Spices are the soul of cuisine: all over the world, they add not only flavor, but also color, fragrance and spice to dishes. While salt and pepper do not know any "homeland," there are some spices typical of a country that have enriched the dishes of the respective natives for thousands of years.
Latin America is one of the regions where fiery spices are obligatory for every cook - whether at home or in the restaurant kitchen. In Latin American cuisine, spices are not just a simple part of everyday cooking, but also have a long and fascinating history. Join us on a journey to Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Colombia and discover which spices stimulate our taste buds when enjoying tacos, tortillas, empanadas and the like.
May we introduce: This is what Latin American cuisine tastes like
Latin America is known for tortillas, tacos and tequila - in short, for its delicious and varied cuisine, which is characterized by the influences of indigenous, African and European cultures. Stretching from Mexico in the north to Argentina and Chile in the south, the region is home to a wide variety of foods and spices.
One of the most prominent features of Latin American cuisine stands out as the use of corn as the basis for many dishes. Tortillas, tacos and empanadas, however, would probably have long since failed to achieve their popularity if they had not merged with the numerous spices typical of the country to form a flavorful synergy. Thus, the strong and sometimes fiery hot spices and herbs are another characteristic of Latin American cuisine. Paprika, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, garlic and onions are among the most commonly used spices. Coriander and bay leaves - often initially unfamiliar to us Europeans - are also beloved by the locals. In certain regions, rare spices such as achiote and bitter oranges also find their way into the cooking pot every day.
A particular highlight of Latin American cuisine is the constant use of fruits and vegetables. Fresh avocados, papayas, mangos and pineapples can be found in almost every dish, even if only as a side dish or in the obligatory salsas. Now all that's missing is a squeeze of sour lime or lemon and the abundance of flavors typical of Latin American cuisine is perfect!
In these dishes, the spices of Latin American cuisine must not be missing
Let's summarize at this point: Latin American cuisines prefer to serve up rich aromas, colors and flavors. To serve unique and delicious dishes, it is not uncommon to bring together traditional ingredients with the fancy spices and herbs mentioned above. The following dishes help Latin American cuisine, then as now, to its reputation of being one of the most diverse and delicious in the world:
- Tortillas, tacos and empanadas:
Tortillas are flat, round, thin patties that are to Latin American cuisine as tequila is to Mexico. Depending on the region and taste, tortillas - either corn tortillas or wheat tortillas - are made using parchment paper in a handy tortilla press and then kept fresh, crispy and warm under a tortilla warmer. They are considered a distinctive part of Mexican cuisine and are used as the basis for tacos and empanadas. Before being enjoyed, tortillas as well as tacos and empanadas are topped with a wide variety of sauces, meats, cheeses and vegetables, which - how could you expect otherwise - ignite a veritable explosion of myriad flavors and spices in the mouth.