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Journey Latin America staff choose the top gastronomic highlights of Central and South America.

1. Ceviche in Lima, Peru

"Lima is not a city beloved of tourists, I'll admit, but look beneath the surface and you'll find it really has its own charm, and more than its fair share of gastronomic delights. There are far too many to mention in fact, so I'll limit myself to just my absolute favourite, which simply has to be ceviche. The main ingredient can be pretty much any fish or seafood, but the key feature of the dish is that it is not cooked in the traditional sense but rather marinated in the juice of limes or lemons, giving it a cooked texture but with a lipsmackingly fresh and zesty flavour throughout. For me, there's almost nothing better than enjoying a Pisco Sour and a big plate of ceviche as you look out over the Pacific. It's the freshest thing you'll ever taste."
Chris Rendell Dunn, Flights Reservations Supervisor

Ceviche

2. Curanto Pit-Bake in Chiloé, Chile

"'Curanto refers more to a style of cooking than a particular dish, and is typical of the rural Patagonian island of Chiloé. Common ingredients include shellfish, meat, potatoes and vegetables, layered with rhubarb leaves and all piled on top of of red-hot stones. The whole lot is buried in the earth, forming a giant makeshift pressure-cooker. Not only is the result delicious, but it's also a chance to share in the astonishing hospitality of Chiloé and be part of the timeless ritual of the meal's preparation."

Curanto, Chiloe Island

3. Freshly Caught Carribbean Lobster

"Lobster, lobsters everywhere... if you’re visiting the idyllic Corn Islands in Nicaragua, or any other seaside spot on Central America's Caribbean coast for that matter, don’t leave without sampling this deliciously tender and sumptuous delicacy. Served practically straight from the pots to your plate, the lobsters here are so mouth-wateringly fresh that you can almost taste the sea, and so abundant and cheap that you can eat them literally every day (and at every meal if you’re really keen!)"
Jenny Powles, Head of Marketing

Lobster in Nicaragua

4. Moqueca in Bahia, Brazil

"Brazil, and particularly Bahia, has some great food, but this has to be my favourite. It's a dish that's particularly hard to capture in words: sort of like a coconutty curry with its own distinctive Afro-Brazilian flavour, a result of the lime, tomato, onion and coriander that mingles in with all the coconut milk. It's just so delicious! Like much of the food in this, the most African of Brazil's states, it is part of the legacy of the slave trade that saw so many aspects of West African life imported to the South American shore. Another great treat to try in Salvador or anywhere else in Bahia is acarajé, a black-bean dumpling stuffed with huge dollops of amazingly tasty fillings. You'll recognise anyone selling it by their huge white skirts and African-style turbans."
Laura Rendell-Dunn, Press Manager

Brazilian fish curry

5. Steak in Buenos Aires, Argentina

"Steak and Buenos Aires famously go hand in hand, but when you taste Argentinean steak for yourself it really does live up to all the hype. Part of what makes it so special, as you might imagine, is simply the quality of the meat, with cattle reared under excellent conditions on the vast pampas that surround the capital. The steak that results is typically marbled and extremely tender – the phrase 'melt in the mouth' could have been invented for this succulent, buttery meat. But it's also in the preparation that Argentinean steak comes into its own: huge, thick cuts of meat; a charcoal grill that imbues the outside of the steak with crispy chargrilled flavour; the perfectly rare, impossibly juicy centre... a Buenos Aires steak really does have to be tasted to be believed. For me, the choice cut is 'bife de lomo', and my favourite place to savour it is the restaurant El Desnivel in the district of San Telmo."
Sean Rhodes, Ex JLA Travel Consultant

Steak in Argentina

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