Peruvian cuisine which is a reflection of the country’s multicultural history is a perfect blend of indigenous cuisine and immigrant’s cuisine from Europe, Asia, and West Africa.
Eric Asimov- the celebrity food critic from the USA has described Peruvian cuisine as the best example of a fusion cuisine. Lima which is often referred to as the food capital of Latin America has plenty of eateries of all ranges where you can sample the typical foods from Peru.
Here are the top ten dishes you must try:
This is probably the first food which comes to mind while talking about Peruvian cuisine. Made out of uncooked fish marinated in lemon juice and spiced with aji pepper and red onion, this is a classic Peruvian dish which comes in various versions. Lima with its vicinity to the ocean is the best place to sample your first ceviche.
First popularized by the Chinese immigrants in Peru, lomo saltado comes with a hearty serving of stir fry beef, tomatoes, onions and peppers blended with soy sauce. Often served with white rice and French fries this classic dish is exemplary of the fusion cuisine of Peru.
Cuy al Horno
Cuy or guinea pig is a staple meat in the Andes and cuy al horno is guinea pig baked on a spit with herbs. Try not to freak out at the sight of the baked cuy served with its head intact. If you are not sure how to go about eating then just dig in with your fingers.
Typically associated with Arequipa, rocoto relleno is a kind of spicy red bell pepper stuffed with sautéed meat and vegetables and topped with cheese. The fiery pepper is extremely hot although the baking somewhat reduces its thermonuclear properties.
Aji de Gallina
This rich stew is made of shredded chicken with a creamy sauce of ground walnuts, cheese and yellow aji pepper which gives the dish its typical yellowish hue. The mild yet piquant dish is usually served with plain rice, potatoes, and boiled eggs.
Anticuchos de Corazon
Traditional anticuchos are made of beef heart – a practice dating back to the early colonial times when the Spanish conquistadores would take the choicest portion of the cow, leaving the organs for the slaves. Served almost everywhere in Peru, anticuchos come with skewers of cow’s heart marinaded with vinegar and spices and cooked to a medium rare in a charcoal oven.
Arroz con Pato
Arroz con pato which literally translates as rice with duck is a typical Spanish Criollo dish which would leave you asking for a second helping. It comes with rice cooked with herbs, beer and cilantro paste and served with a portion of roasted duck.
Pollo a la Brasa
This Peruvian version of roasted chicken is a popular snack which can be found in almost all major cities around the world. The chicken is marinated with garlic, cumin, and red peppers and is typically served with French fries.
This is a kind of potato cake which is usually served cold. A perfect blend of potatoes, meat (chicken or fish), eggs, avocado, celery, and olives this fantastic appetizer is sure to blow your taste buds.
No list of Peruvian dishes is complete without a mention of alfajor – a kind of cookies sandwiched between a thin layer of caramel, often referred to as the cookie of Latin America.
Looking for Peruvian restaurants where you can sample these cuisines? Check out our Restaurant Review page listed under the Food section in the main menu!
If you have tried these dishes or want to recommend one of your favorites, comment and share below!