List of cuisines of the Americas

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This is a list of cuisines of the Americas. A cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, [1] often associated with a specific culture. The cuisines found across North and South America are based on the cuisines of the countries from which the immigrant peoples came, primarily Europe. However, the traditional European cuisine has been adapted by the addition of many local ingredients, and many techniques have been added to the tradition as well.


North American cuisine

Quebecois poutine is made with french fries, curds and gravy. OriginalPoutineLaBanquise.jpg
Québécois poutine is made with french fries, curds and gravy.
A sirloin steak dinner Sirloin steak.JPG
A sirloin steak dinner
Creole Jambalaya with shrimp, ham, tomato, and Andouille sausage Jambalaya (cropped).jpg
Creole Jambalaya with shrimp, ham, tomato, and Andouille sausage
A New England clam bake New England clam bake.jpg
A New England clam bake
  • American cuisine (USA) – is a style of food preparation derived from the United States. The cuisine has a history dating back before the colonial period when the Native Americans had a rich and diverse cooking style for an equally diverse amount of ingredients. With European colonization, the style of cookery changed vastly, with numerous ingredients introduced from Europe, as well as cooking styles and modern cookbooks. The style of cookery continued to expand into the 19th and 20th centuries with the influx of immigrants from various nations across the world. This influx has created a rich diversity and a unique regional character throughout the country. In addition to cookery, cheese and wine play an important role in the cuisine. The wine industry is regulated by American Viticultural Areas (AVA) (regulated appellation), similar to those laws found in countries such as France and Italy.
  • Southwestern American cuisine is food styled after the rustic cooking of the Southwestern United States. It comprises a fusion of recipes for things that might have been eaten by Spanish colonial settlers, cowboys, Native Americans, [16] and Mexicans throughout the post-Columbian era. there is, however, a great diversity in this type of cuisine throughout the Southwestern states.
  • Western American cuisine can be distinct in various ways compared to the rest of the U.S. [17] Those states west of Texas, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska would be considered part of this area, as would, in some cases, western parts of adjoining states. [18] The concept of obtaining foods locally is increasingly influential, as is the concept of sustainability. [19] The influence of the Native American cultures of each area, but especially in the Northwest and in Navajo country, [20] is important in the cuisine picture of the Western United States. [21]
  • Other
  • Regional foods and cuisines
A traditional chile relleno stuffed with jack cheese and breaded with corn masa flour. This is a Mexican dish that originated in the city of Puebla. Chile Rellenos.jpg
A traditional chile relleno stuffed with jack cheese and breaded with corn masa flour. This is a Mexican dish that originated in the city of Puebla.
  • Mexican cuisine - Mexican food varies by region because of Mexico's large size [24] and diversity, [25] different climates and geography, ethnic differences among the indigenous inhabitants and because different populations were influenced by the Spaniards in varying degrees. The north of Mexico is known for its beef, goat and ostrich production and meat dishes, in particular the well-known arrachera cut. The food staples of Mexican cuisine are typically corn and beans. Corn is used to make masa, a dough for tamales, tortillas, gorditas, and many other corn-based foods. Corn is also eaten fresh, as corn on the cob and as a component of a number of dishes. Squash and chili peppers also prominent in Mexican cuisine. Honey is an important ingredient in many Mexican dishes, such as the rosca de miel, a bundt-like cake, and in beverages such as balché . Mexican cuisine was added by UNESCO to its lists of the world's "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity". [26]
  • By region
Mexico's six regions differ greatly in their cuisines. In the Yucatán, achiote seasoning is commonly used, which is a sweet red sauce with a slight peppery flavor, made from seeds of the tropical annatto plant and sour orange. [27] In contrast, the Oaxacan region is known for its savory tamales, moles, [28] and simple tlayudas, while the mountainous regions of the West (Jalisco, etc.) are known for goat birria (goat in a spicy tomato-based sauce).
Tacos made with carnitas filling Carnitas.jpg
Tacos made with carnitas filling
Central Mexico's cuisine is influenced by the rest of the country, and also has unique dishes such as barbacoa, pozole, menudo and carnitas.
Southeastern Mexico is known for its spicy vegetable and chicken-based dishes. The cuisine of Southeastern Mexico has a considerable Caribbean influence due to its location. Seafood is commonly prepared in states that border the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, the latter having a famous reputation for its fish dishes, à la veracruzana.
In pueblos or villages, there are also more exotic dishes, cooked in the Aztec or Mayan style (known as comida prehispánica) with ingredients ranging from iguana to rattlesnake, deer, spider monkey, chapulines, ant eggs, and other kinds of insects.
More recently, Baja Med cuisine has developed in Tijuana and elsewhere in Baja California, combining Mexican with Mediterranean flavors.
Recently other cuisines of the world have acquired popularity in Mexico, thus adopting a Mexican fusion. For example, sushi in Mexico is often made with a variety of sauces based on mango or tamarind, and very often served with serrano-chili-blended soy sauce, or complemented with habanero and chipotle peppers.
  • Regional foods
  • Carne asada, thin or thick pieces of meat, usually beef, that is often marinated and served whole or chopped
  • Chipotle, a smoke-dried jalapeño chili pepper
  • Chocolate: The word chocolate originated in Mexico's Aztec cuisine, derived from the Nahuatl word xocolatl. Chocolate was first drunk rather than eaten. In the past, the Maya civilization grew cacao trees [29] and used the cacao seeds it produced to make a frothy, bitter drink. [30] The drink, called xocoatl, was often flavored with vanilla, chili pepper, and achiote (also known as annatto). [31] Chocolate was also historically used as a form of currency. [32] Today chocolate is used in a wide array of Mexican foods, from savory dishes such as mole to traditional Mexican style hot chocolate and champurrados, both of which are prepared with a molinillo. [33]

Central American cuisine

Sopa de pata is a popular soup in El Salvador made from cow tripe, plantain, corn, tomatoes, cabbage and spices. Sopa de pata.jpg
Sopa de pata is a popular soup in El Salvador made from cow tripe, plantain, corn, tomatoes, cabbage and spices.
The Anafre is commonly served in Honduras. String cheese Quesillo is melted in a clay pot over hot charcoals, usually with fried beans, spicy Chorizo sausage or mushrooms, and tortilla chips for dipping. Anafre1.jpg
The Anafre is commonly served in Honduras. String cheese Quesillo is melted in a clay pot over hot charcoals, usually with fried beans, spicy Chorizo sausage or mushrooms, and tortilla chips for dipping.
  • Belizean cuisine is an amalgamation of all the ethnicities in the nation of Belize, and their respective wide variety of foods. [36] Culinary influences include Mayan, Garifuna, Spanish, Creole, Chinese, British, Caribbean, and American. [36] Beans, tortillas, cheese, chicken, rice and seafood are common in the cuisine. [36]
  • Costa Rican cuisine - a common dish is gallo pinto , which is rice and black beans. [37] Tortillas, plantains, fish, beef and chicken are part of the cuisine. [37] Casado is a traditional dish comprising meat served with tortillas and side items such as black beans and rice, or gallo pinto. [37] Refrescos in Costa Rica refers to cold fruit smoothie beverages made with fruit and milk or water. [37]
  • Salvadoran cuisine consists of food from the Maya, Lenca, and Pipil people. The cuisine is also influenced by Spanish cuisine. [38] Empanadas, tamales and pupusas are widespread, and seafood is common because of San Salvador's extensive coastline. [38]
  • Guatemalan cuisine was influenced by the Mayan Empire, Spanish rule and the current modernized country. [35] Guatemala has 22 departments (or divisions), each of which has varying food varieties.
  • Honduran cuisine is a fusion of African, Spanish, and indigenous cuisine. Coconut is used in both sweet and savory dishes. Regional specialties include fried fish, tamales, [39] carne asada and baleadas. Common dishes include grilled meats, tortillas, rice and beans. [39] Seafood is common in the Bay Islands and on the Caribbean coast. [39]
  • Nicaraguan cuisine is a mixture of Spanish, Creole, Garifuna and indigenous cuisines and foods. [40] When the Spaniards first arrived in Nicaragua they found that the Creole people present had incorporated foods available in the area into their cuisine. [41] Despite the blending and incorporation of pre-Columbian and Spanish influenced cuisine, traditional cuisine changes from the Pacific to the Caribbean coast. While the Pacific coast's main staple revolves around local fruits and corn, the Caribbean coast's cuisine makes use of seafood and the coconut. Traditional Nicaraguan foods include beans, corn, plantains, peppers and yucca. [40]
  • Panamanian cuisine is both unique and rich. As a land bridge between two continents, Panama possesses an unusual variety of tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs that are used in native cooking. Panamanian cuisine is a unique mix of African, Caribbean, Spanish and Native American cooking and dishes. [42]
  • Regional foods
The sweet potato is native to Central America and was domesticated there at least 5,000 years ago. [43]

South American cuisine

Arepa is most popular plate of Venezuela Arepa, sabor y tradicion del campo -ancient tradition.jpg
Arepa is most popular plate of Venezuela

Cuisine. Ais an earthenware bowl.]]

Asado with achuras (offal) and sausages. Asado is a term for barbecuing and the social event of having or attending a barbecue in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and southern Brazil. Argentinean asado.jpg
Asado with achuras (offal) and sausages. Asado is a term for barbecuing and the social event of having or attending a barbecue in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and southern Brazil.
Paila marina is a common fish soup in Chile and other South American countries. A paila is an earthenware bowl. S4020436.JPG
Paila marina is a common fish soup in Chile and other South American countries. A paila is an earthenware bowl.
  • Argentinian cuisine may be referred to as a cultural blending of indigenous Mediterranean influences (such as those exerted by Italian-Spanish and Arabic populations) with the wide scope of livestock and agricultural products which are abundant in the country. [45]
  • Bolivian cuisine
  • Brazilian cuisine, like Brazil itself, varies greatly by region. The natural crops available in each region add to their singularity. Some typical dishes are caruru, which consists of okra, onion, dried shrimp and toasted nuts (peanuts or cashews) cooked with palm oil until a spread-like consistency is reached and moqueca capixaba, consisting of slow-cooked fish, tomato, onion and garlic topped with cilantro.
  • Chilean cuisine stems mainly from the combination of Spanish cuisine with traditional Chilean ingredients, with later influences from other European cuisines, particularly from Germany, Italy, Croatia, France and the Middle East. The food tradition and recipes in Chile stand out due to the varieties in flavors and colors. The country's long coastline and the Chilean peoples' relationship with the sea adds an immense array of ocean products to the variety of the food in Chile. The country's waters are home to unique species of fish and shellfish such as the Chilean sea bass, loco and picoroco.
  • Colombian cuisine refers to the cooking traditions and practices of Colombia. Along with other cultural expressions of national identity, Colombian cuisine varies among its many distinct regions. [46] Colombians typically eat three meals a day: a large breakfast, a medium lunch between 12-2, and a light dinner. [47] Colombian coffee is well known for its high standards in taste compared to others.
  • Ecuadorian cuisine is diverse, varying with altitude and associated agricultural conditions. Pork, chicken, beef, and cuy (guinea pig) are popular in the mountain regions and are served with a variety of carbohydrate-rich foods, especially rice, corn and potatoes. A popular street food in mountain regions is hornado , consisting of potatoes served with roasted pig.
  • Paraguayan cuisine is similar to the cuisines in Uruguay and the Falkland Islands. [48] Cuisine of Paraguay, Uruguay and the Falkland Islands, Guarani and European Influences. [49] Meats, vegetables, manioc, [50] maize [50] and fruits are common in Paraguayan cuisine. [48] Barbecuing is both a cooking technique and often a social event, and are known as Asados.
  • Peruvian cuisine reflects local cooking practices and ingredients—and, through immigration, influences from Spanish, Chinese, Italian, West African, and Japanese cuisine. Many traditional foods—such as quinoa, kiwicha, chili peppers, and several roots and tubers have increased in popularity in recent decades, reflecting a revival of interest in native Peruvian foods and culinary techniques.
  • Uruguayan cuisine is traditionally based on its European roots, in particular, Mediterranean food from Italy, Spain, Portugal and France, but also from countries such as Germany and Britain, along with African and indigenous mixtures. The national drink is the Grappamiel.
  • Venezuelan cuisine - Due to its location in the world, its diversity of industrial resources and the cultural diversity of the Venezuelan people, Venezuelan cuisine often varies greatly from one region to another; however, its cuisine, traditional as well as modern, has strong ties to its European ancestry.

Caribbean cuisine

Mofongo is a Caribbean dish made with plantains. Mofongo.jpg
Mofongo is a Caribbean dish made with plantains.
Jamaican jerk spice chicken, rice, plantain and a honey biscuit Jerk chicken plate.jpg
Jamaican jerk spice chicken, rice, plantain and a honey biscuit

The dishes made in the previously British and French Islands and territories in the Caribbean are much more diverse than the islands colonized by Spanish due to a history of changing colonial administration or ownership (between British, French, Dutch and Spanish), and the migration of diverse groups brought to work on plantations including Indians from Indian, Chinese and Portuguese (Madeira and Azores).

There is even much diversity within each previous colonial groupings. While both Trinidad and Jamaica were both British colonies and share similar cooking styles, the scope of dishes in Trinidad are different and more diverse due to a very different population make up. The similarities in the larger region lie mostly in the fruits and vegetables consumed and the ingredients used in cooking, with the use of root vegetables, plantains, beans, and rice, fish and seafood being a common denominator. In the post independence and post colonial era, and with globalization in the 1990s cultural and food similarities between the previous British, still French and Dutch Island and territories were magnified.

  • Regional foods

Latin American cuisine

See also

Related Research Articles

Cuisine characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions

A cuisine is a style of cooking characterized by distinctive ingredients, techniques and dishes, and usually associated with a specific culture or geographic region. Regional food preparation traditions, customs and ingredients often combine to create dishes unique to a particular region.

Fusion cuisine cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions

Fusion cuisine is cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions that originate from different countries, regions, or cultures. Cuisines of this type are not categorized according to any one particular cuisine style and have played a part in innovations of many contemporary restaurant cuisines since the 1970s.

Mexican cuisine Culinary traditions of Mexico

Mexican cuisine began about 9000 years ago, when agricultural communities such as the Maya formed, domesticating maize, creating the standard process of maize nixtamalization, and establishing their foodways. Successive waves of other Mesoamerican groups brought with them their own cooking methods. These included the Olmec, Teotihuacanos, Toltec, Huastec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Otomi, Purépecha, Totonac, Mazatec, and Mazahua.

Chowder seafood or vegetable stew, often served with milk or cream and mostly eaten with saltine crackers

Chowder is a type of soup or stew often prepared with milk or cream and thickened with broken crackers, crushed ship biscuit, or a roux. Variations of chowder can be seafood or vegetable. Crackers such as oyster crackers or saltines may accompany chowders as a side item, and cracker pieces may be dropped atop the dish. New England clam chowder is typically made with chopped clams and diced potatoes, in a mixed cream and milk base, often with a small amount of butter. Other common chowders include seafood chowder, which includes fish, clams, and many other types of shellfish; lamb or veal chowder made with barley; corn chowder, which uses corn instead of clams; a wide variety of fish chowders; and potato chowder, which is often made with cheese. Fish chowder, corn chowder, lamb chowder and especially clam chowder are popular in the North American regions of New England and Atlantic Canada.

Brazilian cuisine Culinary traditions of Brazil

Brazilian cuisine is the set of cooking practices and traditions of Brazil, and is characterized by European, Amerindian, African, and most recently Asian influences. It varies greatly by region, reflecting the country's mix of native and immigrant populations, and its continental size as well. This has created a national cuisine marked by the preservation of regional differences.

Costa Rican cuisine Cuisine originating from Costa Rica

Costa Rican cuisine is known for being fairly mild, with high reliance on fresh fruits and vegetables. Rice and black beans are a staple of most traditional Costa Rican meals, often served three times a day. Costa Rican fare is nutritionally well rounded, and nearly always cooked from scratch from fresh ingredients. Due to the location of the country, tropical fruits and vegetables are readily available and included in the local cuisine.

Puerto Rican cuisine Cuisine originating in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican cuisine has its roots in the cooking traditions and practices of Europe, Africa and the native Taínos. Starting from the latter part of the 19th century. Puerto Rican cuisine can be found in several other countries.

Latin American cuisine broad culinary traditions

Latin American cuisine is the typical foods, beverages, and cooking styles common to many of the countries and cultures in Latin America. Latin America is a highly diverse area of land whose nations have varying cuisines. Some items typical of Latin American cuisine include maize-based dishes arepas, pupusas, tacos, tamales, tortillas and various salsas and other condiments. These spices are generally what give the Latin American cuisines a distinct flavor; yet, each country of Latin America tends to use a different spice and those that share spices tend to use them at different quantities. Thus, this leads for a variety across the land. Sofrito, a culinary term that originally referred to a specific combination of sautéed or braised aromatics, exists in Latin American cuisine. It refers to a sauce of tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, garlic, onions and herbs.

Traditionally, the various cuisines of Africa use a combination of locally available fruits such as, cereal grains and vegetables, as well as milk and meat products, and do not usually have food imported. In some parts of the continent, the traditional diet features an abundance of milk, curd and whey products.

Floribbean cuisine

Floribbean cuisine is found in varying forms in Florida restaurants and in the homes of many Floridians throughout the state. The essence of what makes a particular dish "Floribbean" is similar to that of certain other aspects of variable Floridian culture: it is influenced by visitors and immigrants from all over the world, but especially from the Caribbean, Cuba and Puerto Rico. In the case of southern Florida in particular, a subdivision called Latin-Floribbean or Hispano-Floribbean cuisine also borrows features of Latin American cuisine from such countries as Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic, as well as the US commonwealth of Puerto Rico, adding more influences to the mix. To distinguish the Latin Caribbean style from the non-Latin Caribbean style, the terms Afro-Floribbean cuisine and Indo-Floribbean cuisine are sometimes used, as the majority of the Caribbean islands have substantial populations of African or Indian heritage, descendants of slaves or immigrants transported to the islands colonized by British, French, and Dutch settlers.

Indigenous cuisine of the Americas Culinary traditions of Peoples Indigenous to the Americas

Native American cuisine includes all cuisines and food practices of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Contemporary Native peoples retain a varied culture of traditional foods, along with the addition of some post-contact foods that have become customary and even iconic of present-day Native American social gatherings. Foods like cornbread, turkey, cranberry, blueberry, hominy and mush have been adopted into the cuisine of the broader United States population from Native American cultures. In other cases, documents from the early periods of Native American contact with European, African, and Asian peoples have allowed the recovery and revitalization of indigenous food practices that had formerly passed out of popularity. The most important Native American crops have generally included corn, beans, squash, pumpkins, sunflowers, wild rice, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, peanuts, avocados, papayas, potatoes and chocolate.

Colombian cuisine culinary traditions of Colombia

Colombian cuisine is a compound of the culinary traditions of the six main regions within the country. Colombian cuisine varies regionally and is particularly influenced by Indigenous Colombian, Spanish, and African cuisines, with slight Arab influence in some regions. Furthermore, being one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, Colombia has one of the widest variety of available ingredients depending on the region.

Guatemalan cuisine culinary traditions of Guatemala

Most traditional foods in Guatemalan cuisine are based on Maya cuisine, with Spanish influence, and prominently feature corn, chilies and beans as key ingredients. Guatemala is famously home to the Hass avocado and the birthplace of chocolate, as first created by the Mayans.

Seafood dishes or fish dishes are distinct food dishes which use seafood as primary ingredients, and are ready to be served or eaten with any needed preparation or cooking completed. Seafood dishes are usually developed within a cuisine or characteristic style of cooking practice and tradition, often associated with a specific culture. A cuisine is primarily influenced by the ingredients that are available locally or through trade. Religious food laws, such as Islamic dietary laws and Jewish dietary laws, can also exercise a strong influence. Regional food preparation traditions, customs and ingredients often combine to create seafood dishes unique to a particular region.

Oaxacan cuisine Regional cuisine of Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxacan cuisine is a regional cuisine of Mexico, centered on the city of Oaxaca, the capital of the state of the same name located in southern Mexico. Oaxaca is one of Mexico's major gastronomic, historical, and gastro-historical centers whose cuisine is known internationally. Like the rest of Mexican cuisine, Oaxacan food is based on staples such as corn, beans and chile peppers, but there is a great variety of other ingredients and food preparations due to the influence of the state's varied geography and indigenous cultures. Corn and many beans were first cultivated in Oaxaca. Well known features of the cuisine include ingredients such as chocolate, Oaxaca cheese, mezcal and grasshoppers (chapulines) with dishes such as tlayudas, Oaxacan style tamales and seven notable varieties of mole sauce. The cuisine has been praised and promoted by food experts such as Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless and is part of the state's appeal for tourists.

Cuisine of Veracruz

The cuisine of Veracruz is the regional cooking centered on the Mexican state that stretches over most of the country's coast on the Gulf of Mexico. Its cooking is characterized by three main influences, indigenous, Spanish and Afro-Cuban, due to its history, which included the arrival of the Spanish and that of slaves from Africa and the Caribbean. These influences have contributed many ingredients to the cooking including native vanilla, corn and seafood, along with rice, spices and tubers. How much the three mix depending on the area of the state, with some areas more heavily favoring one or another. The state has worked to promote its cuisine both in Mexico and abroad as part of its tourism industry.

Cuisine of Chiapas

The cuisine of Chiapas is a style of cooking centered on the Mexican state of the same name. Like the cuisine of rest of the country, it is based on corn with a mix of indigenous and European influences. It distinguishes itself by retaining most of its indigenous heritage, including the use of the chipilín herb in tamales and soups, used nowhere else in Mexico. However, while it does use some chili peppers, including the very hot simojovel, it does not use it as much as other Mexican regional cuisines, preferring slightly sweet seasoning to its main dishes. Large regions of the state are suitable for grazing and the cuisine reflects this with meat, especially beef and the production of cheese. The most important dish is the tamal, with many varieties created through the state as well as dishes such as chanfaina, similar to menudo and sopa de pan. Although it has been promoted by the state of Chiapas for tourism purposes as well as some chefs, it is not as well known as other Mexican cuisine, such as that of neighboring Oaxaca.


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