South American cuisine differs depending on the country in which it is prepared, but many ancient cultures developed dishes that incorporated a wide variety of legumes, vegetables, and meats. After contact with Europeans, several South American cultures began creating dishes that were similar to popular European ones.
Corn is one of the central ingredients in many South American meals, including tamales and arepas. Other South American foods rely on regional ingredients, such as quinoa, sweet or spicy peppers, tropical fruit, meat and yuca. Yuca is the edible root of a plant, and is similar in taste and texture to the potato. It is extremely popular in Brazil, where several popular dishes, such as feijoada, incorporate it heavily.