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Paraguay - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of Paraguayan Cuisine HistoryEdit

Paraguay is a state situated in the central part of South America. Its relief varies from fields with swamps and savannas, to hills with forests. The fauna and the flora of Paraguay include a wide spectrum of species and the agriculture is highly exploited, as it represents 80 % of the total exports. The agriculture mainly focuses on cotton and soy, but breeding cattle is another common occupation. The food in Paraguay is similar to the other Hispanic countries and it includes a variety of both animal products and edible plants. Corn is a staple in the Paraguayan cuisine, together with corn, Beef meat and various kinds of garnishes. Among the most common drinks, there is the mate, which is specific to all the Latin countries and it is named in Paraguay yerba mate. The mate has been a stable drink since before the Spanish arrived in this region and it is prepared with various herbs.

Cuisines of Paraguay Edit

Map of Paraguay

Map of Paraguay- Click to enlarge

The Paraguayan cuisine is rather uniform and representative for all its regions. Still, in the capital of Asuncion, there are many specific restaurants, with various influences, from all over the world. The South American cuisine is spread all over the country (beans, rice, corn and Beef) and the Brazilian influences are felt in the capital. The Brazilian influences are best represented by the complex meat dishes and eggs, the variety of pastries and baked dishes. In Ciudad del Este, which is a border city, the food mainly bases on Beef dishes, such as the stewed Chicken, served with tapioca or noodles. In Encarnacion, the diet is based on various ground nuts, fresh fava beans, served with lettuce and Pork or Beef Ham, corn pudding and tuberose ice cream as a dessert. In this city, the Mexican influence is the predominant one and the dishes are basically spicier and more mixtures can be found.

Preparation Methods for Paraguayan Cooking Edit

Paraguayan cuisine uses elements from various cooking traditions borrowed from their neighbors and developed from their own traditional dishes. While there are no specific or unique preparation methods for Paraguayan cooking, we should point out that attention to detail is important in the Paraguayan cuisine. Using the right amount of spices for example is essential – either for spicing up the taste or for coloring the dish. The diversity of vegetables and cereals found in Paraguay is also noticed in the delicious dishes belonging to their cuisine. The visual attractiveness of the dish is also important, and a balance between colors and proportion differentiates. Each traditional dish has a special cooking method, which is more or less general in all of Paraguay’s regions. Meat is one of the main elements of most Paraguay dishes and cured and smoked hams are often parts of delicious dishes.

Special Equipment for Paraguayan Cooking Edit

Ranging from cake pans, can openers, colanders, egg rings, poachers and holders, food dishekugugrs & portioners, food pans & food containers to other kitchen utensils, such as food scales, food scoops and fryer baskets & accessories, the Paraguayan cuisine needs a diverse cooking equipment set in order to produce the most sophisticated Paraguayan dishes. You should consider insulated food carriers if you are transporting the food and a full set of kitchen linens and uniforms if you wish to look like a pro. Here are a few other items that will come in handy while cooking Paraguayan food: juicers, kitchen knives, kitchen slicers, kitchen thermometers, measuring cups & measuring spoons, miscellaneous utensils, mixing bowls and skimmers & strainers. Essential utensils like serving spoons, spatulas, forks, turners, scrapers and tongs should also be part of your cooking "arsenal".

Paraguayan Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

The Paraguayan people are very fond of their religion and culture and like to celebrate them in all kinds of holidays and family feasts. The public holidays in Paraguay include Catholic holidays, All Saint’s Day in November, celebration of Virgin of Caacupe, Epiphany Day in January, but also Independence Day in May and Founding of Asuncion in August. On these special occasions, people’s diet mainly includes a garnish of rice, beans or potatoes, eggs and any kind of meat as a main course. The dessert is a must on celebrations and it includes milk and various flavors, like chocolate and vanilla.

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