With geographical and cultural diversity comes culinary variety. This culinary variety is partly a product of the region’s rich history. In recent centuries people have moved to Latin America from the four corners of the world. Specifically, the Spanish and Portuguese colonisation in the 15th century brought European traditions to the continent. Much later, Latin America experienced an influx of immigrants from China, India and various parts of Africa, often to work on sugar plantations. All of these groups brought recipes with them, which mixed with local traditions and ingredients creating new fusions that have gradually become regional favourites. In Brazil, pizzas are so commonplace that most people think they are a Brazilian invention!
Among these favourites are all sorts of curries and stews: coconut adobo from Costa Rica, tomato and bell pepper sofrito, tangy peanut and ginger xinxim from Brazil and creamy coconut and lime from Venezuela.
Although all of these dishes are unique with their own distinct flavours, it is interesting to witness the clear influence of dishes from elsewhere. For example, Chinese cuisine has made an impression on certain Caribbean recipes: when sugar plantation workers brought their culinary traditions to the Caribbean, these mingled with local ingredients, creating fantastic fusion recipes like sticky pineapple and chilli sauce. This version of the popular Chinese sweet and sour recipe though similar is slightly sharper, fresher and less sweet.
These fusions certainly make Latin American cuisine extremely interesting. It combines the familiarity of dishes you already know and enjoy, with something that is fresh and exciting. Whether you like your food mild or spicy, creamy or light, allow Santa Maria to take you on a taste journey to Latin America this summer!
Santa Maria were already experts of Mexican cuisine and they decided to make it their mission to bring a wide variety of Latin America’s relatively unknown, exotic fare over to the UK.
Product developers reached out for inspiration from friends and family across Latin America. This led to the sharing of a multitude of well-loved, home cooked family recipes. A number of these recipes were tried and tested and tweaked until eventually being narrowed down to a list of 10 delicious cooking sauces.
This adaptation from home cooking allows consumers in the UK to engage in a gastronomical affair with flavoursome food from across this diverse region.