Latin American cuisine refers to typical foods, beverages, and cooking styles common to many of the countries and cultures in Latin America. Latin America is a highly diverse area of land that holds various cuisines that vary from nation to nation. Some items typical of Latin American cuisine include maize-based dishes (tortillas, tamales, tacos, pupusas, arepas) and various salsas and other condiments (guacamole, pico de gallo, mole, chimichurri, chili, aji, pebre). These spices are generally what give the Latin American cuisines a distinct flavor; yet, each country of Latin America tends to use a different spice and those that share spices tend to use them at different quantities. Thus, this leads for a variety across the land. Sofrito, a culinary term that originally referred to a specific combination of sauteed or braised aromatics, exists in Latin American cuisine. It refers to a sauce of tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, garlic, onions and herbs.
Latin American beverages are just as distinct as their foods. Some of the beverages can even date back to the times of the Native Americans. Some popular beverages include mate, hibiscus tea, horchata, chicha, atole, cacao and aguas frescas.
Desserts in Latin America are generally very sweet in taste. They include dulce de leche, alfajor, rice pudding, tres leches cake, teja and flan.