Peruvian food is currently experiencing a worldwide explosion. Last year, the Andean country’s culinary feats earned Peru the honor of World’s Leading Culinary Destination, according the World Travel Awards. This country’s offerings are being touted in cities from London to Tokyo, and the list keeps growing.
It’s hard to say exactly what it is that makes Peru’s kitchen so sought after and revered. It could be the diversity of ingredients, which are influenced by the various regions – from coast to mountain to jungle. Or maybe it’s the blend of color brought here by generations of immigrants from around the world, mixed with tastes inspired by civilizations that have lived off this fertile land for millenniums?
Either way, the result is a delectable and palate pleasing cuisine for the world to enjoy. Here is a list of our Top Ten Things to Eat in Peru.
Fish lovers need to know about ceviche (see above)! On the surface it’s a basic recipe of raw fish marinated in citrus juice and spices, but not every one can master it. Therefore, we’ll let experts handle it.
Carb haters need not apply! This robust stir-fry concoction of beef, tomatoes, peppers, and onions are blended in a pan with soy sauce and fried potatoes and usually served over white rice.
Aji de Gallina
Consisting of tender chunks of chicken stewed in a rick yellow aji pepper sauce this dish is a criollo classic. It takes a while to prepare, but the results are well worth it. You’ll soon be hooked on this all at once cheesy, nutty, and spicy dish.
Pollo a la Brasa
Peruvian style roasted chicken is finger-licking good. The key is marinating the fowl in soy sauce with red peppers, garlic, and cumin in order to give the meat and skin a smoke, salty taste. The signature Peruvian recipe is found throughout the country, and it’s starting to catch on outside of Peru as well.
This dish made famous in Trujillo, Peru is not your average stuffed pepper. The Peruvian recipe calls for a spicy pepper that truly gives it an extra kick. Match that with fillings of cheese, ground beef and vegetables and you’ll beg your grandmother to channel her inner Peruvian.
These skewered meat kabobs can be found from street corners to fancy restaurants around Peru. Young or old, rich or poor, if you’re in Peru you’ve got to try an anticucho. Traditionally made with beef hearts slathered in garlic sauce, this dish dates back to the Spanish conquest.
We’ve got to show our love for Peruvian desserts, so what better way to do it than delightful alfajores. Rich with manjar blanco stuffed between two shortbread cookies, and covered with powdered sugar, you’ll be asking, chocolate chip who?
Who knew that a squash and yam could get together to make such a delicious dessert? This Peruvian donut is another street-vendor staple that dates back to Colonial times when African slaves were looking for an inexpensive alternative to Spanish buñuelos. Make sure you ask for extra miel de chancaca.
Finally, every good Peruvian dish must be topped off with a Pisco Sour. Made with Pisco or Peruvian aguardiente, limejuice, egg whites, Angostura bitters, and ice cubes, this is the iconic cocktail. If you don’t drink one while in Peru, they might not let you leave!
Are we missing your favorite Peruvian dish, dessert or drink? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Plan Your Culinary Tour to Peru
Diego is a Colombian-American who was raised in Morristown, NJ. He started writing short fiction when he was a teenager and has pursued creative writing as a hobby ever since. After working for multiple publications in the U.S., he moved to Peru in January 2012. Since then he’s lived and worked in Trujillo, Cusco and Lima.