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Luxury Travel

Five foodie hotspots in South America

Looking for new flavours to whet your global tastebuds? Look no further than South America, a region of fusion foods...

This is a feature from Issue 12 of Charitable Traveller. Click to read more from this issue.

1. Buenos Aires, Argentina

If you love firing up your BBQ for a meat feast, you’ll relish Argentinian food. They love meat, preferably grilled over hot coals, ad their world-class beef takes this casual dining to an art form. Meats are served with chimichurri, a national obsession made of finely chopped parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar. Add a glass of malbec to accompany and something with dulce de leche for dessert. Buenos Aires’ fine parilla (grill) restaurants are the best places to try this classic meal.

2. Lima, Peru

Whether you pick the swanky restaurants in Miraflores or the street food carts at the Mercado de Surquillo, Peru’s capital has a well-established reputation for gastronomy. No visit is complete without sampling ceviche, the flagship dish. There are many variations across the continent but most consist of raw fish, fresh lime juice and a few chillis. In Peru, they add raw onions and coriander and eat it with a spoon so they don’t miss any of the juices. The city’s cuisine also draws on its Incan heritage for its hearty stews and potato dishes.

3. Quito, Ecuador

Ecuadorian staples include beans, rice, plantains, yucca, and fresh fish, and the capital, Quito is the country’s gastronomical heart. Wholesome home-cooked dining is typical but increasingly ancient indigenous traditions are being reinvented by creative chefs. Encebollado, a spicy tuna fish soup, is a national favourite, as is deep-fried corvina (sea-bass) served in a bowl of cviche. Forget chips, here it is all about the llapingacho – fried potato cakes served with peanut sauce.

4. Santiago, Chile

Santiago offers foodies a great example of culinary fusion, combining Spanish and indigenous flavours, and plentiful homegrown produce ranging from olives to papayas. There are lots of fancy restaurants but check out the hip, art-nouveau Mercado Central market for fresh seafood or the stalls of the La Vega market, brimming with exotic fruits and vegetables. top local choices include aijaco stew, beef rib empanadas, and pastel de choclo (a meat pie made with corn, eggs, and olives).

5. Coffee Triangle, Colombia

Head to Colombia’s Coffee Triangle for lush and verdant landscapes and world-class coffee – you can drink a cup while looking at the beans grow on the fertile slopes. Charming Salento is renowned for its colourful houses and great restaurants and you’ll discover the local dish, Sudaco – a slow-cooked stew of meat, vegetables, yucca, and plantain. Or try snacking on some street food: mazorca – corn on the cob with butter and salt; chorizo on a stick, or arepa de mais – cornmeal bread cooked on coals and smothered in butter and cheese. Combine the coffee region with colonial Cartagena on the Caribbean coast for the best of Colombia’s seafood dishes.

1. Buenos Aires, Argentina

If you love firing up your BBQ for a meat feast, you’ll relish Argentinian food. They love meat, preferably grilled over hot coals, ad their world-class beef takes this casual dining to an art form. Meats are served with chimichurri, a national obsession made of finely chopped parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar. Add a glass of malbec to accompany and something with dulce de leche for dessert. Buenos Aires’ fine parilla (grill) restaurants are the best places to try this classic meal.

2. Lima, Peru

Whether you pick the swanky restaurants in Miraflores or the street food carts at the Mercado de Surquillo, Peru’s capital has a well-established reputation for gastronomy. No visit is complete without sampling ceviche, the flagship dish. There are many variations across the continent but most consist of raw fish, fresh lime juice and a few chillis. In Peru, they add raw onions and coriander and eat it with a spoon so they don’t miss any of the juices. The city’s cuisine also draws on its Incan heritage for its hearty stews and potato dishes.

3. Quito, Ecuador

Ecuadorian staples include beans, rice, plantains, yucca, and fresh fish, and the capital, Quito is the country’s gastronomical heart. Wholesome home-cooked dining is typical but increasingly ancient indigenous traditions are being reinvented by creative chefs. Encebollado, a spicy tuna fish soup, is a national favourite, as is deep-fried corvina (sea-bass) served in a bowl of cviche. Forget chips, here it is all about the llapingacho – fried potato cakes served with peanut sauce.

4. Santiago, Chile

Santiago offers foodies a great example of culinary fusion, combining Spanish and indigenous flavours, and plentiful homegrown produce ranging from olives to papayas. There are lots of fancy restaurants but check out the hip, art-nouveau Mercado Central market for fresh seafood or the stalls of the La Vega market, brimming with exotic fruits and vegetables. top local choices include aijaco stew, beef rib empanadas, and pastel de choclo (a meat pie made with corn, eggs, and olives).

5. Coffee Region, Colombia

Head to Colombia’s Coffee Triangle for lush and verdant landscapes and world-class coffee – you can drink a cup while looking at the beans grow on the fertile slopes. Charming Salento is renowned for its colourful houses and great restaurants and you’ll discover the local dish, Sudaco – a slow-cooked stew of meat, vegetables, yucca, and plantain. Or try snacking on some street food: mazorca – corn on the cob with butter and salt; chorizo on a stick, or arepa de mais – cornmeal bread cooked on coals and smothered in butter and cheese. Combine the coffee region with colonial Cartagena on the Caribbean coast for the best of Colombia’s seafood dishes.

Book your perfect foodie break to South America with Charitable Travel and you can donate 5% of your holiday price to the charity of your choice at no extra cost!