Peru is considered to be one of the best places to experience delicious cuisine and it’s food scene is constantly attracting foodies from all around. What makes Peru so special in the food industry is the use of their own natural ingredients that can not be found anywhere else in the world. From street food to upscale restaurants, I am going to show you the top things to look out for when traveling to Peru.
First thing I did when I got home from my trip was apologize to my mom because I had to confess her ceviche was no longer the best in the world. Disrespectful, I know but that’s how I felt after encountering my first bite with the ceviche from the famous Chef Wong’s restaurant. The spices, distinct taste of lime, and fresh fish the chef selected all contributed to the most exotic taste I ever experienced. Ceviche in general within Peru is amazing, regardless of what type of establishment you go to try it. Even a friend I went to dine with (who is anti-seafood) even admitted that this was good. PLEASE don’t leave Peru without trying ceviche at some point in your trip.
2. Chile Relleno:
I have had several chile rellenos in my life but nothing will ever compare to the spicy chile of Rocoto I consumed during my time in Aguas Calientes. This pepper is derived from the Andean region and it’s hotness is quickly felt at first bite. Yet with the flame the pepper provided, I could not force myself to stop eating this as the mix with cheese and meat was so addictingly good. My mind couldn’t compose a single thought and was speaking gibberish afterwards. Took a couple of pisco sours to wash away the hotness but was worth the suffering. So much fun eating this and I recommend this dish to every tourist!
3. Sanguche de chicharrón:
So many sandwich shops to choose from so you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Just make sure to try the chicharron sandwich at least once. In my case I went to El Chinito, a local spot that’s been around since 1960 and now ranked #1 in sandwiches. The portion size of meat is great and the prices are very well worth it. A Chicha Morada drink pairs well with this meal as well.
It was extremely nice to walk through the neighborhoods and smelling the great scent of fresh baked goods. Bakeries can be found on every street and offer a huge variety of breads/pastries to choose from. My personal favorite were the Alfajores Peruvanos which were sandwich cookies filled with homemade caramel. #Bomb.com
Salchipapas is a fast food dish that can be found throughout the streets of Lima. It consists of beef sausage, french fries, and your choice of eggs, cheese, ketchup or mayo. This was a nice snack to have after downing a couple of beers while venturing out for “Night life.”
6. Cuy (Guinea pig)
Personally I did not enjoy the cuy as much as I wanted to but still believe it deserves an honorable mention. Cuy is a delicacy in Peru and has been part of the Andean diet for many years. The waiter assured me it would taste like chicken but in my opinion I felt like I was biting onto rubber. Maybe it was the location or process it was cooked in. I don’t know… Either way I would be willing to give it another chance if I can be guaranteed Cuy will be better elsewhere.
7. Alpaca Meat
Alpaca was one of my favorite dishes to eat since it was tender and a bit sweet surprisingly. I also learned that Alpaca meat contains less calories and had lower cholesterol than most meats. The Mexican in me was thinking about how I could bring Alpaca meat back to the states and make some mean Alpaca tacos. 🤔
8. Pisco Sour cocktail/Peruvian Wine
Pisco sour is the main cocktail of Peru which is made up of egg white, lemon juice, simple syrup, and pisco wine brandy. I know the egg white might throw you off but I promise you won’t even taste it with this blend. What I love about the Pisco Sour is that it’s very light when you drink it so you could probably drink about 3 of these before you start to notice the alcohol kicking in for that buzz. Local Peruvian red wine is also good drink when eating meats.
Chinese influence on Peruvian cuisine has been heavily present throughout the years particularly due to the large wave of Chinese immigrants in the 1860’s. Along with Chinese immigration to Peru came along their spices and recipes. So don’t be shocked to see Chinese restaurants all over and do yourself a favor by trying this tasteful fried rice dish.
10. Sublime chocolate
Sublime chocolate bars are a Peruvian favorite and was recommended to me by one of my Peruvian fraternity brothers. Comprised of milk chocolate and Peruvian peanuts, you can’t go wrong with the original flavor. White chocolate flavor is just as good and can be found in any local corner store.
Try these foods and you won’t be disappointed. Señor Foodie approved 👌