If you plan on coming to Paraguay, you’ll want to try some of the local Paraguayan food!
In spite of its varied and unique cuisine, Paraguay is relatively unknown in culinary circles.
We’re here to help change that!
Let’s get started.
Mbejú is a staple of Paraguayan cuisine. In fact, it’s one of the oldest recipes in the country! It’s made from starch, manoic flour, pork fat, salt, cheese and milk and, these days, is typically cooked in a hot frying pan
Vori vori is a thick, yellow soup that’s consumed all over Paraguay as well as in northeast Argentina. It’s consists of balls made from cornmeal, corn flour and cheese served in a broth, usually with grilled chicken added. Additional ingredients often include oil, garlic, onion, pumpkin (which gives the yellow color), milk and, sometimes, rice.
Tereré is yerba mate drunk cold! Various herbs may be used in the preparation, as seen in the above picture. It’s consumed in vast quantities all over Paraguay and helps a great deal with beating the summer heat!
Cocido is made by cooking mate leaves with sugar. Whereas normal yerba mate is made by pouring water over the leaves, to make cocido you have to actually boil the leaves. This beverage is commonly consumed in the morning.
Chipa, to put it simply, is cheese bread! It’s made from Cassava starch, corn starch, fat, milk, egg and cheese. The recipe’s been around since the 18th century. You’ll often see chipa being sold in the streets of Paraguay in large woven baskets.
Be sure to try its variations like chipa guazú and chipa pirú as well!
The lomito is one of Paraguay’s most popular fast foods. You may know it as a steak sandwich. Ingredients may vary, but typically it consists of beef, an egg, lettuce, tomato, onion and sometimes cheese and ham. It can also be prepared in a pita as opposed to bread (known as a lomito arabe).
It’s definitely one of Paraguay’s must-try foods!
Pira caldo is a fish soup that packs a punch calorie-wise! It’s made from river fish, vegetables cooked in pork or beef fat (onions, bell peppers and tomatoes primarily), parsley, salt, pepper and spices.
Perhaps Paraguay’s most famous dish! Sopa paraguaya, isn’t actually a soup at all. It’s cheesy cornbread made from corn flour, cheese, onion and milk. Its origin story is debatable. Some claim it originated as a cooking error made by a cook of Paraguay’s first president. Others say it’s been around since ancient times and was created by the native Guarani peoples of Paraguay.
Mandioca, also known as cassava, is one of Paraguay’s primary carb sources! This root vegetable is typically boiled and serve as an accompaniment to meat dishes.
The asado, or barbeque, is a great source of pride among Paraguayans. Many say that Paraguayans are among the best meat-grillers in the world! A typical Paraguayan asado will consist of beef ribs, rump steak, sausage, blood sausage with mandioca and sopa paraguaya on the side.
The asadito is simply a smaller version of this. It’s usually beef served on skewers with a side of mandioca. You can find street stalls selling asadito on the weekends.
Kiveve is probably Paraguay’s best-known dessert. It’s a delicious blend of pureed pumpkin, sugar, cornmeal, cheese and milk to taste. It’ll definitely satisfy anyone with a sweet-tooth!
Dulce de Batata
Dulce de batata is a dessert made from sweet potatoes! It has the consistency of jelly. It’s also consumed in Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.
Pastel Mandi’o is an empanada made with cassava flour as opposed to wheat flour. If you’re a fan of traditional empanadas, give these a try! They tend to be a bit more crispy.
Pajagua Mascada is a fried, savoury cake made of cassava flour, beef, onions, garlic and salt. It’s very filling and calorie dense.
El Queso Paraguay
Paraguayan cheese is a slightly bitter cheese made from cow’s milk. It’s consumed all over the country.
Mandio chyryry is a simple and filling dish made from cassava, onions, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper.
Soyo con tortilla
Soyo con tortilla is a traditional lunch dish made from ground beef, onions, tomatoes, carrots, garlic and spices.
Chicharõ trenzado is made from a thin cut of beef that is braided and cooked over a charcoal grill. Cassava (mandioca) is often served as an accompaniment.
Jopara is a traditional plate made from beef, beans, squash, garlic, tomatoes, onions and cilantro. It’s one of Paraguay’s most famous dishes!
And there you have it!
The 10 foods you should try while in Paraguay. Of course, there are many more fabulous dishes to enjoy, but these 10 are a great place to start.
Hope to see you down here soon!