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Gastronomy wants to put Latin America “on the map” of the Chinese

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These days, the flavors of Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Chile aspire to become the best ambassadors in China of a region, Latin America, that the population of the Asian giant still finds it difficult to place on the map despite the speed at which it moves. They have grown their ties in recent years.

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A gastronomic festival promoted in Beijing by the Pacific Alliance – which integrates these four countries – will bring together the most emblematic dishes of their kitchens for three months and will also promote products that, such as avocado, are beginning to have a high demand in the Asian country.

Mexican tacos, Peruvian quinoa, Colombian coffee, pastel de choclo (corn) and Chilean wine will be just some of the exponents of the agrarian and taste wealth of Latin America, which aspires to strongly position its production in the main market in the world.

Claiming the potato and corn

These years the exchange between China and Latin America has been getting faster and faster, there are more and more people in China who are interested in getting to know Latin America”, Explains Rodrigo Wen, manager of the space“Meeting”Which will host the festival taking advantage of auspicious dates such as Christmas and the Chinese New Year.

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It will be a menu of up to 15 “cymbals“In which the charm will not be only in the flavors,”but in discovering that in those countries there is the origin of foods that are already consumed on a very daily basis in China, such as potatoes -of Andean origin- or corn -mexico emblem- “Wen notes.

They come to eat, but also to learn something, it is a cultural immersion”Adds the businessman.

And it is that his experience has allowed him to verify “that the Chinese do not know much about Latin food because they have a lot of confusion, they think that Latin America is like a country, not a continent, therefore, they do not know how diverse it is, they have not very correct impressions”.

The “chifa”, The Peruvian advantage

If there is a country that starts with an advantage this time, it is Peru thanks to the heritage of the large historical migration of Chinese to that country whose gastronomy, which like the Mexican is declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, integrates the so-called chifa, the fusion between Peruvian and Chinese cuisines.

In Peru we have the advantage that a large part of our dishes have Chinese inspiration, Chinese visitors like Peruvian cuisine a lot”, Affirms the ambassador of this country in Beijing, Luis Quesada.

Initiatives like this are not only a way of making the region known, but they go in parallel “with the projection of our agricultural products”, Says the diplomat, who highlights that Peru has become an important supplier of avocados, blueberries, mandarins and grapes for the Chinese market.

Quesada specifies that, although “much remains to be done for the Chinese to know better“Latin cuisine, it is also necessary” an effort from the private sector.

Embassies and investment agencies are present mainly on Chinese digital platforms so that products and our cuisine are known, but we would like to see more investment from the countries of the Pacific Alliance and the region in restaurants, for example, on all considering that China has so many sophisticated cities, not just Beijing and Shanghai“, Add.

To the heart through the stomach

The Colombian ambassador to China, Luis Monsalve, also believes that it is through the palate that he can best get along with the Chinese consumer.

We want to promote many exchanges, we have done academic activities, investment promotion, but these cultural, social, gastronomic issues make people come a little closer“, He maintains, and recalls that”there are products that the Chinese have begun to know more and more, such as avocado, which is a very typical product of the four countries ”.

But also others worldwide known as the potato (potato), corn or Colombian coffee “that little by little they have been arriving more and more ”.

The Chinese public is learning to know them, to taste them, and through this they know more about our countries”, Concludes the Colombian diplomat.

The festival, which will last until March, will also be, according to Rodrigo Wen, a good way to escape in a country whose borders remain tightly closed due to the coronavirus pandemic: “As these two years we have not been able to travel due to COVID-19, entering here will be like a trip to Latin America with the palate ”.

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