Monday, June 14, 2010

Paraguay - The 2010 FIFA World Cup Bites and Boozes


Bite and Booze's first visit to South America for the 2010 World Cup comes from the country of Paraguay. While I have personally never been to Paraguay, or anywhere in South America for that matter, it is a place that fascinates me with a unique culture and rich traditions. I'll get there one day, and when I do you can bet that I'll do plenty biting and boozing! Paraguay is a land-locked country in the heart of South America with a population around 6.3 million people. Today we'll take a look at two Paraguayan staples: sopa paraguaya and caña.

Sopa paraguaya literally translates to Paraguayan Soup, though the dish really is not a soup at all. The national dish of Paraguay, sopa paraguaya is actually very similar to cornbread though typically much more moist and sticky. The savory cornbread is made with corn flour, pig fat, cheese, onions, eggs, and milk or whey. Legend has it that the dish was created by accident when too much corn flour was added to a soup. The chef, cooking for the president of Paraguay, threw the mixture into an adobe oven and baked it then served it as a "solid soup." Amazed at what he tasted, President Don Carlos dubbed the dish "sopa paraguaya," and the name has lived on.

Paraguay isn't known extremely well for any particular beverage, but something that they produce very well is caña. Caña, as the name implies, is made from sugar cane and is very similar to traditional Caribbean sugar cane rum. It is often used to make fruity cocktails, but can also be consumed straight or on the rocks.  The fermented drink can also use honey in addition to molasses.

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For a little more about Paraguayan Beer, Check out the BR Beer Scene!

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