There is no agreement on the origin of the arepa; however, Venezuela, Colombia, and Mexico all claim to be its creator. What is known for sure is that it was our indigenous ancestors who invented this recipe; one that is fundamental to many recipes from American countries.
The first ever Miss World from Venezuela was crowned in 1955. At that time, the Álvarez brothers had just opened an arepería that became very famous. Women with beautiful curves were called “pepiadas”, so in honor of the Beauty Queen Carmen Duijm, they called this recipe “Reina Pepiada”.
This dessert originated in France and was named after the Marchioness Marie de Rabutin. She was obsessed with chocolate and believed that, by eating it during pregnancy, she would have a black child. This dessert arrived in Venezuela during the government of former President Antonio Guzmán Blanco, who was born in France.
This soup was created by the indigenous people who lived in the Cundinamarca and Boyacá areas of Colombia. Initially it was made with potatoes and corn, but, with the arrival of the Spanish, new ingredients were added. It is said that its name was formed by combining the names of chief Aco and his wife Aj.
In 1849, many Chinese began to arrive in Peru. They brought condiments and sauces that they then sold in the well-known Calle Capón in the Center of Lima. This dish combines typical ingredients of South America, but has some Spanish and Chinese influences.
The tres leches cake is a recipe that originated in Latin America from the marketing campaign of a dairy company. Its name is inspired by the fact that it contains condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream (“three milks”).
Cassava fritters are originally from Cuba, where they were served on Christmas Day. The tradition spread to other countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico. Some think that the name (buñuelos) derives from the word fist (puñuelo), a sort of ball that the Romans kneaded with their fists.
It was created in the pre-Hispanic period by the native peoples of Venezuela, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Paraguay.
Although the tomato is considered a vegetable, it is actually a fruit originally from the lower Andes where it was cultivated by Aztec tribes in Mexico. In countries like Argentina and Mexico they know it as “jitomate”.
Cassava is originally from the Northeast Region of Brazil. The Spanish and Portuguese exported it to the rest of Latin America, Africa, and Asia, including the Philippines and Taiwan. It is also called “mandioca” or “yucca”.
In other countries it is known as paprika, pepper, or chili. The first red pepper crops were grown in South America, specifically in Peru and Mexico.
Achiote is a natural coloring and seasoning ingredient originally from the tropical area of America.
Salt, one of the greatest gastronomic treasures, originated in China. In America, it was already known before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. The Incas and Aztecs were the leaders in its production.
The avocado is originally from the high parts of central and eastern Mexico and Guatemala. The word “avocado” comes from the Nahuatl word “ahuacatl”. The Nahuatl language is the native language of that region.
The potato was first grown in what is now southern Peru, northwestern Bolivia, the southern Andes, and the highlands of Chile. Today it has spread throughout the world.