22 March 2009


A lot of people have been asking about the food here, so here it is. An entire post dedicated to Paraguayan food. I´ll add to this during the next week too. Breakfast here is almost nothing. Milk with coffee or chocolate, some bread, and maybe some tea. Lunch is the principal meal, and EVERYONE eats lunch at home. Dinner is basically just for weekends, and instead we have "merienda" in the late afternoon, and again around 8 or 9.

This is Sopa Paraguaya. It´s one of the most "Paraguayan" foods there is. It´s made with egg, cheese, flour, and some seasonings. It´s super common, and it´s really good. It reminds me a little of the crust part of some casseroles.

This is chipa. Chipa is a cheese-corn mixture eaten several times a week. Because dinner isn´t big here, we have "merienda" in the late afternoon. From about 3PM to dark, there are chipa vendors that walk or ride bikes around town selling fresh chipa door-to-door. Chipa is usually half moon-shaped, but it is occasionally ring-shaped like a bagel. In Asunción, they had prepackaged chipa that tasted like fritos, but I definitely prefer the fresh kind.

This is mbeyú. Mbeyú is made out of corn flour, manioc flour, cheese, and milk. It starts out in a crumbly dough, then is cooked in a pan over the stove. The cheese melts to hold everything together. It doesn´t have a really strong flavor, but it pretty good.

Empanadas are sort of fast food, Paraguayan style. They´re little fried pockets filled with egg, chicken, beef, corn, vegetables, or basically anything else. These are usually eaten as an evening snack, or sometimes as a side dish to lunch.

This is called borí borí. Borí are little balls made out of corn, served in soups with vegetables, chicken, or beef. This is another very "Paraguayan" food that no other country has. I´ve only had this a few times, because it´s mainly a "winter food" and autumn is just starting here.

Mandioca is eaten almost every day at lunch. Usually, it´s just peeled and boiled, but it can also be fried, or used to make other foods such as mbeyú. It´s a lot like a potato, and has a very mild flavor.

This is chipa so'o. It´s like chipa, except it's filled with a ground beef-and-veggie mixture.

I can´t find a picture of the actual soda, but guaraná soda is AMAZING. Simba is the most popular brand here. It´s flavor is kind of hard to describe, I´m sure I´ll bring some back.

Lomito is basically a hamburger in a slightly different shape. Lomito and hamburger are both eaten with different toppings here though- fried egg, mayonnaise, salsa, lettuce, tomato, and choclo (corn) are the most common.

Tereré IS Paraguay. We drink it every day, everywhere. Home, school, in the car, outside, inside, everywhere. Almost everyone has their own Termo, Guampa, and Bombilla. Termo is the pitcher, guampa is the cup, and bombilla is the straw. Tereré is a type of cold tea. First, the guampa is filled with Yerba Mate, a mixture of leaves, about halfway. Then ice water is poured in from the termo. You drink a cup, fill it again, and pass it around. I'm planning on bringing a bunch of this home.


Tía Hillary said...

You forgot Dulce de Leche! Loved your list - most of these are the reasons I gained 30 lbs in 3 months in my AFS year (1979)!!! Also - milanesa, fideos, cerveza (jajaja).
LOVE guarana!!!
Am returning to Asunción in June with my daughter to visit my AFS family (last year was first time back in 26 years!)
Enjoy AFS and Paraguay - it will be part of your soul!

Anonymous said...

OMG YES! Dulce de leche was our favorite treat there. And I was a huge fan of ham and cheese empanadas for lunch with an icy cold botella de guarana. Back then you could get Mirinda brand guarana but I think that's gone now that Pepsi's not bottling there anymore. Too bad. :( Great post-- you included so many of just the *perfect* details. And great pics!

lou.ginocchio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lou.ginocchio said...

bife a caballo, puchero, dulce de guayaba, chicken hearts at Britannia, and basketballs from Pilar - just kidding about the basketballs. But they would be easier to eat then two day old chipa.

Lou from http://goodhoot.com

steve said...

i went to paraguay on afs too!! my friend was in a family in pilar, but i was in asuncion... im from new zealand (and so is my friend), and im so gutted that we cant get any sort of paraguayan products here :( i miss all the food so much!!!! when did you go? i was there in 2007

Clint said...

Your post nearly made me cry! We lived in Paraguay for a while and we really miss it. The food was incredible and so were the people! The last poster was right, Paraguay becomes part of your soul!

Caitlin said...

I lived in Pilar when I went on an AFS exchange to Paraguay! What year did you go??? Your blog just made me SO nostalgic.

Lucrece Borrego said...

Hi! I'm not sure if you're trying cooking Paraguayan food at home but if you do, please post a few recipes! I've been creating some Paraguayan dishes for my World Cup Food blog and its tough to find authentic ones!

Sally said...

i am also looking for a few good recipes to add to my catering list.
Anyone willing to post some??

helga said...

hi,I was born in Paraguay and do quit a bit paraguayan foods. Have been living in Canada since 1985. Not sure what kind of recipes you are looking for. Sopa paraguaya, chipa etc.?

etmygrts said...

I went to school in Paraguay from 4th to 7th grade. mid 70's. I remember eating hamburger patties an gnocci once a week. I would really like to know what kind of spices could have been used in the hamburgers. I have tried for years but just cannot seem to get it right. Any suggestions?

kat22 said...

hi!! I'M from Paraguay! but i met my husband here in the States, I'd love to help with some recipes. I'm making some chipa guazu today! I miss Paraguay always. but i enjoy living here in the States too!