How Well Do You Know Your Latin Snacks?
Incredibly, these pockets full of goodness have been around for 2,000 years. First made by the Pipil tribes of EL SALVADOR, Pupusas are easily recognized as the national food of El Salvador—and have been so for centuries. The variations of these cheese-stuffed corn tortillas are endless.
TORTILLA DE PAPAS
Tortilla de Papas, or otherwise known as the Spanish tortilla, can be traced back to the early 1800’s—originally from the northern region of SPAIN known as Navarre. But since then, they’ve spread like wildfire throughout the Latin community, and for good reason.
We’ve seen tons of variations of this fresh summer favorite, and every Latin country gives it its own unique little twist. But believe it or not, Ceviche originated in PERU around the colonial times. And the Peruvians sure set the bar high with their version of this beloved seafood dish.
PASTEL DE CHOCLO
The meat-filled corn dish is well-known amongst South Americans; however, the Chileans get the credit on this one. Recipes for Pastel de Choclo were first documented in CHILE in the 1830’s but it’s become a Latin American super star in the culinary scene over the centuries.
Ding! Ding! Ding! You guessed it. Yes, these puppies are indeed from MEXICO. They originated in the central and southern regions of the country during the colonial era but they’ve remained a solid staple in Mexican cuisine—and pretty much every menu around the world.
Also known as ‘potato balls,’ this Latin favorite varies from country to country. They’re arguably the world’s favorite type of croquette. And although they are vastly more popular in the Caribbean region of Latin America, CUBA is specifically known to be the Papa Rellena’s birthplace.
While all the above-mentioned countries make their own versions of the sausage sandwich, ARGENTINA is where the simple, yet brilliant, idea for the Choripan was conceived. And I think most Argentineans would agree that you can’t have a traditional asado without them.
These cheese-stuffed pastries put the mozzarella stick to shame. While cheese sticks are popular worldwide, Tequeños are a Venezuelan original. These doughy, cheesy, gooey sticks of deliciousness are a fan favorite in VENEZUELA.
While there’s an incalculable amount of debate over the origin of the Empanada, and which country really made them famous, there is no doubt that these savory stuffed turnovers have their roots in SPAIN. One could argue that Argentineans perfected them, and really made them their own, but the Spaniards deserve all the praise for their invention.
This one is a “gimme,” since most people know good and well that the Tamale is a product of MEXICO. But it’s worth mentioning the Tamale because while most people know where they come from, most people don’t know when they come from. Believe it or not, Tamales date back to 8,000 BC! Now that’s some staying power.
By Victoria Freixa