Cooking Ideas & Recipes by Joana Reis

Foods of South America


I have just come back from an amazing 4 week backpacking trip to Argentina and Brazil with my boyfriend. While travelling around caring my over-sized, over-packed backpack i had the pleasure to taste some beautiful food.

When we arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina after a 14hour flight and a 2 hour local bus I had this pitta sandwich with hummus and grilled squash with home made fries. I know not very traditional but tired as I was it tasted pretty good.

Hummus and Grilled Squash Sandwich

For one of our lunches while exploring Buenos Aires, we had a meat empanada. Its a beef and vegetable pastry, the pastry is very light, thin and crunchy.

Empanada de Carne

We did a strange food combination of sweet apple pie and beer. Both, strangely went very well together. The apple pie had a sweet butter pastry and cinnamon which made it lighter than the traditional English apple pie.

Apple pie and Beer

STEAK!!!! As you all know Argentina is known for wine and Steak. We had the most beautiful, well cooked steak we ever had. I normally go for well done, have issues with bloody or pinkie red meat in general but this time due to language barrier and pure bravery (lol felt a little proud of myself there) I went for medium steak. The steak was delicious, it came with this spicy but tasty homemade chili dip. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. If you are ever in Buenos Aires, head to the Santarem neighbourhood where you will find plenty of good and cheap steak houses.


Argentinian Steak


While in the Amazon Rainforest, we spent one night camping out (very adventurous I know). Our guide Titan, barbequed, camp fire style, a chicken, the chicken was really tasty and the skin very crunchy but what surprised me the most was that he did not season or marinate the chicken at all but the flavours were amazing.

BBQ Chicken

In Brazil everyone drinks Guarana like we drink coke in the UK. Guarana is a fruit and one of the ingredients in redbull, I have to admit it became my drink of choice for the 4 weeks I was in South America.


For one of my dinners, I had a seafood platter style dish. To my surprise I got the below, it was a bit random the variety but it was very delicious. The platter included fried and grilled prawns, cooked crab meat, grilled fish, home made crisps, rice, prawn cocktail sauce and a fish wrapped pancake.

Seafood Dinner

Spending Christmas away from home was hard, my parents love Christmas and is always a big family affair. So spending it in the heat and with just my boyfriend was a little strange. However, our hotel put a smile on our faces with the Christmas breakfast we received. Some of the foods were papaya, grilled banana, fresh bread, cake, orange juice, coffee, tea etc…

Christmas Day Breakfast

When Visiting Salvador in Brazil make sure you try their traditional dishes Moqueca and Bobo. Its a sort of fish stew but very light and with coconut milk, we had prawn Moqueca and fish Bobo.

Prawn Moqueca

Fish Bobo

For dessert one evening while walking around a fishing village we had tapioca filled with grilled banana and chocolate. Tapioca is a type of flour that is cooked similar to a crepe and filled with either sweet or savoury ingredients.


We had Acaraje while in Salvador, Acaraje is made from black-eyed peas formed into a ball and deep fried, then filled with spicy pastes and prawns and salad.


I loved my 4 weeks backpacking experience in Argentina and Brazil and would recommend anyone that is thinking of where to go next on holiday or going backpacking, give South America a go as its beautiful and cheap.

Other things you must try while travelling in Brazil, restaurants by weight, they are really cheap and the food is of good quality. Also Rodizio restaurants if you are a meat fan.