Peruvian food is a unique flavor epxlosion. Their rich history of Spanish conquests, Incan establishements, and even Asian waves of immigration, happened long enough ago that they have been given the proper amount of time to morph into a food culture unique unto itself. With the spicy kick of chiles, the delicious versatility of potatoes, and absolute genius that is ceviche, Peruvian food is an experience, not just a meal.
Ceviche is a culinary masterpiece. With it’s mix of fresh fish, marinated in a zesty blend of lime juice, onion, salt, and hot chiles, ceviche is something that nearly all travelers try and can never forget. Typically served with boiled corn (choclo) and some sweet potato, this dish will give you a true taste of the local cuisine.
Lomo Saltado is the Peruvian take on an asian classic. A beef- based dish, lomo saltado is made of strips of soy sauce marinated beef, mixed with onions, tomatoes, chiles, and some other classic Peruvian spices. Paying true homage to Peru’s mixed culinary history, the dish is served with both french fries and rice… truly the best of both worlds!
Papas a la Huancaina (Potatoes in Spicy Cheese Sauce)
Possibly one of the most yellow meals (literally yellow) that you could ever eat, Papas a la Huancaina is a local staple. Starting with yellow potatoes topped with a yellow queso fresco made of garlic, aji amarillo, evaporated milk, and lime juice, the meal is complimented with yellow saltine crackers. And, if that’s not enough yellow for you, they also typically eat it with a hard boiled egg on the side. Usually served as a side dish, Papas a la Huancaina is not a “novel delicacy” here. It’s a fact of life.
Guinea Pig. Nope, not a typo.
Well, not for the vegetarians, vegans, or the squeamish, guinea pig is a true Peruvian staple as well. These little critters are cooked in the way that has been passed down from generation to generation. Stuffed full and whole with a mix of herbs and spices, these little pigs are slow roasted until the skin is crispy and golden brown. Served with some potatoes and delicious aji sauce, these pigs are like single- serve roasted chickens. Yum.
**Disclaimer: We’ve used an image that shows some meat pulled apart and bears no resemblance to it’s former animal… however in Peru, the guinea pig is roasted whole and is often served whole… tail, face, feet, and all.