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Five Latin foods you didn’t know about…but should!

Image: Daniel Lloyd Blunk-Fernández via unsplash

Some Latin foods need little to no introduction. From coast to coast folks crave things like Tacos hailing from Mexico, Ceviche from Peru,  Empanadas from Argentina and Arepas from Venezuela. While those are certainly delicious, with over 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, there are so many dishes and drinks you can discover. 

Don’t worry, we did all the work for you and rounded up five Latin foods to add to your radar. 

Guarapo, Cuba

Guarapo, also known as guarapo de caña,  is fresh sugarcane juice. While it is enjoyed across Latin America and the Caribbean, this is known as Cuba’s signature street beverage.

To make it, you press sugar cane. The result – a sweet and refreshing beverage which should be consumed immediately.
Where can you find it? Look for a fresh juice shop, like Palacio de los Jugos, to get your fix of Guarapo and other tropical fruits.

Fritanga, Nicarágua 

Fritangas are an integral part of the food landscape in Nicaragua. It refers to a restaurant that serves home-style Nicaraguan food. Selections of beef, pork, or chicken are barbecued and served with sides. 

While offerings at fritangas come in many forms, they are the most popular street eats in Nicaragua. 

The most traditional order includes carne asada (BBQ meat) with sides like gallo pinto (rice and beans), queso frito (fried cheese), maduros (ripe plantains), cabbage slaw and picante (hot sauce with onion and chili). 

Where can you find it? Any spot near you with the word “fritanga” in it is sure to be serving up heaping portions and likely open late.

Pupusas, El Salvador and Honduras

It’s not an arepa – it’s a pupusa  (pronounced “poo-poo-sahs”)! This national dish of El Salvador is made of a thick corn tortilla stuffed with a savory filling. While there are arguments as to whether it originated in El Salvador or Honduras, we can all agree that pupusas are delicious. 

The word pupusa is derived from “pupusawa” which means to puff up. Makes sense as these savory corn tortillas are filled with goodness. Popular fillings include cheese, frijoles (beans), revueltas (a mix of chicharron aka pork, beans and cheese). They are often served with curtido de repollo, a cabbage slaw and a tomato sauce. Think of this as a sealed pocket of deliciousness. 

Where can you find them? Search for pupusas on Yelp!

Images: Rellenitos, Antigua Guatemala Restaurante | Guarapo, El Palacio De Los Jugos | Fritanga, Fritanga Cana Brava

Buñuelos, Colombia 

Buñuelos are a round, Colombian cheese fritter that are the star of the Christmas season in Colombian homes. However, they are so delicious that you can enjoy them year round for breakfast with hot chocolate or coffee. The mix of salty and sweet brings a sense of comfort to any morning.

These are traditionally made with costeño cheese (a Colombian white cheese), cassava flour, and fried to perfection. They are crunchy on the outside, with a soft consistency inside. 

Buñuelos are a traditional Colombian Christmas treat, but are also popular year round for breakfast with hot chocolate or coffee. If you opt for hot chocolate to pair with your buñuelos, don’t be surprised if it features cheese. Traditionally, Colombians will prepare their hot chocolate in a small metal pot called an Olleta. The chocolate is crushed and frothed using a molinillo (wooden whisk). The addition of cheese makes the hot chocolate thick and creamy and the most perfect pairing with a freshly fried buñuelo (or three).
Where can you find these? Search for a panaderia – a traditional Latin bakery – in your community on Yelp.

Rellenitos de plátano, Guatemala

Rellenitos de plátano are a traditional Guatemalan dessert. They are made with mashed plátanos (sweet plantains) and, filled with sweetened black beans and covered in sugar.  The recipes may vary depending on who prepares them – some have chocolate added, some are served with sour cream and some have the black bean filling as a dipping sauce. However they are served, this is a beloved dish in Guatemala.
Where can you find these? Search for a Guatemalan restaurant on Yelp!

Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month

Latinx Heritage month takes place from 9/15 – 10/15 in the United States and in the month of October in Canada. To learn more about why Latinx click here.
To find a Latinx owned business near you, simply search Latinx owned on Yelp! We can’t wait for you to discover, support and celebrate #LatinxOwnedOnYelp!