Bite Into This!: Delicious Latin Foods

We’ve been having a fun summer practicing our Spanish! From learning new vocabulary (see “Fun Summer Vocabulary for Practice at Home”) to learning new songs, it’s been great to share new ways to stay engaged in Spanish.

Today, I want to share one of the more delicious ways to incorporate language and cultural education into your practice at home this summer. Any one of us knows where the best place in town is to eat a taco or a burrito, but I want us to explore a few new fruits, drinks and dishes from Latin America. Use this as a fun way to practice your Spanish and try some new foods in the process!

Fruits

Maracuya

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Maracuya originates from South America but is now found throughout Latin America. Also known as “passion fruit,” try it in a flan!

Membrillo

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Although membrillo looks very similar to a pear or an apple, you must cook it to eat it because of its strong flavor. The Quince fruit (as we know it in English) is delicious in a cheese! Quince cheese, or dulce de membrillo, makes a perfect dessert.

Guanabana

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Guanabana is native to Mexico and is known as Soursop in English. It is now gaining recognition for its cancer-fighting properties and makes a refreshing drink!

Plates and Bites

Gallo Pinto

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Gallo Pinto will always be on my list! As a “Tica” at heart, this famous rice and black bean dish from Costa Rica is delicious and easy to make. ¡Pura vida!

Papas Rellenas

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Papas rellenas are balls of mashed potatoes stuffed with seasoned beef and then fried. These Cuban bites are addictive!

Causas

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You can’t talk about potatoes without mentioning causas peruanas! Causas are potato cakes that are topped with salsa de ají and your topping of choice. Traditional toppings include shrimp, chicken, egg, and octopus.

Drinks

Chicha Morada

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To the surprise of many, chicha morada gets its deep purple color from a type of corn that is found in Peru. Despite the fact that the main ingredient is corn, chicha is sweet and much like lemonade on a hot day!

Mate

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Mate is a strongly caffeinated tea that is a staple in South American life. It’s traditionally enjoyed from a gourd and a bombilla (the “straw” that you see in the picture above), but has been growing lately in popularity as a sweetened iced tea.

Coquito

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Puerto Rican coquito is usually enjoyed around Christmas with rum, but feel free to omit it if you want to try it as a family! Coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and spices all come together to make this delectable treat.

These are only a FEW foods that could broaden the horizons of your palate this summer! Another way to bring the family in on the fun is to do a bit of research together yourselves and tackle a new recipe (for a bigger challenge, look for recipes in Spanish). ¡Buen provecho!

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