It’s so popular, it has even had a holiday declared in its honour
Peru is the culinary capital of South America. You will find dishes here that you won’t find anywhere else. Check out our new Culinary Journey through Peru itinerary, which shows just why Peru has been voted the World’s Leading Culinary Destination for the last three years.
Fresh fish, lemon juice and chili are blended together to create Peru’s favourite national dish. Peruvians believe that it has aphrodisiac properties and is a great hangover cure. It’s so popular, it has even had a holiday declared in its honour. Each area of Peru seems to give it their own twist – the Andean version is said to include seaweed and the Lima version features sole. However, each dish is guaranteed to be a taste sensation and one that you’re sure to see at the famed Mistura food festival.
Guinea pigs are a food staple in Peru. While Westerners might balk at the thought of chowing down on their favourite pet, Peruvians view it the same as rabbit and it’s a large part of the Peruvian diet. It is said to taste like smoky poultry and is served with potatoes, rice or pepper sauce.
Chifa dishes have their roots in China. When Chinese immigrants arrived in Peru they created fusion dishes using the ingredients that they brought with them (ginger and soy sauce) and what they could find locally. Chifa favourites include twists on stir-fry dishes, soup and wonton. Look out for Tallarin Saltado (Peruvian chow mein); Chicharron de Gallina (chicken cubes in spiced lemon juice) and Wantan Frito (fried wonton).
This low cal, low fat meat has been eaten in Peru for centuries. It’s said to be gamier than beef and is one of the main sources of meat in the mountains.
Street food stalls will serve up this meat that’s been marinated in red wine vinegar, cumin and garlic. It was created by African slaves, who when given offal to eat, chose to make the meat more interesting by livening it up with spices and hot peppers. They then threaded these tiny pieces of meat onto pieces of sugar cane so that they could cook them over the grill. The result is now Anticuchos that’s loved all over the country.
Photography: Craig Nagy/Flickr, Juan Felipe Rubio/Flickr, Sherry Lai/Flickr, Keizirah Lesser and Art Drauglis/Flickr