If you are a true foodie, you will have indeed heard that Peruvian food is popular the world over. Their food is constantly in the headlines showcasing mouth-watering dishes both in Peru and abroad.
Just recently (April 2017), Chef Virgilio Martinez won the Chef’s Choice Award in Melbourne, Australia. And rewind to December of 2016 when the World Travel Awards (WTA) labeled Peru as the World’s Leading Culinary Destination for the fifth year running. Not a year goes by where Peru doesn’t fail to get a nod for its gastronomic delights. These honors and awards are advantageous for the country and tourism in general. When planning your trip, why not take the time to sample some of the leading dishes in the area? There is so much to choose from and, as the world is beginning to learn, Peruvian food is absolutely delicious. Peruvian food is defined by the varied landscapes of the country. The coastal areas provide access to seafood such as fish, shrimp, scallops and squid, while the mountainous regions and lakes are based around quinoa, potatoes, cuy (guinea pig), trout and alpaca. And of course there are all the wonderful influences from other countries creating an exciting cultural and culinary blend. Chifa is the perfect example. It is Peru’s version of Chinese food and definitely worth trying at least once.
Here are some of the more traditional dishes you can expect to find in Peru.
- Ceviche: A Peruvian delicacy consisting of raw fish marinated in lime juice.
- Chupe de Camarones: A thick, tasty chowder made with shrimp.
- Lomo Saltado: A stir fry combining beef, tomatoes, French fries, and onions served with rice.
- Adobo de Chanco: A marinated pork stew with garlic, peppers, aji panca and chicha de jora.
- Cuy Chactado: Deep fried guinea pig.
- Rocoto Relleno: These stuffed peppers are a specialty of Arequipa.
- Chicharrones: A dish made with fried pork rinds or pork belly.
- Salsa Ocopa: A delicious creamy sauce made from huacatay (Peruvian mint), chili and garlic, often served over eggs or potatoes.
- Picarones: Similar to a fried donut, picarones are made from squash and sweet potato served with sweet cane syrup.
- Aji de Gallina: A sauce made with peppers and walnuts served over rice.
- Quinoa Atamalada: A stew made with quinoa, chili peppers and cheese.
- Alfajores: Soft butter cookies filled with caramel.
While visiting Peru, you must savour at least a few of these dishes to understand why their food is so popular the world over. And don’t forget to wash it down with one of Peru’s national drinks for example the chicha morada or Pisco Sour.