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Word of Mouth: South American Street Food

3rd March 2015

There's a place where everyone will  tell you to steer clear of the local street food and that place is South America. But, if you're anything like us, you'll completely forgot this advice as soon as the smells wafted from those small carts on the side of the road.

This month we're showcasing the best of South America with our friends at Adventure World. We asked them to share their top picks for South American street food through Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador.

This image: San Telmo Sunday Market, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Source: Adventure World

After consuming way too much meat for my liking, hitting the coast of Peru was a refreshing change and here I found one of the freshest foods of my entire South American odyssey – ceviche. This is a seafood dish where the fresh, raw fish is ‘cooked’ in the marinade, which is a simple mix of lime juice and chili. Simple but tastes amazing! You’ll find this in street stalls, food markets and restaurants all across the country. Try as you might, you won’t be able to avoid anticuchos though. The smell as the meat is seared over Andean hotplates is divine.

Discover Lima and Cusco major landmarks and learn about their past and present through their cuisines during the 8 day Peru Culture & Cuisine journey with Adventure World.

This image: Source: Adventure World

Empanadas are an Argentinian staple and you could easily live off these while you’re there. With a variety of fillings, from meat and cheese to vegetables, you could have a different one each day of the week and honestly never get tired of them. You’ll find that the street stalls will generally deep fry these but bakeries and restaurants will offer baked versions. These are South American comfort food at its best. For those with a sweet tooth, try dulce de leche – Argentinians are particular obsessed with these sweet and creamy confections.

Learn the secrets of Argentinian cuisine and learn how to make your own empanadas on our exclusive Argentine Culinary Experience during the 12 day Handpicked Argentina journey with Adventure World.

This image: Empanadas are South American comfort food at its best. Source: Adventure World

Pao de queijo is a popular cheese bread from the southeast of Brazil which is gaining popularity as a street food throughout the rest of the country. In keeping with the cheesy theme, vendors on Rio de Janeiro’s beaches hawk queijo coalho, grilled cheese on sticks that are barbequed right there in front of you. My favourite was the tapioca omelette – a light pancake filled with all sorts of sweet or savoury fillings. You can’t go wrong with a simple ham and cheese filling and for dessert, try the coconut and condensed milk.

Taste the flavours of Brazil and enjoy some Bahian cuisine as you discover the country from the coast to the Amazon on the 11 day Rhythms of Brazil journey with Adventure World.

This image: Pao de queijo or cheese bread is a typical Brazilian snack.

While tamales are a favourite all over South America, they’re a bit different in Ecuador. Instead of being wrapped in a corn leaf, the Ecuadorians wrap it in a banana leaf as the indigenous people preferred the sweeter taste that the leaf infuses into the filling, even the savoury ones. These are a great and cheap snack.

Travel through the heart of the Avenue of Volcanoes, visit the charming colonial towns of Quito and Cuenca, and discover a country of contrasts on the 9 day Highlights of Ecuador journey with Adventure World.

This image: Ecuadorians wrap tamales wrapped in banana leaves, rather than corn leaves elsewhere in South America.