By Odette Olivares, VRG Intern
Latin American gastronomy is the result of traditional
indigenous cuisine enriched by ingredients that Spaniards, Africans,
Portuguese, French, and people from other cultures brought on their arrival to
Latin America. The diet of indigenous people used to be rich in plant foods
with moderate quantities of insects, fish, and meat. They did not use to
consume milk, cheese, or other dairy products, yet they were apparently able to
get enough calcium from their diets.
Thanks to the climate of Latin America, this region has
provided the world with an abundant variety of plant foods high in calcium. In
addition, indigenous people from the region that is now Mexico, Guatemala, El
Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, enriched Latin American gastronomy by
developing a cooking technique called nixtamalization, which enhances maize
(corn) flavor while improving its nutritional properties.
Some traditional Latin American dishes made with good
sources of calcium are shown in the table in this article. To see article, go