Discover Different Taste Sensations With Latin American Cooking Recipes

If preparing a meal has become a chore that you don't really look forward to, it's time to bring some creativity into the kitchen again. You may want to try dishes from other parts of the world, for instance. An easy option is to explore some Latin American cooking recipes, because most of them are easy to make, the ingredients aren't hard to find and the kids won't find the dishes too exotic for their tastes. Remember to play some salsa or merengue music while you're preparing the dishes, to make the experience more fun.

For most people, their knowledge of Latin American dishes doesn't stretch much further than those Mexican favorites, the taco and the burrito. However, the region known as Latin America is huge, encompassing Mexico and Central America, countries in the Caribbean and the continent of South America. Here you'll find chilly highlands and hot and humid tropical jungles. You'll find deserts and you'll find coastal areas. There is such variety in the landscape and the edible produce to be found here that it's common to find very different foods in different parts of the same country.

When the Spanish came to the Americas, they took several New World foods back to Europe, forever changing the way people eat. It's almost impossible to think of what Italians used to eat before they discovered the versatility of the tomato, for instance. Corn is a starch from Central America that quickly spread to the rest of the world but is still a staple in its region of origin too. It's used to make tortillas, tamales, pupusas and many other dishes.

The Americas also gave the world the potato, which is enjoyed everywhere but especially in the highlands of the Andes, where it came from. In the more tropical areas, you'll find plantains instead and a root known as manioc is used especially in the Caribbean. Rice is popular too and in some countries you'll find rice and beans with every meal, even breakfast. A variety of vegetables are used to add nutritional value and color.

The meat of choice for many is pork, unless you're on the plains of Argentina or Paraguay, where you'll be served mountains of beef grilled to perfection. Chicken is eaten everywhere as well. Coastal communities, as well as those who live along large rivers or on the shores of lakes, often eat fish and other types of seafood and a refreshing dish is ceviche, which originally came from Peru.

Most Latin Americans have a sweet tooth and desserts are plentiful. Among the most popular are the different variations of flan, dulce de leche and tres leches cake. You'll find special sweets for certain festivals too.

Pineapples, papayas and mangoes, as well as some more exotic fruits, are often the base for deliciously fruity drinks. Some more unusual drinks include ones made with rice, corn or coconut. If you want something stronger, you can't go wrong with a bottle of good rum and a couple of limes.

If you're looking for recipes from the Latin American region, specialty cookery books are one way to go. Another is to go online and look on websites about food. However, the best route is to visit a country in the region, take a few cookery classes and enjoy a wonderful vacation to boot.

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