Pancakes. Waffles. French toast. What do all these have in common? They're all breakfast, but they also have no Latin spice!
Don’t get me wrong — I do enjoy my occasional waffle and eggs, but there is nothing more delicious and hearty than eating an authentic Latin American breakfast.
From mouthwatering huevos rancheros to delicious tropical fruits, this is what breakfast looks like in nine Latin American countries.
Known as medialunas, or “half-moons,” these buttery, flaky pastries are usually served with coffee or orange juice. While breakfast is suppose to be the most important meal of the day, in Argentina it is actually the most underestimated meal.
Being a tropical country with different climate zones is what helps make Brazil the third-largest producer of fruits in the world. Yay — it’s nice to see a Latin American country representing us in the fruit world! With an array of colorful fruits of all kind, it's no surprise that you will find them on every breakfast plate paired with coffee and freshly baked bread. Whether you choose to eat papaya, passion fruit, or mango, there is literally a fruit for everyone!
Chile: pan amasado
I am not Chilean, but I am dating one. And after being introduced to pan amasado, I fell in love at the first bite. Unlike any bread I’ve tasted before, pan amasado is kneaded bread that is served warm with fruit jellies, butter, manjar, or palta (avocado). You know breakfast is served when you whip out these bad boys fresh out of the oven with a cup of tea. ¡Que delicia!
Unless you want to hear an earful from your mamá or abuela, don’t EVER throw away leftover rice and beans in a Colombian family! Calentado, which essentially translates to “reheat,” is a popular breakfast in Colombia that consists of arepa, eggs, and — you guessed it — reheated rice and beans. Although the whole combination sounds overwhelming, I can guarantee you that leftovers have never tasted so good. All this breakfast talk is giving me some serious calentado cravings. YUM!
Dominican Republic: mangú
Dominicans eat, breathe, and sleep mangú. The traditional dish is so popular it can literally be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. So what is this mangú, you ask? Just to put things into perspective, if mashed potatoes had a Latin baby it would be mangú. Not to be confused with mofongos (the Puerto Rican dish made from fried mashed plantain), mangú is actually made by boiling plantains and mashing them with some salt and creamy butter. This humble dish is definitely an amazing way to start the day.
Ecuador: bolón de verde
Although Ecuadorians’ bolón de verde uses mashed plátano like Dominicans’ mangú, they use the dough from the plantain to create small balls filled with cheese or meat like chicharrón. This typical breakfast dish common in Guayaquil is served with a side of eggs, cheese, and coffee.
If you want a flavor explosion in your mouth for breakfast, huevos rancheros is the way to go. Consisting of fried eggs, served on a corn tortilla and smothered in salsa, this classical Mexican breakfast has the most amazing flavors and textures. The moisture from the runny yolk and salsa mixed together, pairs amazingly with the crunchy fried tortilla. Delicioso!
Peru: sanguche de chicharrón
Hands down, the most popular breakfast item in Peru is the sanguche de chicharrón. Made with braised pork and a sweet potato bun, this unique sandwich is deliciously paired with a cup of coffee. Unlike countries like Argentina and Chile, who don’t eat a lot in the morning, Peruvians enjoy big, full meals for breakfast.
Venezuela’s most popular breakfast dish is the arepa. These corncakes are used as a pocket to add savory fillings such as cheese and fried pork skin. Although we may never know, between Venezuela and Colombia, who makes the best arepas, one thing is for sure: Arepas are life!