17 Traditional Paraguay Food And Cuisine To Try

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What’s not to love about Paraguay? Indigenous culture, welcoming people, and super tasty Paraguay food. Nature has blessed the country with rich geographical variety that makes it an eventful place for tourists. The Chaco region and other ecological reserves are a must-visit.

Paraguay is home to the Guaraní people, who significantly influence the country’s art, music, and traditions. Their contribution has shaped Paraguayan food into what we know it today. Using only the finest traditional ingredients, chefs here create fabulous and delicious works of art.

So, let’s explore the cuisine of Paraguay as we share the best things you can have in the country.

What’s So Special About Traditional Paraguay Food?

“What is Paraguay known for?” is the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to the local cuisine. One of the key features of Paraguayan food that makes it unique is the use of grills in cooking. You can find a grilled version of many dishes here, from meats to tubers like yuca.

Corn is another ingredient you’ll find in tons of Paraguayan dishes. Locals have been cultivating it for centuries. Along with yuca and potatoes, corn is deeply embedded in the local cuisine.

But, perhaps one of the most interesting facts about Paraguay is the presence of the indigenous Guaraní tribe. With a liking for meats such as pork and beef, you’ll see their influence on the country’s food culture a lot. Paraguay foods also get their wonderful flavor from local herbs and earthy spices that are typically added to dishes.

Most Famous Dish In Paraguay Food

Sopa Paraguaya (Cheesy Cornbread)

Sopa Paraguaya is a famous savory cornbread made from corn flour, eggs, cheese, milk, bell peppers, and onions. It is a delicious dish with a texture and consistency similar to baked pudding.

This bread is one of Paraguay’s traditional foods that locals often serve as a side dish or a separate breakfast item. The bread-like texture and cheesy souffle-like taste make this dish stand out from many other delicacies.

This cornbread goes well with red meat and soup. The pairing makes for a delicious and filling meal. Sopa Paraguaya is an extremely flavorful cornbread that is a staple in family gatherings and occasions that the locals celebrate.

Breakfast Items In Paraguayan Food

Mandi’o Chyryry (Cassava Hash Browns)

Mandi’o chyryry are traditional Paraguayan hash browns made from fried yuca (also known as cassava or manioc). This is mixed with eggs, onions, green onions, black peppers, and cheese into a flavorful combination.

The pancakes are crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside. You can have them on their own, but you can always customize the dish by adding your favorite protein. 

Payagua Mascada (Deep-Fried Cassava Patty)

Payagua mascada is a small, deep-fried patty that locals traditionally prepare with cassava, minced meat, and scallions. Some recipes add lard. 

Locals are very careful about frying it at a set temperature. They time it carefully so that the patty remains soft on the inside and crisp and tasty on the outside. Payagua mascada goes well with a salad on the side. 

Chipa (Cheese Bread)

Chipa is a traditional cheese bread with origins tracing back to the native Guarani people. It is made from cassava (manioc) flour, cheese, eggs, and milk. Manioc gives chipa its signature soft and chewy yet slightly crunchy texture. 

Traditional versions use local Paraguayan cheeses. The dough is formed into donuts or bagel shapes. These are then baked until golden brown on the outside and light, fluffy, and stretchy on the inside. 

It is eaten as a breakfast bread, snack, or appetizer in Paraguay. It takes center stage during the Semana Santa or Holy Week. It can be seasoned with herbs and served plain or stuffed with meat fillings. 

Mbeju (Cheese And Cassava Flatbread)

Mbeju is a gluten-free starch cake with a soft and cheesy texture on the inside. This starch cake is a flavorful combination of the nutty flavor of cassava flour and melted cheese.

The flatbread can vary in thickness and consistency based on personal preference. It often comes with a number of side items, such as butter, guacamole, fresh salsa and a vast array of pickled veggies. You can also enjoy mbeju with a topping of sour cream or chimichurri.

Traditional Meat Dishes In Paraguayan Food

Asado Paraguayo (Paraguayan Grilled Meat)

Asado Paraguayo is a testament to the locals’ love of grilling. This dish uses different cuts of beef, pork, and chicken, such as ribs and flank steaks. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper is enough to give the meat a rich and flavorful taste.

Unlike an ordinary barbecue over a grill, locals prefer to cook asado meat over charcoal or wood. Cooking the meat like this takes longer, but the resultant smoky and spicy flavor makes the wait well worth it.

Meat hot off the grill goes well with salad, sweetbreads, sopa Paraguaya and yuca. The locals love to eat asado Paraguayo at family gatherings while engaging in friendly conversations and gossip.

Bife Koygua (Beef Stew With Vegetables)

Bife koygua is another popular food in Paraguay famous for its classic combination of ingredients that showcases the country’s rich culinary heritage. This hearty meal features thinly sliced beef. The meat is typically cooked on a cast-iron skillet until tender and juicy. 

The meat is then topped with a generous layer of fried eggs and accompanied by a medley of sautéed vegetables. This often includes onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers. This combination of flavors and textures make it a beloved comfort food. 

The dish is usually paired with rice and mashed potatoes. It pairs great with other common corn-based staples and yuca as well.

Pira Caldo (Fish Soup)

Pira caldo is a Paraguayan soup prepared by combining cheese, milk, vegetables, and a freshwater fish called surubi. The unique combination of these ingredients allows the flavors to meld and create a distinct savory taste.

This fish soup has a more liquidy texture than a normal soup. It is best served hot, with some garnishing of cilantro or parsley for added freshness. 

Vegetarian/Vegan Dishes In Paraguayan Food

Sopa De Poroto (Bean Soup)

Sopa de poroto, also known as kumanda peky kesu, is one of the most flavorful Paraguayan dishes out there. This dish is made from an abundant local small red bean along with Paraguayan cheese, green peppers, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. The vegetables really bring out the flavor of the soup.

Reviro (Fried Miniature Croutons)

Reviro is a traditional dish mainly local to Alto Parana. It is a delicious, crumbly, fried dough. The crunchy texture of the dish, along with a nice chew, complements its sweet-and-salty taste. 

The croutons are often enjoyed as a snack or a side dish, but it can also be enjoyed as a main course with some sauces. It is a popular street food in Paraguay, often served with honey or sugar. This dish also goes well with bife koygua.

Soups And Sauces In Paraguayan Food

Bori Bori (Cheese And Cornmeal Dumpling Soup)

Bori bori (or vori vori) is a traditional soup that includes small balls made of cheese and cornmeal. It also features chicken (or beef) and various vegetables. 

Bay leaves and parsley are sometimes added to enhance its richness and flavorfulness. Saffron can also be incorporated to add a rich golden color to the broth.

Locals take pride in preparing this traditional Paraguayan food the way their ancestors had prepared it. It is often served in colder weather, but it is not unconventional for people to enjoy this special dish during summer as well.

Puchero Paraguayo (Beef Stew)

Puchero Paraguayo is a famous Paraguayan food featuring tender beef cuts. Besides the stew’s main meat components, vegetables like tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and carrots are added to give the dish that extra burst of flavor.

You could also try adding indigenous herbs and spices, such as anise and oregano, to enhance the taste of the dish. It makes for a soothing meal during the cooler weather.

Sopa De Mani (Peanut Soup)

Sopa de mani is a traditional Paraguayan food with a rich, creamy base. It has a distinct texture from raw peanuts. Locals prepare this soup by adding a peanut paste to already-sauteed beef, onions, bell peppers, and other veggies. 

The soup blends sweet and savory flavors well. It is typically topped with shoestring potatoes. 

Sweets And Desserts In Paraguayan Food

Dulce De Guayaba (Guava Jam)

Dulce de guayaba is a unique Paraguayan sweet jam with a unique texture. Traditionally, the locals spread this guava jam on toast or cheese. It’s a simple but exceptional dessert.

It also goes great with cakes and is a good filling for pastries like pastafrola (sweet tart or pie). We recommend having it cold, as it brings out the tanginess in the jam.

Kiveve (Pumpkin Purée)

Kiveve is another popular Paraguayan dessert. It features pumpkin, cornmeal and cheese. These ingredients give the dish a rich and creamy base, with a polenta-like texture that makes it a favorite of locals and visitors alike. 

You can eat it with asado Paraguayo, the country’s version of grilled or barbecued meat. It can sometimes be made sweeter and served as a dessert. The latter version is truly a treat for sweet tooths. 

Mazamorra (Corn Pudding)

Mazamorra is one of the most popular dishes not only in Paraguay but also in Latin America. It is also known by its Guaraní name, kaguyjy. The dish has a pudding-like consistency from corn, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. 

It already tastes sweet, but you can amplify the flavor with fruits like berries and bananas. It is even better with a sprinkling of cinnamon and served chilled.

Dulce De Mamón (Candied Papayas)

Dulce de Mamon is a traditional Paraguayan confection made from mamónes or papayas. The fruit is carefully cooked with sugar until it reaches a luscious, jam-like consistency. This cooking method results in a vibrant, golden-orange preserve. 

This sweet treat is often enjoyed as a dessert or as a spread on bread or crackers. It can also be used as a filling for pastries or incorporated into desserts. In Paraguay, dulce de mamon is considered a national delicacy and is popular at breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

FLAVORS AROUND THE WORLD

Discovering Traditional Paraguay Food

Paraguayan food has immense variety. Every dish is packed with local flavors that you cannot find anywhere else in the world. Be it the famous bori bori and other corn-based dishes, or savory flavor packages like the asado Paraguayo, you’ll remember the authentic taste for years to come.

The best part about the food scene is that the locals are extremely cooperative. You can ask them to modify the food to your liking. However, we do recommend trying the authentic versions, as they have an unmatched flavor profile.When you explore all the amazing landmarks in Paraguay, complete your experience with some traditional Paraguay food for the trip of a lifetime.


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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.

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