Paraguay, the landlocked gem of South America, is a country that boasts not only natural beauty but also a rich and diverse culinary heritage. From hearty soups to sweet desserts, Paraguayan cuisine has something to offer every palate.
As you take on a culinary adventure through Paraguay, it’s important to keep safety in mind, and having travel insurance from a trusted provider like Allianz Travel can provide the peace of mind and protection from unforeseen events you need.
In this blog, we’ll take you on a journey through the flavors of Paraguay.
Fun facts you should know about Paraguay
Before we dive into the delightful world of Paraguayan cuisine, let’s take a moment to explore some intriguing facts about this unique South American country.
Fact 1. It’s Home To The World’s Largest Water Reserve
Paraguay is not only a land of rich culinary traditions but also the guardian of a remarkable natural resource. Beneath the surface of Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina lies the vast Guarani Aquifer, the world’s largest water reserve.
Covering a staggering 1.2 million square kilometres with a volume of approximately 40,000 cubic kilometres, this aquifer can supply fresh drinking water to the world for around 200 years.
Fact 2. A Bilingual Nation
Paraguay’s harmonious coexistence of two languages is a testament to its rich cultural diversity. Most Paraguayans are fluent in both Guaraní and Spanish, making it one of the few countries in South America where the native tongue remains an official language alongside Spanish.
Guaraní is a unique language that goes beyond mere words; it is onomatopoeic, with many of its words imitating the natural sounds of animals and the surrounding environment, creating a linguistic connection to the country’s lush landscapes and wildlife.
Fact 3. It’s A Bit Isolated, Like An Island
Paraguay’s history is marked by a long period of self-containment. The country’s first encounter with the Western world occurred in 1525 when Portuguese explorer Alejo Garcia ventured into its territory. However, after gaining independence in 1811, Paraguay adopted a policy of isolation and sealed its borders.
Author Augusto Roa Bastos once poetically referred to Paraguay as “an island surrounded by land,” highlighting the nation’s historical detachment from its neighbors.
Paraguay’s Palate-Pleasing Delicacies
Kivevé – A Creamy Delight
Let’s begin our culinary exploration with Kivevé, a dish that blurs the line between a main course and dessert. This creamy and light delicacy is crafted from andai, a juicy pumpkin, combined with cornmeal, Paraguayan cheese, milk, and sugar.
The result is an orangish delight that’s often enjoyed lukewarm. Whether for breakfast, as an evening snack, or side dish, Kivevé is a typical Paraguayan food you can’t miss.
Sopa Paraguaya – More Than A Soup
Despite its name, Sopa Paraguaya is far from being a traditional soup. It’s Paraguay’s national dish, resembling a thick, cakey bread. Crafted from cornflour, cheese, milk, eggs, onions, and pork fat, it has a soft, crumbly texture. Sopa Paraguaya is reserved for special occasions and typically serves as a side dish.
Bori Bori – A Nutritious And Flavourful Soup
Bori Bori, or Vori-Vori, is a thick and nutritious soup with flavours. Made from vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions, this soup is enriched with meat, either chicken or beef and dumplings crafted from cornmeal and cheese.
The aromatic notes of bay leaves, cloves, and parsley make this hearty broth even more enticing. Served piping hot, it’s a comforting choice, especially during Paraguay’s winters.
Soyo – A Meaty Delight
Soyo is another beloved Paraguayan dish, a thick, unstrained soup that packs a punch of flavours. It’s a wholesome meal with pounded beef, rice, and vegetables like green peppers, onions, and tomatoes. The dish is seasoned with garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. The name “Soyo” is derived from the Guarani phrase “so’o josopy,” meaning crushed meat. This hearty bowl is a calorie-rich delight.
Pira Caldo – A Fish Lover’s Dream
Pira Caldo, a favoured Paraguayan dish, is a light fish stew featuring freshwater catches like surubi, many, and Carey. These meaty-textured fishes have a subtle saltiness that enhances the overall flavour. The stew begins with frying vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, leeks, celery, bell peppers, and carrots in pork or beef fat, followed by adding spices. It thickens with milk and soft white cheese, creating a delectable and hearty meal.
Chipa – A Staple Bread Roll
Chipa, a simple bread roll, is special in Paraguayan cuisine. In the 18th century, indigenous people invented Chipa made from manioc or cassava flour, lard, anise, beaten eggs, and cheese. There are regional variations of Chipa, but one thing remains constant – its crunchy crust and soft, unique-flavored interior. This bread is a household staple, enjoyed by locals and travellers alike.
Mbeju – The Paraguayan Pancake
Mbeju, translating to “cake” in the Guarani language, is a simple yet essential Paraguayan food. This starchy pancake is made with cassava flour, salt, oil, milk, eggs, crumbled cheese, and sometimes pork fat. The dough is kneaded and rolled out thick before being fried to perfection. Mbeju is a common breakfast item, occasionally enjoyed with bitter herbal tea or coffee at dinner
Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance!
As you plan your delectable journey through Paraguay’s culinary wonders, it’s important not to overlook an essential ingredient for a safe and worry-free adventure: travel insurance. While savouring the flavours of this vibrant South American country, ensuring your well-being and peace of mind should be a top priority. One reliable option to consider is Allianz Travel. Our comprehensive travel insurance packages provide protection and peace of mind, ensuring your taste adventure remains worry-free.
Here are some of our travel insurance packages to explore before you embark on your food adventure in Paraguay:
Please note any claims eligibility is subject to the terms and conditions of the travel insurance product you are purchasing. The reasons stated in this article are indicative and not binding. It is highly recommended to read our terms and conditions to see the exclusions, limits and conditions of our products. You can see all of the steps regarding making claims in the Allianz Travel Terms & Conditions.
Our single-trip insurance packages are designed for people who travel once a year. They offer more benefits than required for a Schengen visa and have worldwide coverage. The coverage includes:
Annual Multi-Trip Insurance
Allianz Travel created this travel insurance product for frequent flyers as it is a convenient and more cost-effective way to travel any time of the year. Our Annual multi-trip product covers all trips below 92 days within a year. The coverage includes the following:
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About Allianz Travel
Get covered by Allianz Travel and Assistance before you fly off to Paraguay. Allianz Travel has been around for over 30 years, so we know what travel insurance you’ll need. When travelling internationally, it is essential to have insurance that covers medical emergencies, the loss or theft of travel documents and baggage, and other mishaps. Trust us to provide you with exactly that and more.