Latin cuisine is constantly evolving. New influences from all over the world have shaped the flavors and ingredients that we now associate with Latin food. Tostones, for example, are a popular dish that can trace its origins back to Africa. And rice became more prevalent in Latin cuisine after the arrival of Chinese immigrants. Even something as simple as a tortilla can vary greatly from country to country - in Cuba, it is more like a Spanish omelet, while in Mexico it is usually made with flour or corn. Latin America's proximity to the ocean means that seafood is often used in many popular dishes, such as ceviche in Peru. Pernil (roast pork) and stews with chicken or beef are also common in various parts of Latin America, such as Cuba and Brazil respectively. Like any delicious recipe, Latin cuisine is a perfectly balanced amalgam of flavors and influences that can sate even the pickiest of tastebuds!
When it comes to Latin cuisines, there are big differences between Mexican food and other types of Latin American cuisine. Cuban, Peruvian and Brazilian food may share some similarities in terms of ingredients and even the names of some dishes, but the style, preparation and flavor profile is different. Mexican cuisine often puts an emphasis on spice and peppers, while Latin cuisine generally has less spice and fewer fried dishes. Also, be aware that sides like rice and beans can be cooked in pork fat or chicken stock in Latin American cuisine, so vegetarians and vegans need to be cautious when ordering.
There are a few staple dishes that are popular in many countries across the world. However, the most popular dishes will vary depending on what country the restaurant you're ordering from specializes in. For example, some of the most popular Cuban dishes include pernil and beef stew. Meanwhile, in Peru, some of the most popular dishes include pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken) and lomo saltado (stir-fried steak with onions and fries). And in Brazil, stroganoff, stews, and rotisserie meats are all excellent choices.
If you're planning on catering a buffet-style meal, it's important to order enough food for 10-15% more people than you expect to attend. Overestimating the amount of food needed is better than running out, and no one wants to see empty plates at a buffet! Restaurants often portion their dishes according to a specific number of guests, so if people take more than they should, it could mean that others go without.
What goes well with Cuban, Peruvian, and Latin Buffet?
There are many delicious sides that can accompany Latin cuisine, such as rice and beans, tostones, and sweet plantains. While Latin cuisine is typically quite meaty, many restaurants will also offer salads and other vegetable side dishes to accommodate all diners.
Are there vegan and vegetarian options available for Cuban, Peruvian, and Latin Buffets?
Yes! While the cuisine does place a heavy emphasis on meats, many restaurants have augmented their menus to make sure that vegan and vegetarian diners are not left out. If you would like to know if a dish is vegan or vegetarian, just look for the (V) or (VG) indicator next to each item.
Can I make my order gluten-free?
While not every dish can be make gluten-free, you can find out which items on any menu are gluten-free by looking for the (GF) indicator next to each item.
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