Top 10 Traditional Foods In Paraguay, South America

traditional foods in paraguay south america
Contributing Writer
| 4 min read

Paraguay’s cuisine traditionally includes meat, vegetables, corn, manioc and a lot of fruits. A lot of their traditional dishes are barbecued. Both the barbecue flavor and the act of having a barbecue is a convention in Paraguay. South American cuisine has always caught the foodie’s attention. However, Paraguayan food has often remained behind the curtain and it does require the attention that we are going to draw towards it in this article. Listed below are the top most favorite traditional foods in Paraguay, South America, that you must try to please your soul.

1. Mbejú

Mbejú is like a fried cake. It is made with Brazilian arrowroot flour, milk, cheese, pork fat and eggs. This dough is kneaded well and then fried in hot oil. It was a staple for the natives during the time just post the War of the Triple Alliance against Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, when resources were limited. It goes well with their well-known bitter herbal tea or coffee.

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2. Pira caldo

Suquet de peix
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Hector Garcia used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Pira caldo is a popular food in Paraguay - this fish-based soup also came into being after the Triple Alliance War, and it is known to stimulate sexual desire and improve sexual expertise. It is made with fishes like mandi'y and tare'y picked from freshwaters that have the texture of meat. To the broth of the fish, they add onion, tomato, capsicum, vegetables fried in beef or pork fat and also delicious patent spices, along with cheese and milk, occasionally. This broth is generally served with cassava bread rolls.

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3. Lomito

Source: Photo by Flickr user i nao used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Among Paraguay’s famous food is lomito. This is another delectable South American street food, which comprises a beef sirloin steak sandwich with ham, melted cheese, lettuce, tomato and a special sauce made with olive oil, parsley and garlic. This dish is topped with a half-done poached egg and served with a toasted Kaiser bun bread.

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4. Borí borí (vori vori)

Vori vori
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Borí borí is flavourful Paraguayan chicken soup. It is made with both chicken and pork fat, the salty Paraguayan cheese called queso paraguayo, fresh tomatoes, carrots, celery and parsley. Cornmeal balls filled with cheese are then dumped into the broth and the whole thing is served with grilled meat. It is both a very nutritious and palatable meal.

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5. Tereré

Mate containing tereré
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user user stalefries used under COPYRIGHTED FREE USE

Tereré is a popular beverage akin to Paraguay. Its speciality is that it is served cold. Since in Paraguay temperatures can rise to great degrees, the locals are found carrying a flask and guampas (a cup), on a regular basis, to work and school. This tea, known as yerba mate is healthy, refreshing and also very economical. If you happen to visit Paraguay, you must give this bitter herbal tea a try.

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6. Chipá

Chipa 131443
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Cmasi used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Chipá is known to have been first founded in the 18th century by the native Guaranis of Paraguay. It is a dish that can be made in different ways. Chipá is basically a bread roll made with Brazilian arrowroot (a woody shrub), also known as Cassava, eggs and cheese. It is tender and extremely good to taste. Two among the many different types include chipá manduvi, which is made with cornflour and peanuts, and chipá guazú, which is made with milk, corn and cheese and then served with char-grilled meat.

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7. Empanada sandwich

Empanada paraguaya
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Overkill53 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Empanadas did not originate in Paraguay but rather in Costa Rica and then spread to other places around the world. Empanadas are usually pastries made with fillings of egg, meat, corn and cheese but in Paraguay, empanadas are fried unlike in other places. They are not only fried but also put in between two slices of bread and consumed as a sandwich. These are so crispy, so yummy and oozes out the flavour and quite a bit of fat, which is not a bad thing given the amount of pleasure you acquire from its taste.

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8. Sopa paraguaya

Sopa Paraguaia e Chipa
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user MTur Destinos used under CC0

Sopa which literally means soup is not really a soup but an open pie sort of a dish that is made with corn flour, cheese, milk, eggs and sometimes uses onions and pork fat to induce flavour. It is a baked dish and often referred to as solid soup. Even though it doesn’t justify its name, it tastes heavenly and is one of the delicacies out here in Paraguay. These are very soft and savoury, melts into a delicious mouthful when eaten.

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9. Payagua Mascada

Payagua Mascada also known as Lampreado is made from a mixture of minced beef and mandioca/cassava. It is as thick as the patty in a hamburger and in fact even looks like a burger patty. It is a fried cake filled with nutrition and also amazing to taste. It marks the tradition of the Northeastern parts of Paraguay. You can either have it alone or make your own hamburger out of it. Pack some of these patties home and make some nice, big burgers with of them.

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10. Kivevé

Costelinha de Porco com Quibebe
Source: Photo by user Anexo Comunicação used under CC BY-ND 2.0

This is both the main course and a dessert and is made with a special kind of pumpkin, found in Paraguay which is known as andai. To this is added fresh Paraguayan cheese, milk and sugar and then this mixture is bound together with cornflour to create a beautiful dish. It is creamy and yummy at the same time. It literally melts in the mouth, when consumed lukewarm and also tastes a little better when warm. Kivevé is a popular breakfast choice for people here because it is full of calories.

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Paraguay: a foodie's delight

If you already know of the craze about the vibrant South American cuisine then you must try these traditional food items from Paraguay. The list above mentions some of the best traditional food in Paraguay that may be available in a lot of varieties, and are nevertheless worth your try. You have a variety of bread rolls made from mandioca/cassava with stuffed meat or other fillings inside; some of these are cooked over an open oven and some are fried. The traditional food of Paraguay also includes a number of deserts along with beverage, snacks and main course.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Oishi holds a fondness for poetry and music. Her passion for traveling is evident in the numerous articles she has authored for online magazines, covering topics such as women's empowerment,...Read more

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