Before the arrival of the European Colony in the continent of South America, the native people were already associated with cultivation of plants. Taking part in cultivation of crops can be traced as a major influence in what they eat today. Further, the people oriented an elaborate irrigation system and made the environment characterized by steep Andrean mountain slopes which were suitable for food growth. It is therefore fundamental to state that each different region in South America developed their own traditional dishes depending on the type of crop they cultivated. The Europeans also incorporated some of their food into the traditional dishes of the people in South America (Lovera, 2005). The people who settled in South America were basically immigrants from the Pacific Islands and Central America.
Corn (Maiz, Choclo): Corn has been a stable crop in South America for several years. Since its inception, it has positioned South America as the largest producer to the rest of the world. The natives in South America like staple dishes like arepas also known as cornbread, chichi, tamales as well as various pastels which have corn as their key ingredients (Lovera, 2005). Chicha is popular beverage that dates back to olden days.
Potatoes: Potatoes and Corns rival each other as South American foods that are important. Several people still cultivate various types of potatoes which contribute to the array of potato recipes. Potatoes are combined with sauces to make several dishes loved by the local native through mashing, freeze drying, baking and frying. In other areas like the nation of Peru, majority of the inhabitants prefer Inca and their cuisine. This is why potatoes are commonly cultivated by the local people
Peppers (Ajis): In South American cooking, peppers are the most seasonal ingredient and which is fundamental among the local people. It is very difficult to find a South American taking food without pepper. Furthermore, peppers are used in various ways for instance the ceviche in the colorful marinades.
Tropical Fruits: The region of South America is also characterized with the thriving of fruits like mango, cherimoya, coconut, papaya and pineapple. The variety of assortment has a great influence on the continent’s cuisine and which add flavor to several dishes and salads.
Quesco fresco/ Quesco Blanco: This is a type of cheese commonly found in South America, and which is a staple cooking ingredient. It is a type of cow’s milk cheese which is unripened as well as being salted a bit and is added to crumbled and sauces in salads.
Yuca (Manioc, Cassava): The Yuca plant has characteristics of a starchy and edible root which forms an important type of food within the region. The root, which is dried up, grounded and finally roasted to farofa, is most common among the Brazilian people. In baking purpose, South Americans use the Cassava flour which can be epitomized in the delicious Brazilian cheese rolls pao de Queijo (Lovera, 2005).
The Pacific Ocean is also known to have contributed to a great extent on the type of food consumed by the local people in South America. In areas like Costa Rica, the Pacific Ocean provides an opportunity for the people to produce an array of seafood.
The Paper has addressed the major food consumed by South American people. On the other hand, it is important to note that the influence on the food they mostly consume. This has also been incorporated by the fact that the colonial masters integrated their food, hence adding to the type of food consumed by the people. The Pacific Ocean is also known to produce tropical fish, king crab, Antarctic krill and tuna.
Lovera, R. J. (2005). Food Culture in South America. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group.