South American Eats

The real reason we love it here so much…

Savoury, sweet, salty, spicy. This can be used as a guide to typical meals you’ll come across in each country or just as a photo journal of things we’ve stuffed our faces with…


Mondongo – A stew consisting of chunks of pork, sometimes deep fried, in a dark red, aji chile sauce served with choclo, the popular large kernel corn 

Picante de Pollo – A chunk of chicken slathered in a thick, smoky, spicy sauce served with boiled potatoes and rice 

Pique a lo Macho – Bolivian Poutine. Dare I say a healthier version though? A mound of fries topped with sliced beef (if you’re lucky), hot dog, hardboiled egg, sautéed onion, tomato, pepper and a spicy sauce

Salteñas – A Bolivian empanada, usually only served mid morning, which means you can’t eat them whenever you please. Life’s tough…I know. The filling differs from other countries in that it is more a stew like mixture, with meat, potatoes, other veg and the classic egg and olive combo 

Sopa de Mani – Mani is peanut in Spanish for all you gringos, and that’s all that really needs to be said about this. It’s noodles in peanut soup, topped with crispy potato bits  

Barros Luco – A platesized sandwich of beef and cheese. First off, it’s named after a Chilean president and these are eaten everywhere. My take? This guy loved eating colossal meat and cheese sandies so much he got everyone in the nation to do it so his family would stop giving him a hard time. 
Barros Jarpa – Of course he has a younger brother who didn’t want to be left out so he named his own sandie. This one is cheese with ham instead (really original Jarpa)
Churrasco Italiano – shaved meat on a hot dog or hamburger bun. Italiano can apply to hot dogs or sandwichs and means you get tomato, mayonnaise and avocado sauce on it (the only way this could Italian is the way the mess of sauces resembles the Italian flag?)


Adobo de chancho – pork in a spicy sauce made from tumeric and garlic

– chifa dish combining chaufa (fried rice) and noodles (tallarine saltado), perfect for those who can’t decide which carb is their favorite

Aji de Gallina – chicken stew made with cream, cheese, aji, and peanuts. Spicy, creamy and cheesy? Yes please

Alitas (de pollo, de brocheta) – chicken wings. It’s chicken wings. Enough said 
Anticuchos – meat skewers served with a boiled potato and aji sauce. Sold at street stands. Cheap and questionable

Arroz cubano – rice dish with tomato sauce, fried egg and plantains. Is it breakfast, dinner or dessert?

Asado de pollo
– grilled piece of chicken in some sauce with rice and sometimes beans 

Bistek – steak with fries. Gauranteed to require a better knife than the one it comes with 

Borrachitos – “little drunkards”. Balls of mashed cake with rum and honey, covered in chocolate icing and sprinkles. I like to picture them being made by a drunk, mashing handfuls of cake, dumping in a bottle of rum and then forming balls, using honey and icing to keep them together 

Canchas – large corn kernels, maiz chulpe, prepared like popcorn however kernel does not turn inside out 

Cau cau
– traditional creole like tripe stew with potatoes and Aji Amarillo 

Ceviche – raw fish (fillete or conchos) in lime juice, with red onions and aji. Served with beans and canchas

Chicharrones de (pescado/pollo etc) – pieces of deep fried fish/chicken/pork served with rice and potatoes/beans

Chifles – plantain chips, deep fried and salty. Popular in the Piuara region and fiercely addictive. But it’s a fruit so it’s healthy right?

– stuffed pastries that are baked or fried. Varieties include pollo, carne, queso, verde, mixto, chocolate. Hot pockets from heaven

Escabeche de pollo
– chicken in a pickled veg marinade. Sometimes garnished with hard boiled eggs 

Humitas – ground corn seasoned with sugar and spices sometimes stuffed with meat, cheese, or raisins. Wrapped and steamed in corn husks 

Leche de Tigre – drink composed of the juice/marinade from a ceviche dish. Hangover cure, said to raise the dead


Lomo Saltado – strips of sirloin stir fried with tomato, onion, pepper. Served with rice and fries

– bean stew served as a side 

Mil Hojas – “a thousand sheets”. Layer after layer of wafer thin puff pastry alternated with manjar blanco

Milanesa – flattened chicken or beef, breaded and fried (similar to schnitzel) 

Papa a la Huancaina – yellow potato with a spicy, creamy sauce and sometimes hard boiled egg or olive

Papa Relleña – oval of mashed potato typically stuffed with carne, hard boiled egg and an olive, fried in oil. Fried mashed potato balls…genius

– grilled (pollo a la parilla)

Pescado Frito -typically a whole fried fish served with rice and potatoes. Always tastes better than it looks

Sanguche de Chicharron – pork sandwich pulled directly off the pig and served up on a bun with criolla sauce. Incredibly flavourful, might have given me food poisoning once. Won’t stop me from eating again

Tallarínes Saltado de carne/pollo
 – saltado dish with noodles served as a stir fry

Tamale – ground white corn, steamed in a banana leaf and stuffed with a combo of meat, an olive, and egg.  Not the most appealing at first sight eh?

Pollo Broster
– deep fried chicken with rice and fries. Think KFC


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