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
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