Paraguay Food and Drink

The restaurant scene in Asunción has boomed in recent years with a wide selection of new eateries and different cuisines. Food is generally of a good quality, particularly when traditional Paraguayan food is on the menu. Places advertising an ‘international menu’ such as hotel restaurants will have a wide grilled meat selection of varying standards. There is also an excellent selection of river fish, including surubí, a fish the size of a child which makes a mean stew.

Paraguayan beef is excellent and a variety of cuts are available; the bife de chorizo and tapa cuadril are some of the more popular cuts. The large Korean community in Paraguay means there is an abundance of authentic Korean food in Asunción. Pizzerias are everywhere, too, and the availability of Mexican food is on the rise.

The sub-tropical climate offers a wide range of seasonal fruits. One fruit widely available to this area of South America is the Pomelo, a large citrus fruit with a sweet grapefruit-like taste – it is usually available from May to August.

Specialities

• Chipa (maize bread flavoured with egg and cheese)
• Sopa paraguaya (not a soup but a savoury mixture of mashed corn, cheese, milk and onions)
• Chipa Guazú (similar to Sopa paraguaya but with sweetcorn added and often prepared without onions)
Soyo (a hearty soup of cornmeal and ground beef seasoned with fresh oregano, bay leaves and garlic).
• Borí Borí con pollo (a chicken soup used to ward off colds, the bori are small balls of maize and cheese)
• Mbejú (starch and cheese fried together)
• Payagua Mascada (A fried snack containing ground beef, garlic, onion and breadcrumbs)
• Akangue Yvyguy (slow-cooked cow’s head with herbs and spices)
• Surubí (a fish found in the Paraná that is usually grilled, stewed or breaded)
Lomitos (similar to a hamburger, but with filet mignon rather than processed meat)
Milanesas (breaded meat fillet)

Things to know

There are no strict licensing hours and alcohol is widely available.

Tipping

10% is recommended, a service charge is rarely included in the bill unless in large groups

Regional drinks

Mosto (sugar cane juice)
Caña (alcoholic version of mosto, distilled from sugar cane and honey)
• Tereré (tea-like infusion drunk cold through a special straw called a bombilla)
Maté (hot version of Tereré)
Carrulim (served to ward off bad spirits it contains caña, rue and lime)
Cocido (yerba maté burned with sugar and added to hot water, can be drunk with milk)

Drinking age

20

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