Cookbook cover for Latin America Street Food


Sandra Gutierrez

University of North Carolina Press
September 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1469608709

Sample Recipe
Request a Copy


Sandra A. Gutierrez, who grew up in the United States and Guatemala, is a food writer, culinary instructor, and recipe developer.  She is author of The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes That Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America and the American South.  She lives in Cary, N.C.

From tamales to tacos, food on a stick to ceviches, and empanadas to desserts, Sandra A. Gutierrez’s LATIN AMERICAN STREET FOOD takes cooks on a tasting tour of the most popular and delicious culinary finds of twenty Latin American countries, including Mexico, Cuba, Peru, and Brazil, translating them into 150 easy recipes for the home kitchen. These exciting, delectable, and accessible foods will satisfy everyone.

Sharing fascinating culinary history, fun personal stories, and how-to tips, Gutierrez showcases some of the most recognized and irresistible street foods, such as Mexican Tacos al Pastor, Guatemalan Christmas Tamales, Salvadorian Pupusas, and Cuban Sandwiches. She also presents succulent and unexpected dishes sure to become favorites, such as Costa Rican Tacos Ticos, Brazilian Avocado Ice Cream, and Peruvian Fried Squid Ceviche. Beautifully illustrated, the book includes a list of sources for ingredients. Watch the book trailer here.

Chocolate-Covered Bananas (Chocobananos)

Serves 8

Chocolate-Covered Bananas Small

Many Latin American kids have experienced the pleasure of eating a perfectly frozen banana, coated in silky chocolate, and sprinkled with toppings. As a child, I could buy them from ice cream trucks. I made these often when my kids were little; now that they are all grow up, I still make them for myself. It’s important to freeze the bananas very well so that they’re sturdy when you dunk them into the chocolate; if they aren’t frozen solid, they’ll break into pieces. Once frozen, work swiftly—the chocolate sets quickly after they’re dipped. I’m told these keep well in the freezer for a few months, but I wouldn’t know because, in my home, they’re devoured immediately.

4 ripe but firm bananas, peeled and cut in half crosswise
8 popsicle sticks
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup finely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Insert a popsicle stick into each banana half; place them on the prepared sheet (so they aren’t touching each other). Freeze them until solid (for at least 3 hours up to 3 days).

Melt the chocolate on top of a double boiler over very low heat, stirring until smooth. Dip the frozen bananas into the chocolate; working quickly (or the chocolate will set), sprinkle one side of the banana with coconut and the other side with peanuts. Place the bananas back on the prepared sheet and freeze them again for 10–20 minutes before serving. Once frozen solid, these will keep well in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months.



“Goat” Sandwich (Chivito Uruguayo)

Serves 8

“Goat” Sandwich (Chivito Uruguayo) Small

Chivito means “baby goat,” but there is no goat to be found in this assorted meat sandwich. As the story goes, one evening in 1940, Antonio Carbonaro, a restaurant owner from Punta Del Este, Uruguay, welcomed an Argentinean customer who wanted a goat sandwich like one she remembered having nearby. The restaurant didn’t have any goat meat. Finding himself in a bind, with an eatery full of people and in the middle of a storm that had cut electricity, the chef sent out a beef and ham sandwich. The customer loved it. Word spread, and before long, this restaurant was selling upwards of a thousand of these sandwiches every day. This towering creation holds everything but the kitchen sink. Mine includes the basic toppings, but other popular condiments include roasted peppers and artichoke hearts. Flavored mayonnaise is always a trademark of this sandwich; don’t hold back, it should ooze messily while you eat it. Use the recipe for the flavored mayonnaise here or try my Spicy Mayonnaise if you like your sandwiches to have a kick. A meal in and of itself, a chivito is often served with a mound of French fries like the ones also in my book—just in case you’re still hungry after eating one.

1 cup mayonnaise
1 (14-ounce) can hearts of palm, drained and minced
2 tablespoons minced capers
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1  1/4 pound beef tenderloin cut into 8 slices (¼ inch thick) and pounded thinly
8 slices Canadian bacon
2 cups thinly sliced white onions
8 hamburger, Kaiser, or brioche buns, sliced lengthwise and lightly toasted
1 pound sliced cooked ham
1 pound thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
5 hard-boiled eggs, sliced (or 8 fried eggs)
8 large iceberg lettuce leaves, washed and dried
4 large beefsteak tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced Manzanilla olives
Sliced pickled banana peppers (spicy or sweet) 

In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, hearts of palm, and capers; set aside. In a nonstick skillet, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat; cook the beef for 1–1 ½ minutes per side (for medium rare), or to desired doneness; remove the beef from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, cook the bacon on both sides until golden, about 1–2 minutes total; remove the bacon and set it aside. Reduce the heat to medium; add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté the onions until lightly golden, about 3–4 minutes (or leave them raw).

To assemble the sandwiches, spread the bottom of each bun generously with the prepared mayonnaise. Top with a slice of beef, bacon, ham, and mozzarella; set them on a baking pan and place them 1 inch from the broiler for 2–3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and has begun to brown.

Remove the sandwiches from the broiler; top with the lettuce, tomato, hard-boiled eggs, onions, and olives; add peppers and more mayonnaise, to taste. Replace the tops of the buns and serve immediately.


These recipes may be reproduced with the following credit:

From LATIN AMERICAN STREET FOOD: THE BEST FLAVORS OF MARKETS, BEACHES, AND ROADSIDE STANDS FROM MEXICO TO ARGENTINA by Sandra A. Gutierrez. Copyright © 2013 by Sandra A. Gutierrez.  Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press.

Contact: Jennifer Hergenroeder 
(919) 962-0585