In keeping with historical and cultural influences on Peru’s indigenous population from Spanish colonizers, along with African and Asian immigrants, Peruvian Cuisine has become world renowned for its unique variety. Whether it’s the delectable seafood on the Northern Coast of Peru, or Amazonian Peru’s exotic dishes or the cuisine of one of the top gastronomic capitals of the world — Lima, culinary tourism is fast emerging as Peru’s next big draw.

Ceviche

A no-brainer — Ceviche is Peru’s emblematic dish. This sweet and sour combination of raw seafood marinated in citrus, peppers and aromatic herbs lends to fresh and intense flavors. The dish is usually served with onions, sweet potatoes and corn in kernels or on the cob and enjoyed with a cold beer.

For a vegan alternative, you can try the ever popular mushroom ceviche available in many restaurants in Lima.

Photo: Kevin Tao - CC by ND 2.0 via Flickr

Photo: Kevin Tao – CC by ND 2.0 via Flickr

Rocoto Relleno

In Arequipa, where traditional restaurants still cook meals over a wood fire, the rocoto rellono is as hot as a dish can get. Here, a rocotto pepper, the spicier cousin of bell pepper, is stuffed with meat, cheese, eggs and olives, and bathed in melted cheese. Delicious and hot — you’ve been warned.

Photo: ryan.dowd - CC 2.0 via Flickr

Photo: ryan.dowd – CC 2.0 via Flickr

Quinotto – Quinoa Risotto

Quinoa, an Incan superfood, features as a staple ingredient in many Peruvian dishes. Prepared risotto style, this slow cooked, luscious meal is as healthy as it is yummy. A Peruvian twist on an Italian primo, this dish is fast growing in popularity around restaurants in Lima. Eating healthy was never this fun.   

Photo: Abel Bourbois - CC by 2.0 via Flickr

Photo: Abel Bourbois – CC by 2.0 via Flickr

Lomo Saltado

This culinary delight is a stir-fry of potato, meat, onion, tomato, and hot peppers in soy sauce, served with French fries. A culture blending dish, it derives inspiration from Asian and Spanish cuisines, and is beloved across Peru. Fantastico!

Photo: Craig Nagy - CC 2.0 via Flickr

Photo: Craig Nagy – CC 2.0 via Flickr

Juanes

A Peruvian staple, Juanes is a fragrant bundle of colored rice and chicken sold on many street corners of Amazonian Peru. For preparation, chicken pieces are packed in cooked rice, covered with eggs, herbs, and spices, and wrapped in bijao leaves to cook in a clay pot for an hour. This on-the-go delight is best had with a fruity local beverage like Chicha Morada, shown below.

Photo: Jorge Gobbi - CC by 2.0 via Flickr

Photo: Jorge Gobbi – CC by 2.0 via Flickr

Chicha Morada

A staple Peruvian non-alcoholic beverage, Chicha Morada has its roots dating back to the Incan empire. This sweet, purple drink, widely considered a nutrition power house, is prepared by boiling purple corn with spices, pineapple rind, clove and sugar. Served fresh on street stands and in restaurants, and sold bottled in markets, the chicha is consumed in homes across the country.

Photo: McKay Savage - CC by 2.0 via Flickr

Photo: McKay Savage – CC by 2.0 via Flickr

We guarantee your Peruvian journey will be incomplete without trying these amazing authentic culinary delights. Bon appétit!