Here we are, traveling through the most unexpected dishes in South America. Last week we saw some pretty odd foods that are part of the cultures of this big continent. Since there are still a few worth mentioning, our trip is not over yet.
- Llama Brain, Bolivia
Llama’s are definitely everywhere here in the Andes, in Bolivia. Local people use llamas to carry heavy loads of goods, tourists love to take pictures with this funny looking animal, it’s wool is precious for producing fabrics, and it’s meat is highly nutritious. Being such a great source of energy, the locals don’t throw away anything of this animal. Also the brain is eaten. It contains low fat and has a high content of protein. The taste might not be the best though, it is a slimy and chewy meat.
- Chicha, Peru
Also in Peru we find this indigenous corn beer that dates back to the Inca’s time. The Inca discovered that saliva could activate fermentation. That’s right saliva from spit!! So the corn is mixed in a bowl with saliva to start the fermentation. Brewers first germinate the maize to then grind and mix it with water and malt. Next this concoction rests for several days in large earthenware vats. When the brewing is complete, the liquid is run through a sieve to remove the corn kernels.
- Anticucho de Corazón, Perú.
This is considered a street food. The classic beef heart is really nutritious. It is cut into cubes and marinated in aji panca, oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and cumin. It is then grilled as a skewer and served with a side dish of sliced potatoes and choclo, a peuvian corn, everything accompanied by different sauces.
- Hormigas Culonas, Colombia
Farmers in Colombia don’t only produce coffee but also ants. The big butt ant is a delicacy of Colombia’s northern Santander province. Here many fancy restaurants and bars serve this piping hot, dip fried bowl of ants. Some say that this treat is quite delicious and rather addictive.
- Chontacuro, Ecuador
This is the most typical dish in Ecuador. Chontacuro consists of worms of an average of 6 cm. They are consumed in many ways, for example raw, cooked, grilled and also fried. Locals say that they have healing properties like relieving cough, asthma, and stomach pain. They are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. I’m not surprised that some people say this is the food for the future.