Thursday, November 26, 2009
I want to start this blog illustrating the unique characteristics that define the Latin American food. There are two important elements that I translate here: The blessing of the land granted by its topography and the influence and heritage of their conquerors who have enriched and inspired the Latin American food by mixing two worlds. In this first blog I am going to cover the first one.
To speak of the fruits of agriculture, we must refer to a French term used to describe the quality of origin for certain products such as wine, coffee and tea; Terroir.
Terroir is the combination of natural factors, derived from its geographical location such as soil, rock subsoil, climate and slope of the hill among others and give the specific location of each plantation. Probably only two plantations have no equal in the world with the same combination of factors. This makes each vintage a unique experience for even the farm producing the same product every harvest can have different results due to such factors as the weather will not always be exactly the same.
Due to its enormous latitudinal range, varied topography and rich biodiversity, Latin America and Caribbean has one of the most diverse and complex range of farming systems of any region in the world.
According to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), it contains five of the ten richest countries in the world in terms of biodiversity and 36 percent of the main cultivated food and industrial species. The world's largest unfragmented tropical forest is found in the Amazon basin, and the region possesses 28 percent of the world's forest area.
I hope this brief introduction will give you an idea of why we can get from that blessed land products such as: The best coffee (Colombian), very well known and high quality wines (Argentina and Chile), exotic and sweet tropical fruits, a large variety of beans, potatoes,chili peppers, corn and vegetables among others.