Peruvian food has shot to stardom over the last 10 years or so! And it seems like almost every major city in the world now boasts a Peruvian restaurant or two! Here in Melbourne, we have the excellent Pastuso and Harley House leading the charge. But of course, there is no substitute for the real thing. So why not plan a trip to Peru today, so you can taste these classic Peruvian dishes in the most authentic setting?
There are many Latin countries where you can find ceviche (Chile, Ecuador and Mexico for starters)! But most would argue that this magnificently simple, fresh and tasty dish originated in Peru. You’ll find lots of variations, but the original is sea bass soaked in lime juice, onion, salt and aji (hot chili), served with a side of sweet potatoes and corn.
Potatoes are native to Peru. In fact, it is estimated that there are over 4,000 varieties found in the Andean nation. And this dish pays homage to the humble potatoes importance to Andean cuisine. Causa takes its name from the Quechua word kausaq, which means a giver of life, another name for the potato. Rellena is the Spanish word for stuffed or filled. And in its most basic form causa is served cold and consists of mashed potatoes, layered like a lasagne with avocado, hardboiled eggs, and olives.
Anticuchos de Corazon
Peruvian street food at its best, beef heart is marinated in cumin, aji and garlic, skewered and charcoal grilled to perfection. And if you’ve never tried heart, it’s extremely lean and nutritious. But if this makes you a little squeamish, you can find more traditional cuts of meat done the same way.
This is a classic Peruvian/ Asian fusion dish of stir-fried beef, onions, tomatoes and aji, topped with soy sauce and potatoes and served over rice. And it is almost as popular as ceviche. Try it with alpaca meat to knock another Peruvian classic off your to-eat list!
Adventurous foodies must try Cuy, (pronounced kwee) which is guinea pig. And while it’s never going to compete with a nice juicy rib-eye, this indigenous mammal has been a staple of the Andean diet for around 5,000 years. When roasted over an open fire, this popular meat is smoky and tender, covered in crispy skin and is delicious dipped in aji sauce. This is a national delicacy and a special dish for Peruvians, so be sensitive in your judgements!
So what do you think? Are you ready to taste Peruvian food in the place where it all began? For the team at Contours Travel, sampling local specialties is one of the greatest pleasures of travelling! So if you think the same way, get in touch and we’ll start planning your flavour odyssey through South America today!