If you are a meat lover and visit Peru without trying a good cuy chactado, llama charqui or alpaca anticuchos, then you have sinned!
These tasty and traditional meats are also healthy and were an important part of the diet of Andean ancestors. Here we share what makes each of these Andean meat staples a must-try during your visit to Peru.
Although alpaca is not widely sold, it is very popular in Cusco and Puno. Recommended for its low fat content, it can be used in pesque -a dish of quinoa, cheese, and eggs popular in Puno, Peru– served fried, or in a good roast.
In the Andean plateau, llama meat is usually preserved by drying it in the sun. To this day it is an important source of protein. You should also try it with olluco (a root vegetable), as charqui (jerky), or with rice, a nourishing daily classic.
Guinea pig has a delicate flavor (something between rabbit and chicken), has very little fat and is highly nutritious. It’s prepared differently according to regions in Peru, and in each town the chactado, or stew, is distinctive. Today, you can find it on the menus of the most exclusive restaurants. Yet in its classic form it is served whole—head, teeth, and all. If eaten correctly, at the end of the meal, there’s nothing left on the plate.
Fun Fact: Guinea pigs have become good business for the women who rear them, enabling them to support their families and contribute to their communities, particularly now that their meat is considered a delicacy in sophisticated restaurants listed as some of the best in the world.
Cover photo: Andina
Credit: Ultimate Journeys
Now that you're here:
We're asking you, our reader, to make a contribution in support of our digital guide in order to keep informing, updating and inspiring people to visit Peru. Why now? In our near 20-year journey as the leading English-language source on travel in Peru, we've had our fair share of ups and downs-but nothing quite like the challenges brought forth in the first quarter of 2020.
By adapting to the changing face of the tourism and travel industry (on both local and international levels), we have no doubt we will come out stronger-especially with the support of our community. Because you will travel again, and we will be ready to show you the best of Peru.
Your financial support means we can keep sharing the best of Peru through high-quality stories, videos and insights provided by our dedicated team of contributors and editors based in Peru. And of course, We are here to answer your questions and help whenever you need us.
As well, it makes possible our commitment to support local and small businesses that make your visit an unforgettable one. Your support will help the people working in these industries get back on their feet once the world allows us to make our dream of enjoying everything Peru has to offer a reality again-from its mouthwatering gastronomy, thriving Amazon and archaeological wonders such as Machu Picchu.
Together, we will find a way through this. As a member of our community, your contribution, however big or small, is valuable.