Bolivian food belongs to the cuisine of Bolivia, which is located in South America. Diverse climatic conditions and varied cultural traditions have led to the emergence of varied foods in Bolivian cuisine which consists of meat, poultry and fish based dishes, blended with various spices and herbs. Also, the presence of fresh vegetables and fresh fruits in the cuisine of Bolivia cannot be ignored.
In Bolivia, lunch is considered to be the main form of meal, which normally consists of main dish and a soup item. The staple Bolivian food is potato, which is commonly served in almost all meals, along with noodles or rice at times. Though spice is not a great feature of Bolivian food, yet a spicy sauce, known as “la llajwa”, which is made of hot chilies (locoto) and tomatoes is immensely popular in the region.
Cultural and Regional Influence on Bolivian Cuisine
The Bolivian food is strongly influenced by the cuisine of Peru, as Bolivia and Peru are neighboring counties. Cuisines of other nations like Chile, Paraguay, and Brazil have also had an effect on the cuisine of Bolivia as these countries are also located in the close vicinity of Bolivia.
Popular Foods in Bolivian Cuisine
A few famous dishes in the cuisine of Bolivia include the following:
- Salteñas-This is well accepted breakfast Bolivian food item which refers to warm and savory pastry cooked in oven and is enriched with juices of green leafy vegetables, sauces and meat or chicken.
- Empanadas-It is a savory and flavorful pastry enriched with cheese, olives, onions and locoto.
- Sandwich de Chola-This Bolivian food is a sandwich which is stuffed with lettuce, locoto and roasted leg of pork.
- Humitas-Though several variations of this dish are popular in the region, yet the most famous version is the one where cheese and fresh corn are wrapped in corn-leaves and cooked by steaming method before serving them hot.
- Changa de pollo o de conejo-It is a soup which is massively popular in Bolivian cuisine and is prepared with guinea pig (cuy) or chicken, along with other ingredients such as peas, green onions, potato and avas.
- Chicharron-This Bolivian food item consists of small bits of pork (fried), which are cooked with a drink known as chicha (fermented corn drink), and is served along with corn (stewed).
- Charque de llama-It is dried form of llama meat which is fried and served along with cheese, cooked eggs and stewed corn.