Bolivian Snacks and Tea Time

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I'm not sure this Bolivian snacks page is correctly named. Bolivians aren't really "snackers". In this culture it's customary for almost everyone to enjoy a "merienda" which is a mid-morning coffee or tea at about 10 a.m. with something (usually fried or baked goods like salteñas).

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It's also customary to break at tea time (around 5 pm) for "tecito" when everyone has more tea or coffee and more fried or baked goods. Bolivians are not such sweet tooths as people in other countries. It's more common to break for tea with something salty than sweet.

Bolivians also not big dessert eaters. Most people enjoy pastries on special occasions like birthdays, Mothers Day, and other holidays. However, the cafés here are almost always brimming full around tea time and since there are always some who enjoy sweets, pastry shops are very common as well and everyone offers a variety of both sweet and salty goodies. So because we have the two traditional times set aside to eat between meals already (in the mid-morning and in the mid-afternoon), it isn't really common for Bolivians to snack a lot other than that.

In addition, you don't see people walking around on the street carrying and eating food like you do in some countries. It's just not considered polite. However, you do see people enjoying ice cream and other traditional Bolivian snacks (like toasted peas, sugared peanuts or espresso coffee) in parks and plazas, on street corners where candy and snack vendors have set up. You also almost NEVER see people eating while they drive (although some passengers might) or while riding on a city bus. It's just not cool. These are some of the foods we enjoy at merienda and tecito, our two "snack" times.

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Bella's Favorite Bolivian Snacks

Chipilo de Yuca (Yucca Chips)
Yuca Frita (Fried Yucca)
Masaco de Yuca (Mashed Yuca with Pork)
Masaco de Platano (Mashed Plantain with Jerky)
Empanadas de Queso (Cheese Empanadas)
Empanadas Tucumanas (Deep Fried Meat Empanadas)
Empanadas Fritas de Pollo (Fried Chicken Empanadas)
Humintas al Horno (Baked Corn Tamales)
Humintas a la Olla (Boiled Corn Tamales)
Zonzo - (Mashed Yucca with Cheese)

Bolivian Snacks From Site Visitors

Salteñas from Cochabamba
Salteñas from La Paz and Sucre
Salteñas with Cheese from Canada
Beef and Cheese Bolivian Empanadas
Cuñapé - Baked Cheese Bread Balls
Bolivian Quinoa Grain and Fruit Cereal

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