Chapter 28 Latin America Part 4 Foods of the World
Objective Identify geographic and climatic factors that have influenced the characteristic foods of Mexico and the South American countries.
Geography and Climate of Mexico In those sections of Mexico bordered by water, fish is an important part of the cuisine. The areas that border the United States are more suitable for raising cattle than crops. The geography and climate in the central plateau allow for profitable production of crops like corn and beans. What region of Mexico has a climate suitable for producing tropical fruits?
Geography and Climate of South America High mountains and dense jungles have created geographic isolation in South America, which has led to the development of regional food customs. Nearly every kind of climate can be found in some part of South America.
Objective Describe cultural factors that have affected the food customs of Mexico and South America.
Mexican Culture The Aztecs, who originally inhabited Mexico, added corn, beans, and peppers to the cuisine. Spanish explorers influenced Mexican culture and introduced rice, wheat, beef, and oil. What are some examples of how Mexico’s major crops are used in Mexican dishes?
South American Culture South America was originally inhabited by native tribes, including the Inca. Portuguese and Spanish explorers brought their food customs with them to South America. Africans brought to South America contributed such foods as bananas, yams, and coconuts.
Objective Prepare foods native to Latin America.
Staple Ingredients in Mexican Cuisine Corn Beans Peppers What is the most important use of corn in Mexican cooking?
Characteristic Foods of Mexico Mexican vegetables, such as huazontle, jicama, and chayotes, are often added to casseroles. Tropical fruits, including papayas, guavas, and pineapples, may be served in syrup as a light dessert.
Characteristic Foods of Mexico Mexican sauces, or moles, are served with many foods and form the basis of flavorful stews. Desserts such as flan were influenced by Spanish and Portuguese cooks. Popular beverages include chocolate drinks and coffee.
Mexican Regional Cuisine Wheat and beef are important in the cuisine of northern Mexico. Seafood is well liked among people living in coastal regions. Wild duck is common in eastern Mexico, whereas turkey is more common in the Yucatan. Bananas play a notable role in the cuisine of southern Mexico.
South American Cuisine South American cuisine combines influences of native tribes with those of the Spanish, Portuguese, and Africans. Corn, potatoes, and manioc are staple foods found throughout South America.
South American Dishes Venezuela’s national dish, hallacas, is cornmeal dough filled with other foods. Ajiaco is a Colombian soup made with potatoes, chicken, corn, and cassava. Many Ecuadorian dishes feature locally grown bananas. Potatoes, or papa, are a staple food of the Peruvian people and are used in such dishes as causa a la limena.
South American Dishes Chileans eat a lot of seafood, and chupe de marisco is a popular scallop dish. Argentine metambre is made with spinach, hard- cooked eggs, carrots, onions, and flank steak. Brazil’s national dish, feijoada completa, is meat served with black beans and other accompaniments.
Apply It! You want to take your family on a culinary tour of Latin America. Plan a four-course menu in which each course represents a different Latin American country.
Key Question What Latin American foods will you serve your family?
Other Questions to Consider How is food used in holiday celebrations throughout Latin America? What kind of meal patterns are followed in Mexico? What are some of the highlights of modern culture in South America?