Bolivia is an immense mixture of cultures. This country is known for combining various indigenous practices and believes with strong religious concepts of Christianity. At the same time, it had a turbulent history resulting in a very rich culture, which we are going to explore in this article through highlighting the most interesting facts.
Of course, to get acquainted with the cuisine of Bolivia, it is better to go through dedicated readings rather than having this brief overview. We actually have some posts describing the traditional dishes of Bolivia. Yet, here we would like to show you the most curious facts about the cuisine of this country.
First of all, you should know Bolivians have guinea pigs as their delicacy cooking this animal in absolutely various ways including boiling, frying and baking. The meat of guinea pigs is regarded to be of a high nutritional value as it is very low in fat while it is featured with high content of proteins. It is usually compared to the taste of chicken breasts or rabbit.
Just like many other countries are growing cows as their primary cattle, Bolivia prefers lama. Lama is regarded to be the largest animal present in this country and it gives people a lot of materials including meat, tallow, leather and wool while its dried dung is used as fuel.
Another curious fact regarding food in Bolivia is the ubiquity of Brazil nuts. In fact, 70% of all of the brazil nut sold around the world come from Bolivia. The average annual export of this amazing product is 25 million tones in Bolivia while the major countries purchasing Brazil nut from Bolivia are the US, Brazil itself as well as the countries of the European Union.
One more important fact about food in Bolivia is the popularity of cocoa that is widely consumed in the attempt to decrease the symptoms of altitude sickness.
You can buy dead animals on the streets of Bolivia
If you have gone through some of our previous articles, you might have come across the information about the popularity of magicians in Bolivia as well as witch markets where one can get anything needed even for the most bizarre rituals.
Yet, you do not have to be a witch to buy those strange ingredients. For instance, one of the most common products used in rituals in Bolivia is a dried lama foetus and it is commonly used in the tradition of Pachamama which is an offering to Mother Nature given to it for the blessings.
The San Pedro Prison attraction
While there are many people attracted top sheer atrocities willing to explore the places that can easily repel other tourists, the worst prisons are usually a point on the travel list of such individuals, however, they can hardly get on the premises of such places.
San Pedro Prison located in Bolivia is one of the prisons that many people loved to visit not because of its harsh conditions. On the contrary, the prison was famous for its curious arrangement rather untypical for such a form of a facility. To be precise, the prison has its guards who are monitoring the boarders not allowing anyone to get out of the prison. At the same time, the guards do not intervene into any other inmates’ activities.
As a result, San Pedro has developed into a town within a prison. It is a real town indeed as it has its own shops, cafes and other “public” places. The town is by an established inmate government. Yet, the most curious fact about it is possibly the fact that prisoners are allowed to live there with their families!
Needless to say, there were many tourists willing to see this unusual prison while a great number of them were coming there for the sake of drug indulgence which is heavily smuggled inside the prison. Yet, when the incidents of violence against visitors started occurring, the government of the prison decided to prohibit entrance for tourists.