People working in the world of gastronomy may be familiar with the phenomenon, but Peruvian food is one of the hottest things in the modern world of cooking. Ceviche, famous in so many countries and forms is a plate that originates out of Peru. The raw, lemon cooked fish served with red onion and corn is probably the national plate of Peru. Ceviche is served in almost any Lima restaurant and is the pride of the coast. The coastal region of Peru is famous and proud of its variety of seafood and fish in different forms of preparations.
Peru has made its name as being a fusion kitchen, meaning that they excel in combining the local kitchen with different flavors and ingredients coming to Peru via immigrants and Peruvians returning from years abroad. The best example is probably the Chifa restaurant, a vivid mixture of Oriental dishes finished off with a typical Peruvian touch. Momentarily Peru is making a move on the Italian Pizza, giving the adobe ovens often found in Andean households a new function.
In the highlands the dishes are more potato and corn based; two domestic crops in the highlands. The potato and corn have had a very significant and religious value for the Incas as they did represent the main source of nutrition. Meat is limited to mainly alpaca, pork and –for foreigners the strangest- guineapig. The guineapig is quite the delicacy in the highlands and eaten in different forms.
The Amazon basin as well has their own set of flavors and dishes. Plenty of fruits, exotic vegetables, and exotic animals, complete the wide variety of products to be found in this country.
No wonder Peruvian chefs are finding their way among the top chefs of the world and why Peruvian restaurants serving plates such as; Lomo Saltado, Aji de Gallina, Ceviche, Papa a la Huancaina and Butifarra’s, are becoming one of the bigger export products of Peru.
Besides all this Peru food, there is also of course the Peru drinks; The one and only Peruvian market leader in soft drinks is without doubt Inca Cola, the bright yellow and incredible sweet choice of Peru. But the real Peruvian proud when it comes to drinks is undeniable Pisco. This firewater made out of grapes, is the one drink in South America that is responsible for a “silent war” between Peru and Chile, both claiming to be the birth ground of Pisco. Nevertheless, most sources do give the advantage to the Peruvian claim. A Peruvian use of the liquor is the Pisco Sour, a cocktail made out of Pisco, egg white, lime juice, some sugar and crushed ice, cannot be missed when visiting Peru.
Another Peruvian wonder drink is the Mate de Coca, best made from fresh coca leaves in hot water. Coca, grown legally in Peru for ancestral purposes is still widely used in the Andes. Farmers chew it to suppress hunger, to have less fatigue and to keep alert. The most likely way to get in contact with coca is the mate de coca, recommendable for visitors new to the highlands; this tea is known for its soothing effects against the effects of altitude or altitude sickness.
Of course this is only a limited list of all the gastronomic experiences and diversity of Peru food, but if this made you hungry and thirsty, do not hesitate to contact us for more information and tips on our favorite restaurants serving Peruvian food.