Food plays a significant role in the lives of people all over the world. It is often said that you are what you eat, and while this may not always be true, there is no denying that food can play an important role in demonstrating one’s identity. Thus it should come to an as little surprise to learn that different communities around the world hold their meals in very high regard.
The Americas, like everywhere else in the world, have not been immune to this phenomenon. Although there are numerous ways in which people eat in North America and South America, certain foods have come to represent specific countries or regions of The Americas. This includes dishes such as Mexican tacos, Canadian poutine, and Argentinian steak, among others.
The Mexican Tacos
It is believed that tacos first emerged in the region that is now Mexico, with one theory regarding their origins claiming that they were first made by a woman named Cecilia Perez in the 19th century. The story is said to go as follows: Cecilia was a poor widow who had a small restaurant in Mexico City. One day, she received what was thought to be a gift from the Virgin Mary – an ear of corn that had been transformed into a tortilla by divine intervention.
The hostess then decided to put this miraculous produce to good use and made it into tacos by stuffing it with tiny fish and avocado slices. It didn’t take long for word of this heavenly food to spread around Mexico and soon enough, the dish became a staple in Mexican cuisine.
Today, tacos are so well-loved throughout The Americas that they have become one of the most popular dishes among many Latin American communities.
Although there is no such thing as a “typical” taco, they are often made by putting small pieces of meat on a corn tortilla and garnishing them with lime juice.
The Canadian Poutine
Poutine is another dish that has become iconic in the Americas, but it originated in Canada. It consists of three main ingredients: French fries, gravy, and cheese, and is thought to have been invented in 1950.
A small restaurant in Warwick, Quebec called “Le Lutin Qui rit” (The Laughing Elf) was run by a man named Fernand Lachance with the help of his children. In an attempt to promote his restaurant, he came up with a unique idea: why not add cheese curds to a plate of French fries?
Although Lachance’s idea was a success, the name of the dish remained unknown. It is said that one day while enjoying their meal in front of a roaring fire, some customers started asking for “that mixed up thing on the plate.”
Lachance then pointed his finger at a television in the corner and said, “That’s it… poutine in French! You want one?” The rest is history.
Today, words such as “awesome” and “amazing” are often used to describe this dish, which has become especially popular in the Canadian province of Quebec.
Even though poutine was originally thought of as fast food, it has since been embraced by high-end restaurants across Canada and is now considered to be a dish worthy of celebration.
The Argentinian Steak
People in Argentina enjoy eating meat so much that they have come up with a unique way of preparing it. Although Argentinian barbecue is popular all over the Americas, their method for cooking steak is truly one-of-a-kind.
Before receiving their order, servers in Argentine restaurants typically ask patrons how they would like their meat prepared. They might say things such as “very rare,” “medium rare,” or “well done.”
When it comes to preparing this type of steak, Argentinians believe in cooking their meat slowly over a low-heat fire and only from the outside in. The result is a juicy piece of meat that has been perfectly cooked from both sides.
If you ever get the chance to experience Argentinian steak, then make sure to savor every last bite.
If you’ve never tried Mexican tacos, Canadian poutine, or Argentinian steak before (or if it has been a while), then this is your chance to experience the best of what The Americas have to offer when it comes to cuisine. You can start with our top three dishes and work out way from there!