If you plan on traveling to Peru, then you have probably heard that the Peruvian cuisine is one of the highest rated ones in the world. With its wealth of indigenous ingredients and a wide range of delicious dishes, there is always something new to delight your taste buds when in Peru.
Snacks and local fast food
While Western fast food has reached the Peruvian market over the past two decades, there are still many traditional fast food and snacks you can find in any city. Among the most popular fast foods here are salchipapas or sliced sausages with chips covered in sauce, anticuchos, which are some sorts of shish kebabs made from marinated beef or lamb, and empanadas or pies filled with meat, cheese or both. Street vendors also sell various types of sweets which are mostly made from manjar blanco, or condensed meat and fresh fruit.
Perhaps the most popular dish associated with Peru is cuy, or Guinea pig meat. It is served marinated, roasted or in many other forms with chips or sweet potatoes, rice, onions and various vegetables, spices and sauces. You will find cuy in every part of Peru, especially since Guinea pigs are easier to breed compared to conventional livestock such as cows or pigs.
If you travel along the coast of Peru, then you have a wide range of seafood choices you can try. One of the most popular seafood dishes is ceviche and it has been consumed by Peruvians for more than two thousand years. This dish is made of fish, shrimp, squid or scallops or it may contain all of these ingredients which are marinated in lime juice combined with chili peppers and it is served with sweet, potatoes, corn and onions. Ceviche de lenguado and ceviche de corvine, made from sole and sea bass respectively, can be found all along the coast, although there are various other fish and seafood used in this popular dish. Escabeche is another dish that used fish in combination with finely chopped onions and peppers. In the coastal region you can also find many specialties based on scallops which are known here as conchitas.
The Peruvian mountain cuisine may be fairly simple compared to the city, with many dishes combining meat with potatoes and rice. Here you can eat Lomo saltado or diced beef mixed with peppers and onions and sautéed, served with chips and rice. Most street vendors sell papa rellena -potatoes stuffed with various vegetables and then fried. You can also find sandwiches with trout which is widely available, smoked meat or eggs.
Jungle food is different than in the other two regions, with bananas and plantains being widely used along with yucca, fish and rice. Meat is mostly comprised of chicken although you can also find game such as wild pig, deer or monkey.
There are many delicious dishes to try in Peru, from the local fast food to coastal, mountain and jungle cuisine. Delight your taste buds with traditional Peruvian cuisine and don’t forget to try out the famous chicha or local corn beer!