Traveling to Peru

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Peru Food & Drink

Peru Food & Drink

Peruvian food has been described as one of the world’s most important cuisines and a trip to Peru is a paradise of rich new flavors for the gastronomically minded traveler. Peru has been voted as the World’s Leading Culinary destination for seven years running by the World Travel Awards.

Peru is famous for its fusion cuisine given its long multicultural history which combines elements of the culinary traditions from the indigenous population with those from immigrants from Europe, Asia and West Africa who made use of the locally available ingredients.

Each region of Peru offers dishes that maximize the unique ingredients found there. On the coast the highlight is the fresh seafood and ceviche. In the jungle flavors include exotic fruits and fish. In the highlands, food is hearty with potatoes, corn and meat. 

Pachamanca is a traditional Peruvian method of cooking that has been around since the times of the Inca Empire. Hot stones are used to cook a delicious meal of potatoes, vegetables and a variety of meats marinated with local herbs and spices. The name Pachamanca means “earth pot” in the local Quechua language as preparation involves making a hole in the ground and adding the red-hot stones, then layering the other ingredients before covering the hole with grass and earth. The meal then cooks in the earthen oven for about two hours.

Peru is home to over 4,000 different varieties of potatoes which were originally domesticated nearly 10,000 years ago in the High Andes of Peru and Bolivia. Any visitor to Peru is sure to be amazed by the variety of colors, shapes, and flavors of potatoes during their visit to Peru. Superfoods like quinoa, maca, and camu camu are native to Peru have recently been discovered by the rest of the world for their healthy and nutritious properties.

While Lima’s culinary scene has become renowned because of its award-winning chefs and fine restaurants, a culinary explorer in Peru will also enjoy sampling the delicious flavors found at local market stalls, street vendors, and unassuming cafes throughout the country.

Peru is not normally thought of as a chocolate producer, but cacao has been grown in Latin America for thousands of years. On a chocoloate tour,  you’ll see first-hand how Peruvian farmers grow cacao and transform it into the high-quality delicacy that is exported to the world.

Lima is the culinary capital of South America. This seaside city is renowned for having global superstar chefs and restaurants that combine authentic Peruvian cuisine with modern day culinary influences. Make sure to try ceviche, in Lima, a seafood dish with raw white fish marinated in lime, that is quite delicious. Mistura is the largest food fair in South America. It is held annually, typically in Lima in September, and showcases hundreds of restaurants, bars and food producers. 

In Cusco, experiment with cuy, fried guinea pig, considered a delicacy. For the foodies that don’t have as adventurous taste buds, potato dishes are also common. Try papa rellena stuffed with meat, veggies, and cheese or Aji de gallina, tender chicken covered in cheese gravy along with slice potatoes.

Peruvian specialties:

Ceviche: Any guest in Peru must try Ceviche, a raw seafood cured in citrus juices. This is one of the most popular dishes in Peru.
Lomo Saltado: Lomo Saltado is a delicious stir-fry of steak, onion, and tomato served with rice and fried potatoes.
Guinea pig: For the bold and brave, try cuy (fried guinea pig), an authentic Peruvian delicacy.

Popular desserts include arroz con leche and alfajores with manjar blanco (dulce de leche). To accompany any meal, order a Pisco Sour, Peru’s national cocktail or chicha morada, fresh tropical juices, and coca tea.

Restaurants in Peru:

Chala Costa Fusion: Offering the flavors and ingredients of Peru, this restaurant is known for its seafood and creole dishes
Cafe Haiti: Try Peruvian specialties at one of the best cafes in the area.
Segundo Muelle: A Peruvian restaurant that specializes in creole seafood incorporated with international cuisines.
Malabar: Bringing Peruvian dishes to life with an Italian influence, Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino brings you beautifully prepared delicacies.
Central: Located in Lima, Central has been rated among the top restaurants in Latin America every year. The 17-course experience will have you on the edge of your seat with anticipation for the next artistic presentation.

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