Enjoying Peruvian Gastronomy
Over the last years, Peruvian gastronomy has become known worldwide. Many Peruvian entrepreneurs have opened restaurants abroad that immediately became famous, like if they had a secret formula. But why do people from different countries and of different tastes love this food so much?
It might be because Peru has a variety of products such as fish, cereals and thousand different types of potatoes, but specialists say it is because of many different types of Ajíes (Chilies). There is Ají Amarillo (Yellow Chili) – the most used among Peruvians, Ají Limo – used in our flagship dish Ceviche, Ají Mirasol, Ají Panca, Rocoto and many others.
The reason why every dish is prepared in a unique way is because people were seeking for different flavors. I would say that richness of our gastronomy comes from creative people who invented variety of dishes from all the available ingredients.
Many people have asked me, where to begin?
Since there are so many dishes, I would recommend to take it easy and move through Peru´s regions.
If you are in Lima or anywhere in the coast, seafood is a must on your list. On the long list of Cevicherias to choose from, try a Tiradito (thin cuts of fish, like carpaccio) served in Yellow chili, Rocoto sauce or olive oil. Or try the Arroz con mariscos (Sea food rice) which combines shrimps, octopus, fish and other shellfish in a delicious way that makes you taste the richness of the Pacific Ocean.
Heading to the Andes, after a day of eating light while you acclimate to altitude in Cusco, you should not miss an Alpaca steak (South American Camelid as LLamas) and if you are more “adventurous” do not miss the Guinea Pig. You should also try Quinoa, Andean cereal which is prepared in many different ways. My favorite is Quinotto, a local version of Rissoto.
If you have enough time do not think twice and visit the rainforest, you will not only enjoy its flora and fauna but the biggest fish in the Amazon, El Paiche, that reaches 3m long. Try it grilled and accompany it with a delicious sauce from cocona, a local citrus fruit.
But if you do not have that much time to travel through the country, every September, the famous and the biggest gastronomy fair in Latin America Mistura is held in Lima. Every year there is an increase in the number of people that visit Mistura fair. Here you will find the best dishes from different regions of Peru, producers, small and big restaurants, drinks, traditional desserts and more than you could ever imagine.
As we say it in Peru, Buen Provecho! (Bon Appetit)