What Kind of Food Do They Eat in Bolivia?

As in many South American countries, food in Bolivia is a mixture of Spanish and indigenous cuisine and makes use of staples like beans, potatoes and corn. Additional influences come from more recent European immigrants like Germans and Italians.

The most important meal of the day in Bolivia is lunch and it can sometimes last up to three hours. One of the most popular foods eaten at lunchtime is a pastry filled with chicken, pork, or beef, and various vegetables, called a "saltena." They range from slightly spicy to very spicy and are a local type of "empanada," which is a very common type of food throughout Latin America.

"Locro" is a type of stew that is sometimes considered a national dish in Bolivia and other countries along the Andes Mountains. Locro dates to pre-Colombian times and is made with corn, beans, potatoes, and meat, usually beef.

Like many Bolivian dishes, locro has distinct variants in neighboring South American countries. Sometimes the potato is replaced with pumpkin, and often the meat isn't beef but chorizo.

A unique and popular local beverage is "chicha." Chicha is usually made from fermented corn and can come in alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties. Other types of chicha are made with apple, cassava or banana.

Guinea pig is a very popular meat in Bolivia and can be found fried or barbecued in many places. It is commonly sold by street vendors in Bolivia's largest cities.