3 Ethnic Cuisines That Should Be Brought to Downtown SLO or Else

If variety is the spice of life, then downtown SLO is as bland as plain boiled chicken. Downtown SLO has the traditional Chinese, Mexican, Italian, and Thai combo of restaurants. But what about the cuisines with dish names that you’d rather point out instead of embarrassingly butchering in front of the cute waiter? For those of you out there who don’t know what foods I could be talking about, here are three ethnic cuisines that should be brought to downtown SLO.

Peruvian


Peruvian food is influenced by its historical immigrants as well as its unique climates and landscapes. Traditional staples of Peruvian food are potatoes, corn, quinoa, legumes and the many varieties of each. Immigrants from Europe, Asia and West Africa combined their native foods with Peruvian ingredients, contributing to the creation of the fusion cuisine native to Peru.

One of Peru’s most popular dishes is Lomo Saltado: a stir-fry of beef, tomatoes, onions and French fries. Perhaps the most unique dish on the Peruvian menu is Cuy. Mostly eaten in the rural areas of Peru, Cuy is roasted guinea pig.

Bonus: Peru’s national soda, Inca Cola, is yellow and tastes like bubble gum!

Brazilian


Brazilian cuisine is largely known for its variety of succulent meats called Churrasco. Servers in Brazilian restaurants walk around with skewers filled with meats and slice them onto guest plates. Root vegetables and lots of fruits such as guava, papaya, passion fruit and pineapple are prevalent in Brazilian dishes. Just like Peruvian food, immigrants have influenced Brazilian cuisine with the introduction of non-native ingredients as well. And just like in college, coffee is the choice of drink.

Korean


Korea is another country whose cuisine is shaped by its environment. Since there are many microclimates in Korea, each region has different dishes. Many of these regional dishes have spread across Korea and have combined to become their national cuisines. Korean meals largely consist of veggies, rice and meats; they use lots of sesame oil, garlic, chili and many fermented ingredients. Since meat consumption is fairly recent in Korea, much of the original Korean cuisine is vegetable based, making Korean food perfect for vegetarians! The variety of side dishes called Banchan make traditional Korean meals really fun. Kimchi, fermented vegetables, is one of the most popular of these.

Surprise fact: studies have shown that Kimchi aids in the prevention of cancer. If that isn’t motivation to try a new food then I don’t know what is!

Trying new types of food expands your horizons and helps you become more open to trying new things. It also gives you an excuse to eat out every once in a while and could be just what you need to get yourself out of a food rut. Bon appétit!