When one thinks of Latin America, vegetarian food is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Though our culture is passionate about rice, beans, tortillas, plantains, and tamales, most of the time these staple foods are accompanied by an animal protein that steals the spotlight. In Peru, for example, people find ways to cook and eat everything from llamas and guinea pigs to worms and cows’ hearts, and many people claim they feel starved without some kind of meat in every meal.
What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that our great ancestors, among them the Incas, were mostly vegetarian; to this day communities throughout Latin America thrive on an almost entirely plant-based diet. This is a great relief for vegetarians who live in these countries or those who simply want to learn more about our culinary traditions.