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Expedition South America

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Oct 18, 2017

Top 10 Culinary Trends 2017: Expedition South America


Welcome to South America—a veritable melting pot of culinary techniques, native ingredients, immigrant influence and memorable, distinctive cuisines. Indigenous crops include familiar favorites such as corn, sweet potatoes, avocados, peanuts and chocolate. But as consumers embrace and seek out new flavors of global cuisine, ingredients such as yucca, yerba mate and guanabana are making their way onto U.S. menus. The most important ingredient in Peruvian cooking—the aji amarillo pepper—brings a bright, fruity and complex flavor to sauces and seafood, growing 124% on U.S. menus over the past four years! These and other exciting ingredients can be used in authentic dishes like Brazilian feijoada, Peruvian ceviche or Chilean cazuela. And they're also versatile tools for putting a unique fusion spin on proven menu items, such as sliders, flatbreads and smoothies. At its core, South American cuisine is rich in grilled meats, stews, seafood and even pizza—types of dishes already beloved by patrons in the U.S. Bring a mix of familiarity and curiosity to new menu items as you explore the flavors of the continent.
Authentic South American Fare has Captured the Attention of Consumers
Dishing Out the Hottest Trends infographic


El Pollo Amarillo
El Pollo Amarillo
Farm-fresh chicken in a soy-lime marinade, cooked on an open-flame rotisserie and based with Custom Culinary® Aji Amarillo Sauce, served with yuca frita, aji amarillo aioli and a tangy jalapeño-cilantro sauce.
Patagonian XL Empanada
Patagonian XL Empanada
Empanada dough (10-inch round) filled with seared rib eye, mashed potatoes, grilled onion, queso Oaxaca and Custom Culinary® Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce, fried until crisp and served with spicy salsa roja.
Acai Pork Loin
Acai Pork Loin
Pork loin marinated overnight in cilantro chimichurri, hot smoked and rolled in a mixture of oregano and Cotija cheese, served with pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread), farofa (cassava) and a refreshing Custom Culinary® Acai and Lime Chutney.
Pisco Sour Glazed Picarones
Pisco Sour Glazed Picarones
Yeast and sweet potato picarones (Peruvian doughnuts), deep-fried and dipped in Custom Culinary® Pisco Sour Glaze while still warm, served with strong coffee.
Featured Products


Intensely flavorful sauces, glazes and chutneys from Custom Culinary® bring the taste of South American cuisine to the menu with ease.

  • Aji Amarillo Sauce
  • Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce
  • Pisco Sour Glaze
  • Acai and Lime Chutney
  • Brazilian Feijoada


Gold Label True Foundations™ Bases from Custom Culinary® make it easy to put a wholesome spin on side dishes.

Download our buy one case, get one free rebate here »

Richard Reilly, CEC, CCA


Richard Reilly, CEC, CCA offers a unique perspective on authentic South American cuisine, with a recollection of his time spent in Chile. Learn about this enlightening experience in his latest blog post.
View blog post »

FlavorIQSM from Custom Culinary® is a revolutionary approach to product development. Our four-step process delivers fast, intelligent menu innovations to meet your needs. Click here to learn more about Custom Culinary® and FlavorIQSM.

Bret Thorn, "Trending Tables: Peruvian food picks up steam," Nation's Restaurant News, March 16, 2017.
Fern Glazer, "Ceviche finds a place on menus year-round," Nation's Restaurant News, April 18, 2017.
Marian Blazes, "Ají Amarillo: Peruvian Yellow Chili Pepper," The Spruce, July 25, 2017.
Marian Blazes, "An Introduction to South American Food," The Spruce, August 24, 2017.