There's also bife koygua to sample, beef smothered with fried onions and topped with a fried egg.
The more pescatarian-minded might try a bounty of fish like surubi, a type of bottom-dwelling catfish, and dorado, all straight from the Paraguay River.
But almost everyone will want to encounter one of the country's most intriguing dishes, which came about as a serendipitous failure.
Sopa paraguaya, which means Paraguayan soup, is a misnomer. It is not even close to being a soup; in fact, it's more akin to a cheesy cornbread.
As with any national dish, there is a certain amount of lore that stews around its origin.
Legend has it that Carlos Antonio Lopez, the corpulent and corrupt president-cum-dictator of Paraguay from 1841 to 1862, decided one day to feast upon a nice warming bowl of corn soup.
The cook accidentally put too much corn flour in the soup, and what came out was a solid rather than a liquid. Fearing Lopez's notorious iron fist, the cook decided to slice and serve the cake-like soup with a bit of nationalistic advertising as sopa paraguaya.
To the cook's luck, Lopez liked the marketing and, even more so, the newfangled sopa.
Nowadays, its a dish -- the country's national dish, at that -- most often served at special occasions like Holy Week and weddings, but it's too good a dish not to make at home from time to time.
Excerpted from "Mallmann On Fire"
by Francis Mallmann (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Santiago Soto Monllor.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1¼ cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal
3 onions, finely chopped
1½ cups whole milk
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1¼ cups finely diced fresh mozzarella
1. Heat an oven to 375°F, with a rack in the lower third. Brush a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan well with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and coat with ¼ cup of the cornmeal.
2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the onions and saute until tender and translucent; do not let them brown. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, beaten eggs, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and cooled onions.
Sprinkle one-third of the remaining cornmeal evenly over the bottom of the pan. Scatter one-third of the mozzarella evenly over it. Ladle one-third of the milk, egg and onion mixture over the cheese. Repeat two more times. The mixture will look quite wet.
4. Set the pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until puffed and golden brown and quite fluffy; do not let it get too firm, or it will be dry. Cool in the pan on a rack.
5. Run a metal spatula around the sides of the pan to loosen the sopa, place a platter or tray over the top and invert to unmold.