Color, festivals and Peruvian food; the heart and soul of every Peruvian and the reason why more people are opting for holidays in Peru. Read on for more information about the traditional cuisine and popular dishes of Peru…
Traditional Peruvian food is a mixture of the local cooking techniques and some foreign influences from countries like China, Japan, Spain, Italy and West Africa. Because these people settled in Peru and were not able to find some ingredients used in their traditional cooking, they made use of Peruvian ingredients and modified their dishes to make traditional Peruvian food. The staple foods of Peru include beans, corn and potatoes. Foreign influences such as rice, meat and wheat have been added to make traditional Peruvian food. Since fish is plentiful in Peru, fish is very commonly used in traditional Peruvian food as well. Peruvian peppers which are also known as ‘aji’ are almost always used in traditional Peruvian food.
We will take a look at some of the traditional Peruvian food you can expect to see or even try out if you ever get the chance to visit.
Traditional Peruvian food is referred to as Comida Criolla. Traditional dishes include spicy chicken stews (aji de gallina) which make use of the Peruvian peppers, stir fried beef (lomo saltado); marinated beef heart (anticuchos) and fish stew (chupe). Vegetables are very common in most Peruvian dishes.
As fish is very abundant in Peru, fish and seafood are also a part of traditional Peruvian food. Ceviche is a very popular Peruvian dish made using fish. Cod fish is cooked using lemon juice, spices and is served with onions. In the mountainous areas ‘trucha’ the Andean trout is a very popular part of their cuisine.
Let’s take a look at some of the names of traditional Peruvian food:
• Adobo de cerdo is white rice which is served with pork sauce.
• Arroz con Pollo is basically boiled chicken which is served with a green sauce. Green rice is given on the side with the dish as well.
• Carapulca is pork or steak which is made using dried tomatoes and is served with rice.
• Escabeche de pescado is once again a dish made with fish. The fish is cooked with the Peruvian peppers, onions and lemon juice and is similar to the ceviche that has been mentioned earlier on in this article.
• Ocopa is a dish made with potatoes, cheese and nuts.
• Pachamanca is a dish that belongs to the desert. The ingredients are cooked in a sac and are buried under hot rocks to be cooked. Meat such as lamb or pork, potatoes and tamale are use to make this dish.
• Parihuela is another seafood dish that is traditional to Peruvian cuisine. Fish, mussels, octopus, shrimps and crabs are served with rice and yuca.
• Rocoto Relleno is basically peppers stuffed with cheese, potatoes, onions, milk, eggs and meat. It is a baked dish and is very popular in Peruvian cuisine.
As mentioned before, foreign influences have changed Peruvian cooking to a great extent. Western culture has made pizza a very popular dish in Peru as well. Though the old style of wood burning ovens is still present in the preparation of it.