Born by the imagination and creativity of Lima’s residents in times of food scarcity, salchipapa has only increased in popularity over time. It’s name derives from it’s two ingredients: salchicha (sausage) and papa (potatoes).
The original version is comprised simply of hot dog bites and french fries, though you can now find numerous variations across Peru and Latin America. The addition of a variety of sauces, from ketchup to all kinds of Peruvian sauces, is highly important part of the dish.
Salchipapa came about in Lima’s street food scene in the 1970s. Street carts offering the dish (as with those selling anticuchos) would appear in the evening hours, offering the speciality to workers heading home. Over the years, the dish would be served in pollerias (restaurants selling pollo a la brasa), and there would eventually be restaurants dedicated to serving different varieties of salchipapa.
The recipe for salchipapas is simple enough – fried potatoes and grilled sausages- but here are the different varieties that you should try: Salchicuy, made in Cajamarca, with a combination of yellow potato, smoked sausage, cheese and sliced fried cuy.
There’s also salchimarina, which consists of the same base of fries topped with prawns, fried squid rings swordfish nuggets, and barbecue sauce. The salchicharrón version is made up of pieces of pork, sweet potato fries and salsa criolla. A version of salchipapa from Peru’s Amazon, the salchimazónica consists of a mixture of sausages from the jungle, cuts of cecina (cured/air-dried meat), a fried egg and native potatoes.
Every third Sunday of November is salchipapa day in Peru, a day to celebrate this street food classic.
Cover photo: Peru21.pe
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