Peruvian food is synonymous with innovation and a symbol of the avant-garde in the world. Traditional Peruvian cuisine offers different dishes. There is a cuisine linked to sea products along the coast and one to those of the land in inland areas. The Andes also offer particular Peruvian dishes with ancient origins and beliefs.
Peruvian food: the ingredients
The cuisine of Peru is very tasty and colorful. Also for the abundant use of chili in its many varieties. It is used in the kitchen not only to give spiciness to the dish but also to give color or sweetness.
Rice is the main ingredient of Peruvian cuisine. It is often served as an accompaniment to various dishes, as well as potatoes. Here there are over three thousand varieties of potatoes often served as a side dish, boiled or fried but always present. Potatoes in the recipes of the Peruvian gastronomic tradition can also be the main ingredient for the preparation of dishes. They are used in the causa rellena, potato and chicken flan, the papa rellena, a potato stuffed with meat, or the papas a la huancaina, potatoes served with cheese sauce and also sold in street kiosks.
Peruvian food: unique in the world
Corn with its 35 different ecotypes, quinoa, amaranth is among the most common cereals in Peru. Often present in soups and dishes of all kinds. The fruit is one of the basic ingredients of Peruvian cuisine. There are unique fruits such as Chirimoya with green skin and a very juicy white pulp and a sweet taste.
Fish is the staple of Peruvian cuisine while in inland areas all kinds of meat are eaten, from guinea pig to alpaca. Soup is served before starting a meal, but don't be surprised if you also eat soup for breakfast. Among the most popular appetizers, you must taste the rocoto Relleno. It is a very spicy pepper stuffed with melted cheese and meat.
Palta a la reina is an avocado served with Russian salad. In the Andean area, you can taste the cocoa arequipeña, an appetizer of boiled potatoes covered with a sauce made with pureed red peppers, hard-boiled eggs and olives. It is used to combine this dish with papaya juice, a very popular drink in Peru.
Peruvian fish-based food
The symbolic dish of Peruvian cuisine. Ceviche is prepared with fish or seafood left to marinate in lime juice, red onion, chilli and aji-no-moto, a glutamate widely used in the country's recipes. Ceviche is often served with boiled corn, yucca, raw onion, and fried banana. It is a dish that is always present on restaurant menus.
Pescado a lo macho is a rather large fillet of fish, such as swordfish or dogfish, cooked in stews, served with a tomato sauce and then covered with seafood.
Chupe is the variant of the Italian fish soup. Inevitably spicy, the best known are the camarones chupe (shrimp) and chupe de pulpo (octopus).
Traditional meat dishes
The inns in the inland areas are called picanterias and offer a wide variety of meat. Grilled alpaca fillet is one of them. It is an unusual meat, with a strong and intense taste. In addition to being grilled, it is served as papa rellena, a meatball made with mashed potatoes and minced meat. Lomo saltado are strips of veal sautéed with peppers, onion, tomato and soy sauce. It can also be found with chicken or pork. Lomo saltado is served with white rice and chips, usually fried. Aji Amarillo is on the spit, the one alla brasa is cooked on the grill and are among the cheapest and tastiest dishes in Peru. In every Peruvian locality, you can find pollerìas, places specialized in these preparations.
The chifa is a recipe that has been influenced by the oriental populations. It is based on rice stuffed with chicken or fish and vegetables. It is a dish that costs little and is very tasty. Tacu on the other hand is a very filling dish based on rice and black beans.
Desserts in Peru: what you eat
The traditional dessert is dulce de leche, a milk-based dessert typical of all of South America. It is prepared by cooking the milk and sugar for a long time until a cream with a flavor very similar to that of toffee candies is obtained.
The Queso Helado is worth trying. It is an ice cream made with cinnamon, coconut and papaya juice. Picarones Dolce is made from pumpkin or potatoes with wheat flour. These sweets must be dipped in a sauce made with raw cane sugar left to evaporate to obtain almost a molasses, the chancaca. Picarones are also served fried by street vendors.