs in juice
  10. 500 grams or 1 lb. of crystallized fruit, what we call “desamargada.” Basic fruit in package comes with orange and lemon peels, and papaya.
  11. 250 grams or 9 oz. of Brazilian nuts
  12. The shredded peel of 2 green lemons
  13. 1 Tb of powdered cinnamon
  14. 1 Tsp powdered cloves
  15. 1 Tsp powdered nutmeg
  16. 1/2 Tsp of salt
  17. 1 bottle of red wine
  18. 1 cup of dulce quemado depending on how bitter it is. Start with 1/2 cup until desired color and taste.
  • Preparation

  1.  Soak the raisins in 1/2 cup of wine starting the night before. Remove the excess wine by gently pressing them. Use the leftover wine to smooth the mix later on. Place the drained raisins aside with the other chopped fruits.
  2. Chop the nuts in small pieces, being careful not to pulverize them. Mix them with the chopped fruits.
  3. Take the 650 grams of flour and pass them through the colander twice.
  4. In the mixer mix 1 Lb of butter and sugar until you make a smooth creamy mix.
  5. Start adding the eggs with small quantities of flour to the mix until you mix them all. Add small quantities of the left over vine from pressing the raisins.
  6. Add the dulce quemado starting with 1/2 cup, and adding more depending on how dark and bitter you want the cake to taste.
  7. Cover the fruits with 100 grams of flour to make sure the fruits don’t stick to each other or go to the bottom of the mold when you add them to the mix. Add the shredded lemon peel.
  8. Grease first and sprinkle flour well on 2 aluminum molds to avoid the cake being stuck to the molds. You can also use wax paper for baking. Cut it the size of the base.
  9. Spread the mix on the molds leaving about 1 inch from the top without any mix. In the cooking process the mix grows covering the empty space. Some mix may be left over, use a small mold. A 1/2 Lb cake ends up measuring about 11 inches in diameter by 3 inches in height.
  10. Preheat the oven at 350 Farenheit and bake the cakes for 1 and 1/2 hours. Make sure they are ready by sticking a tooth pick and seeing if it comes out clean.
  11. Take them out of the oven and pour on top of each 1 cup of wine. You can keep them in the molds until you are ready to consume them but make sure you spray wine every day on each to keep them moist. You can also spray them with cognac or brandy.

Tips About Making Your Bizcocho Recipe Perfect

  • The mix is thicker than a normal cake mix and less than a bread mix.
  • If the mix is too thick add more wine or orange juice.
  • Don’t use glass molds because the bizcocho negro tends to burn in these glass molds.
  • Make it in advance and simply keep spraying it or brushing it with wine, brandy or cognac every day.

How to Keep Your Bizcocho Negro Intact for a Year in the Freezer

  • This article was totally inspired by one of our readers, Thais Fernandez who wrote asking: “estoy interesada en saber como se hace el pudin negro Colombiano y como se hace para conservarlo despues de la boda y guardarlo en la nevera para el primer aniversario, que se le agrega, vino o ron y que cantidad. Te agradezco cualquier guia que me puedas dar al respecto.”

The question was how to make the black cake or bizcocho recipe from Colombia, and how to preserve it until the couple can enjoy it a year later for the first anniversary.We already have the recipe, now to the preservation of the cake. Simply follow these 3 steps:

  • Tell the staff that right after cutting the cake you need a piece placed in a plastic container that sucks the air out. Bringing your own is the best.
  • Once at home take it out of the plastic container and wrap the cake in plastic wrapping paper.
  • Wrap the cake in tin foil tightly.
  • Place the cake in a plastic container for the freezer.
  • If you can, use a vacuum seal food storage bag that takes all the air out avoiding freezer burn to the max! Forget wrapping the cake in the first plastic sheet above, just use the tin foil.
  • When ready to eat it in your first anniversary, take it 2 days in advance in the refrigerator.This worked for me and for many others who want to enjoy their wedding bizcocho recipe in their first anniversary. If you baked this black cake let me know how it comes out!

Send Your Bizcocho Negro Pictures

Send me your pictures through the contact me link to show your bizcocho, and tell us for what occasion did you have it. We will publish it here.

Authentic Tamale Recipe

Easy and Truly Mexican for El Día de La Candelaria

In Mexico we celebrate with this authentic tamale recipe. On Kings Day, Janurary 6th, we had our traditional Rosca de Reyes. After dinner we cut the rosca and my niece Stacy was blessed to receive baby Jesus.

On February 2nd Stacy’s parents would be hosting the party on Dia de la Candelaria, which is Candle mass in English.

Día de la Candelaria is a religious family holiday, and candles are taken to church to be blessed. The celebration begins with making Tamales as the main dish. To make this authentic tamale recipe you have do the masa and the filling. The filling can be beef or pork or both. Then the purpose is to make the masa, then fill each tamale, build the tamale and then steam them to perfection to enjoy them.

My favorite Tamale recipe is for 16 dozen hot tamales, and feeds 20 to 30 tamale lovers. Hot tamales are a favorite among all chili lovers. My much loved hot chili is chile de arbol. It has a smoky flavor, a fiery heat and is a preferred one in Mexican cuisine. Chile de árbol translates into chile of the tree. Want to make hotter tamales? Then use more chile de arbol or your favorite chili peppers. If you need help with making tamales, video clips are available at www.TamaleSpreader.com

Tamale Masa Recipe Using Masa Harina

This authentic tamale recipe starts by making the masa. Here is a simple way to make it.

Ingredients

  • Masa harina 16-Cups Bag
  • Broth 16-Cups (from the meat/pork you boiled)
  • Salt 1/3 Cup
  • Ground Garlic 1/3 Cup
  • Chile Powder 1/3 Cup
  • Vegetable oil 4 Cups
  • Baking Powder 1/3 Cup

Making Masa

To make the masa simply place masa harina in a large bowl, add broth water combination and mix using a mixer. Mix together oil, chili powder and salt until they dissolve. Add to the masa and mix using a mixer on high for 2 minutes. Add the baking powder and mix on high speed for 5 minutes. Let the masa rest for 10 to 20 minutes.

Tamale Meat Filler

  • 10 lbs of pork and beef combination
  • 1 garlic pod peeled
  • 8 to 10 dried red poblano peppers
  • 2 to 4 cups of broth
  • 1/2 cup of mixed cumin & pepper corns
  • 2 tbsp. of salt

Preparation

  • Cook meat. Boil, broil, bake or slow-cook the meat; you can add some garlic and salt. Reserve the broth for the masa and the filling.
  • Chop or shred the cooked meat.
  • Clean the peppers and boil them in 2 cups water for 5 minutes.
  • In a blender grind pepper corns and cumin seeds, until they become powder.
  • Add poblano peppers with water and garlic in the blender and liquefy until a paste is formed.
  • Add spice paste and broth to the meat, and mix until all ingredients blend together.
  • Use immediately or refrigerate overnight.
  • For hot tamales add 2 to 4 chile de árbol to the meat.

Chile de árbol is Mexican chili pepper that is small and very potent. Its heat index is between 15,000 and 30,000 Scoville units. Many refer to it as rat’s tail chile and bird’s beak chile. You know it is mature because it is red.

The Tamale Process

  • Prepare tamale filling.
  • Use your favorite meat filling, 10 pounds for the full bag or 2.5 pounds for the 4 cup recipe.
  • Prepare corn husks by pulling apart dry husks and soaking them in hot water for an hour or until soft.
  • Prepare tamale dough using the masa Harina recipe.
  • Spread the masa fast and easy on the silky side using the Mas Tamales Masa Spreader.

Filling And Cooking Tamales

  • After the masa is spread, place 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling lengthwise in the center of the masa.
  • Then, fold the sides over towards the center.
  • Next, fold the end of the husk and pinch open the end.
  • In a large steamer, add water and set steam rack. Place tamales standing upright with the folded side to the bottom. Cover with a wet kitchen towel or husks.
  • Steam tamales for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Let tamales cool for about 15 minutes. Your tamales are cooked when the dough is firm, spongy and does not stick to husk.

Which Tamale Steamer Is Best for the Job?

It is important to have the right tools for the job. Think about capacity and ease of use. I recommend to own a 12 quart capacity steamer. You can use it for small or large jobs. One thing is sure, when making tamales we don’t just cook a small batch, therefore choose a large tamalera,

Pay attention to the materials of the steamer. Hard enamel aluminum stock pot with tempered glass cover, tamale steamer insert with riveted steel handles and a non stick interior are excellent. By far my favorite choices are the stainless steel steamers with tempered glass covers that let you monitor the process.



Interested in knowing more about tamale steamers? Check out my tamale steamer article.

I hope you enjoy this authentic tamale recipe, it is the one I use to celebrate El Día de La Candelaria and it has been a favorite of my family. Sandra Vásquez is an inventor and a Hispanic entrepreneur. You can purchase Tamale Spreaders from HEB Grocery Stores, Fiesta Marts, Supermercados Wal-Mart, Food City, Bashas, Super A Foods, MexGrocer.com, and many other Hispanic grocers.

Tamale Pie and Tamale

A Great Hispanic Tradition

Many names and many preparations. This magnificent dish from Latin America helps keep traditions alive. Making tamale recipes is a family affair. If you make it “old style” it may take hours while involving parents, cousins, brothers, sisters, and friends. If you make it “new style,” it may just take a kit or a steamer, and less time.

Many people ask me what are the main differences between a tamale and a tamale pie. I think the most important difference is that the first one is wrapped in plantain, corn, avocado, bijao or maguey leafs and uses a special dough made from the kernels of the corn that are dried and processed with lime.

Instead the pie is like a casserole that uses cornmeal. Another major difference is that the pie is baked instead of steamed or boiled.

This food has all kinds of names depending on the country you are referring to. In Colombia, Cuba, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru it is tamal. Americans call it tamale.

In Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, and parts of Peru they call it “Humita.” In Venezuela is the “Hallaca.” In Belize it is “bollo.” In Puerto Rico “ganime” or “pastel.” Dominicans call it also “pastel” and Mexicans call it many names, some are corunda, pata de burro, zacahuil, chak chak wah, and chanchamito.

tamales

This food has a special place in Hispanic culture. It is a central dish in many countries during Christmas, and its fame reaches many places in North, Central and South America as the most representative meal of the Latin culture.

Tamale and History

According to “La Historia General de las Cosas de la Nueva España” by Fray Bernardino, in the XVI century Monctezuma had servants preparing many kinds of pasteles, not only of different shapes but also with many fillings.

The Spanish name “tamal,” comes from the word “tamalli” -the Náhuatl, a language which is a dialect of the Aztecs. It means food made with corn dough.

Many may say the the word comes from Mexico just like the corn, but there is no specific evidence to conclude so.

What I’ve learnt by reading and researching is that many say the tamales date from the Spanish colonization in the XV and XVI centuries. Stories tell about slaves who used to take leftovers of the ingredients used to cook wrapped in leafs to their homes.

In the book “La Lenta Emergencia de la Comida Mexicana. Ambiguedades Criollas, 1750-1800” by José Luis Juárez López the author refers to the book “Historia Antigua de México” by Mariano Veytia which talks about a very known food specially used by the indigenous inhabitants. The author describes the food as small “pastelillos o cubiletes” made with corn dough filled with meat and fish in round form, wrapped in corn leafs and cooked in a clay pot without water.

The Peruvian anthropologist Humberto Rodríguez Pastor describes the tamale as an Afro-Peruvian legacy in his book “La Vida en el Entorno del Tamal Peruano” which translates the life surrounding the Peruvian tamal. The author talks about the tamale being introduced in Peru with the arrival of the Spaniards who came with their slaves, originally from the Atlantic coast in the African continent.

Make Tamales

Now that we know a bit more of the history of tamales lets Make Tamales with Sandra Vasquez. Follow the simple recipes and enjoy authentic Mexican tamales. Sandra Vasquez shared some of her recipes with us and helped us in the process.

Top 10 Latin Food Recipes per Country

Hispanic Recipes Latin Food Recipes

Our Latin food recipes are rich in flavor and influences coming from Spanish conquerors and African slaves mixed with tropical and indigenous tastes.

There is no doubt each country has specific characteristics and ingredients that make their cuisine unique, but overall there are what I call Hispanic food staples that you can find throughout Caribbean, North American and Latin American food pantries. I give a bit of history here Latin cooking section

Hispanic America gave to the world corn, hot peppers, exotic fruits, chocolate, vanilla, cotton, turkeys, potatoes, squash, yucca, peanuts, tomatoes and tapioca. Tapioca and peanuts? yes, I thought they came from Asia!

Choosing the Top Ten

It was not easy, but based on the popularity and ease of these recipes here they are. The ones included here are known because they are a “must” for certain holidays like Hispanic Christmas or Navidad, or because we -Hispanics- just love them and prepare them with simple ingredients we can find here in the U.S.

These Hispanic recipes are neither complicated (with the exception of tamales -at least for me!) nor are they designed to break your piggy bank. They are authentic recipes that carry the flavors of Hispanic culture. Enjoy.

Must Know Hispanic Food Recipes and Markets

Tamales
Latin Food Markets & Hispanic Grocery Stores

Top 10 Recipes Per Country

Argentina

Bolivia

Colombia

Ajiaco Bogotano
Chicharron or Chicharrones
Seafood soup recipe – Cazuela de mariscos al coco
Bunuelos
Bizcocho Recipe or Bizcocho Negro
Red beans and rice
More Colombian Food Recipes

Cuba

Cuban Black Bean Soup
Cuban Pork Roast

Mexico

Pico de Gallo Recipes
Mexican Casserole
Mexican Chicken Recipe
Mexican Rice Recipe
Mexican Mole Recipe
Mexican Salsa Recipes
Mexican Corn Tortilla Recipe

Puerto Rico

Besitos de Coco or Coconut Cookie Recipe (kind of)

Spain

Spanish Recipe for Paella
Spanish Rice Recipe

Top 10 Latin Drink Recipes

Sangria Wine Recipe
Best Michelada Recipe

Top 10 Hispanic Desserts Recipes

Other Dessert Recipes

Dipped Chocolate Strawberries

Pictures at the top by Marcela Hede

Latin Cooking

Hispanic Foods Influences & Ingredients

Latin Cooking

Tomates de Arbol, Mangos y Guanabanas.
by Marcela Hede

Where Our Food Comes From

Latin cooking started as mix of ingredients from the old world, the new world and the new immigrants. When Columbus set foot in La Española he didn’t know the exchange of foods, animals, exotic woods, and plants was about to start full force.

Just looking for cooking styles by Hispanic country?
Latin Cooking by Country.

The old world gave us wheat, onions, chickpeas, cauliflower, garlic, beet, lettuce, spinach, almonds, sugar cane, apricots, cherries, pears, figs, peaches, lemons and oranges (to my surprise) as well as cattle, sheep, horses, pigs and chickens. Many of the new plants grew like wild fire in the unspoiled and fertile soils of America.

Latin Cooking

Cocos y Chirimoyas
by marcela Hede

Because of the constant trading many Hispanic foods entered far countries like India, where hot peppers and peanuts are a staple of their diet, the same happened to sweet potatoes in china.

African and Other Influences in Hispanic Cuisine

African slavery started in 1538 and ended 400 years later leaving about 10 million African slaves in Hispanic America.

The slaves lived in the sugar cane and plantain farms where they cultivated their own foods. They also worked cooking, therefore over time they introduced their ingredients to our cooking creating a tasty blend. Palm oil, ginger, okra, and greens are all gifts from African slaves.

The main influence in Latin cooking came from the Spaniards who were influenced by the Moorish occupation. They brought oranges and olives, nuts and olive oil which they learned to use from the Arabs.  Many variations of the famous tapas are all over Hispanic America, enpanadas, pinchos, croquetas and pickeled foods are examples of them.

In the beginning of the late 1800s about 2.5 million Italians settled in Argentina and 1.2 million in Brazil influencing Latin ingredients and methods of cooking.  Our cooking is what I call a rich mix, it comes from the indigenous people, the African slaves, the Spaniards and Portuguese, and has a touch of German, Italian and French cooking.

Latin Cooking by Country

Colombian Food
Discover the taste of Colombian food. Learn about influences on Colombian cuisine, regional foods, main Colombian dishes, fruits and vegetables. Get the top Colombian food recipes.

Argentinean Food

Peruvian Food
This is what David Schneider who moved from the U.S. to Peru has to say about Paruvian cooking: Drawing on a varied cultural and geographical background, Peru cooking is savory and exotic and recognized as world class cuisine. From the famous “Peruvian ceviche” on the coast, to the origins of potatoes in the Andes, local ingredients have been tastefully refined by the Spanish, Chinese, European and other immigrants over the centuries. Rich and satisfying – you must try it!

Bolivian Food
Potatoes, coca leaves and hot spices are some of Bolivian food ingrediets that make this country’s food so special. Discover the characteristic types of foods of this Hispanic country.

Cuban Food
Cuban food is a mix of Spanish, African, and Caribbean cuisines, which makes sense because these three groups of people have been living on the island for centuries now.

Mexican Cooking

Puerto Rican Food