Noble Journeys' Peruvian Food Scene Tips
You like to travel. You like to eat. Or the other way around... Peru is a destination to highly consider.
The concept of "fusion" has been practiced here for centuries, when the Spaniards conquered this area in the 16th century; they also brought with them slaves from Africa. The first Asians came as workers to build railways, wash gold, cultivate rice and tap rubber trees at the end of the 1800's. Bringing their customs and tastes, they all greatly infuenced Peruvian cuisine. The Chinese became the larget foreign colony in northern Peru, around Iquitos; to this day, there are hundreds of "chifas", Chinese restaurants, all over the country.
There is a culinary renaissance in Peru, thanks to celebrity Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio. He began with restaurants in Lima, expanding to other cities and now to other countries, inspiring interest in Peruvian products and dishes, both classic and new. He hopes to build supply chains connecting small Peruvian producers to the world market, while maintaining quality and traditions. Lima is now the culinary capital, as Acurio has inspired other chefs to rediscover their cuisine and products once known only to remote communities in Peru. Be sure to try one of his restaurants!
Each region has it's specialties: along the coast, ceviche (the ubiquitous raw fish or shrimp cured in lime juice served with sweet potatoes and popcorn) is not to be missed, but there are all manner of fish dishes available, including scallops and octopus. The highlands offer many soups and spicy stews and stuffed hot peppers (rocoto relleno). In the Amazon, river fish is plentiful, served with garlic and cilantro. Delicious fruits are often made into juices and ice cream. Desserts are very sweet, so prepare youself! A Lima specialty, suspiro a la limena, is caramel with sweet meringue, flan and a purple-corn pudding called mazamorra morada are both delicious.
When traveling through Peru, be sure to try some of the best dishes, such as aji de gallina (shredded chicken in spicy walnut sauce), papa rellena (potato stuffed with ground beef and deep fried), chupe de camarones (shrimp bisque), chicharrones (deep fried pieces of pork). Cuy (guinea pig) is a delicacy. Soups are very tasty.
Joan Noble, Director