Holy Week has great significance in Latin American countries because the vast majority of these practice Catholicism. This week usually runs from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday, the dates changing yearly.
Aside from the religious acts that take place in churches, another tradition that could be striking about this week is the gastronomy of each of the countries who practice the religion. These dishes do not usually have meat during this week due to an observed tradition of abstinence.
In honor of all the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American families that follow this tradition, we’ve highlighted some dishes that are usually recurrent during Holy Week.
Empanadas are a classic option to eat during Holy Week. The origin of this turnover is still debated and can range from Greece, to the Middle East and even Spain. What is not debated is that empanadas arrived during the conquest of Latin America. It is quite popular in Chile and Argentina most during Holy Week.
The ingredients vary quite a bit, you can use cheese, shrimp, mussels and octopus, huitlacoche, pastry cream, and, of course, tuna or cod cannot be missing from the options. It is a very typical breakfast and is the most varied of all the dishes thanks to its ingredients.
Ceviche is a traditional dish from Peru, but it has gained so much recognition that there are several versions of this dish throughout Latin America.
Because it has different versions, ceviche can be made in many ways, but mostly their ingredients are: fish, onion, coriander, chili, lemons, and fish broth; sometimes it is accompanied by corn.
It is a food full of flavor that can be found in countries like Ecuador, Chile, Panama, Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, or Guatemala. Apart from Peru.
Habichuelas con dulce
This dessert is most commonly eaten in the Dominican Republic. It is a type of sweet bean porridge that may have French origins, although another theory says it was brought to Latin America by African slaves. It is a very popular sweet to make traditionally during Lent.
The ingredients are Red Kidney Beans, a can of coconut milk, a can of evaporated milk, 1 1⁄4 cup of sugar, ten whole cloves, two cinnamon sticks, a large sweet potato, ½ cup of raisins, dominican milk cookies (although the cookies can be optional and substituted).
If your palate doesn’t like salty things, maybe this dessert is a better option.
Torta de pescado
From El Salvador, this fish-cake style appetizer is prepared with three dried salted fish, four eggs, cornflour, corn oil for frying, salt and contains a sauce made with ten medium red tomatoes, one green pepper, cilantro, one onion, three garlic cloves, and ½ dried huaco chili.
It is a fairly crunchy appetizer that can be accompanied by anything.
Lágrimas de la Virgen
Of Mexican origin, the “Tears of the Virgin” is a typical drink in the states Guanajuato and Morelia. Also known as the “Blood of Christ” o “Water for Lent” to prepare it you need: two liters of water, medium beets, small lettuce, oranges, bananas, peeled peanuts, and sugar; you can add pieces of apple or guava.
It is usually a drink that is served cold, it is quite rich and refreshing for hot days. It is mainly enjoyed on the “Friday of Sorrows”, which falls a week before Good Friday.
Editor’s note: This article was contributed to Noticiero Móvil by student Daniela Gómez