Posted by Vi Warkentin on
Peru is known for its incredibly delectable cuisine and is experiencing a renewed interest in native Peruvian foods and culinary artistry. The three traditional staples are potatoes, beans and corn. Climate, geography, culture and ethnic mix often determines the varieties of the local cuisine.
I had the good fortune of experiencing six wonderful weeks of Peruvian cuisine and whether a person is off the beaten track in a tiny village along the tributaries of the Amazon or in the big cities of Lima or Cusco, the food is amazing. I spent most of my city time in the districts of Miraflores and San Isidro (Lima) and around Plaza de Armas (Cusco) and scouted out numerous restaurants in which to taste the amazing peruvian cuisine. Whether it was the high-end restaurants or street vendors, it always left my taste buds wanting another bite of the deliciousness!
Popular peruvian dishes include the following (see end of this post for possible recipes for some of these dishes):
Butifarras: a bun filled with pork, and a salsa-like mixture of sliced onions and chili peppers in lime,salt, pepper and oil. I added sweet potatoe fries to my sandwich (see photo below). I could eat that salsa every day - so delicious!
Papas a la huancaina (Huancayo-style potatoes) - sliced boiled potatoes on a bed of lettuce smothered in a slightly spicy cheese sauce topped with some olives. Tasty but I usually wanted it to be spicier!
Ceviche (cebiche) - hugely popular. Usually consists of bite-sized white fish marinated raw in lime juice and chilies. I tasted an incredibly delicious vegetarian version made with mushrooms instead of fish in Miraflores.
Pollo a al Brasa (roasted chicken) - a chicken marinated in peruvian spices and roasted in hot ashes (or a rotating rotisserie). Moist and very tasty!
Cuy chactado( fried guinea pig) - a dish more popular in the Andean highlands region. I tasted a spicy version in Cusco.
Numerous dishes using quinoa as the main ingredient are very popular as well.
Another incredibly delicious meal was Patarashca - the Doncella fish with tomatoes, onion, sweet chilies with seasonings all baked inside bijao leaves (tropical plant with large leaves). Photos to follow of that tasty meal eaten on a floating restaurant near Iquitos, along the Amazon River.
Popular drinks include Pisco or Pisco Sour - a cocktail made from pisco (a type of brandy) combined with key lime juice, the white of an egg and sugar. Inka Kola is a cultural icon - a verbena flavoured soda - super sweet - too sweet for me! Chicha is a drink consumed mostly in the Andes region - made of a variety of fermented maize (corn) with aromatic herbs added.
In the bigger cities, you’ll also find almost any kind of ethnic restaurant you could imagine. You name it, they’ll have it.I found recipes online for similar dishes I tasted in Peru:
Pollo a la Brasa (Roasted Chicken)
Patarashca (grilled fish in leaves)
Pisco Sour drink