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Monday, October 25, 2010

Spice Up Your Week Latin Style....

On my quest to find great ethnic markets here in San Diego, I wanted to see what the flavors of South America, specifically, Bolivia would “bring to the table.”So, I went to Andres Latin American Market.

In addition to a lot of hard-to-find foods, I found an excellent resource in the store worker, Edith, who has worked in the market for some time now. According to Edith,  the Bolivian diet consists mainly of grains such as corn, rice, and quinoa, but also has a large variety of potatoes. The owners of the market, who are from “neighboring” Cuba and Puerto Rico, wanted to bring their own food influences and vivid flavors of South America to life here in San Diego. Edith was kind enough to explain that each South American country was known for using their own trademark ingredients in its "comida de patria." For instance, Peru is known for using a lot of spice in their meals, so chili peppers are ubiquitous; Argentina is known for its meats; Chile has a large variety of seafood, and Brazil varies from region to region. Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia all drink Yerba-Mate which is like a black tea that is strong, but flavorful.

All in all, I found this market had an array of wonderful finds, which would be worth trying at least once. If you are not convinced, stop in the restaurant next door, Andres Restaurant, which is moderately priced and has comfort food that will be sure to please your palate!

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