Specialities of Peru's cuisine
Staple foods of Peruvian cuisine are potatoes, corn, beans, cassava or manioc, chili peppers, all native to the land of the Incas, but the local cuisine is so varied that we found a great variety of dishes.
Peruvians enjoy eating well, and mostly the dishes are served in quite an abundant quantity.
Contrary to some guidebooks, Peruvian food is rarely spicy. The confusion comes from an ingredient in several dishes, the ají amarillo a chili pepper with a mild taste, used as the pepper into other cuisines. Many restaurants serve hot chili sauce apart.
Peruvian lunch is usually accompanied by a fizzy drink or fresh fruit juice or a beer in a restaurant, rarely water. Restaurant meals are almost never served with bread but always at breakfast and with the "lonche" (family dinner) accompanied by coffee, tea, ham, cheese or just butter.
Peruvians are not big coffee drinkers, prefer tea or infusion.
Many bars and restaurants serve "café pasado" made with dripped coffee or instant coffee. Be careful in many hotels serving at breakfast buffet a concentrated coffee extract to which we must add water.
Nevertheless Peru produces excellent coffees including the "Tunki" awarded as the best coffee in the world in 2010, the country being the 6th largest coffee exporter in the world.
Ever more we can found espresso in bars and restaurants but be careful because in certain tourist places serve drip brewed coffee in small cups, previously shaked in blender to get the typical foam and look like an espresso.
It is the typical Peruvian brandy made by distilling grape wine in the region of Ica 300 km (180 mi) south of Lima and also in Moquegua south of Peru.
There was a dispute with Chile about the designation of origin pisco, but finally in 2006 the World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO recognizes the titleholder of the appellation of origin is the Peruvian State.
Some countries refuse to shoulder this recognition to not prejudice trade relations with Chile, especially France who contradictorily his battle to defend its appellations of origin as Champagne, is not faithful to his own ideology when agrees.
Although Peru is a large producer of cocoa, its quality is now praised by European chocolatiers.
To not miss out on an unforgattable experience in gastronomy, here are 25 specialities that should not be missed:
Brochettes of beef heart marinated in vianagre with herbs and spices, cooked on a barbecue.
Cold dish - potatoe puree "filled" with tunny or chicken and avocado.
Chupe de camarones
Chowder made with crayfish, mik, eggs, pumpkin, rice, potatoes and cheese.
Papa a la huancaina
Cold dish - boiled potatoes covered with a fresh cheese sauce, yellow pepper (mild), cookies and crackers.
Fried potato (puree) filled with meat.
Mashed corn filled with chicken or tunny, wrapped in banana or corn leaves.
Cebiche or ceviche
Cold and spicy dish – Raw fish or seafood (or mixed), "done" with lemon juice, herbs, hot pepper, served with onions, sweet potatoes and corn. The ceviche is the signature dish of Peru, elected the best dish in the world in 2014.
Ají de gallina
Thin strips of chicken with yelow pepper (mild) sauce, milk and cheese.
Region: Lima and Andes
Pieces of fried pork. In Cuzco: pork crackling.
Chicharrón (de pescado or mariscos)
Fish or seafood fried in breadcrumbs.
Guinea pig, flattend with a stone (chactado in quechua) breaded with corn flour and fried.
Chicken, olives, eggs and rice cooked rolled up in "bijao" (Amazon tree) or banana leaves.
Beef loin slices sauteed with onions, tomatoes and paprika, served with french fries ans rice.
Different types of meat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lima beans, corn, cooked underground among hot stones.
Hot pepper stuffed with chopped beef, eggs, peas and cheese.
Pollo a la brasa
Chicken marinated in stout and spices, cooked in charcoal.
Today it is the most consumed dish in Peru, usually served in pollerías.
Helado de lúcuma
Lucuma ice cream - it is an fruit native to Peru, with a unique flavor of maple and sweet potato.
Pudding made with purple corn, prunes, pineapple, apple, etc.
Doughnuts of pumpkin and/ or sweet potato, with sugarcane syrup.
Manjar blanco (caramel of milk) covered with merengue.
Chicha (de jora)
Craft beer made of white corn, low alcohol drink (1% to 4%).
Non-alcoholic drink made from purple corn, fruits (apple, quince, pineapple, etc.), sugar, cinnamon and clove.
Mate de coca
Infusion of coca leaves, ideal to fight altitude sickness.
Cocktail made with pisco (grape brandy), lemon, sugar and egg white.
It is the national drink of Peru.
Recipe 8 / 10 servings
1/3 bottle Pisco (9 oz)
Juice of 6 key limes
3 oz (8 cl) sugar syrup or 10 tablespoon white sugar
1 egg white
Add all ingredients to a mixer or blender and shake 1 minute. Serve in glasses and top with a few drops of angostura bitter or cinnamon ground.
Two layers of little biscuits filled with manjar blanco (milk caramel).
Region: Ica and Lima
Chocolate candy filled with manjar blanco (caramel of milk) and pecan or peanuts, prunes, etc.