Peruvian cuisine is the most varied cuisine in all South America. Try Peruvian dishes with seafood, chicken, beef or vegetarian dishes with potatoes or quinoa. Do not leave Peru without trying these 22 Peruvian dishes and drinks:
Quinoa is big is Peru. You can have it in your starters, main dishes as well as in sweet desserts. This is a Quinoa vegetable soup, I had as a starter on Taquile Island on Lake Titicaca.
Papa a la Huancaina
Papa a la Huacaina can often be found as a starter in lunch menus or as a side dish in local restaurants. Potatoes, eggs and olives are served in a sauce made of cheese, aji amarillo chillies, garlic, milk, lime juice and crackers.
Causa Rellena is a Quechan dish which looks a bit like a cake. You will get mashed potatoes in your first layer, a mixture of meat or fish (chicken, tuna for example), mayonnaise and some vegetables in the second layer and another layer of mashed potatoes on the top. Above everything, the causa is decorated with avocado.
For me personally, that was actually a dinner dish that filled me and no starter. But a starter
is what it is supposed to be.
Not much to explain here. Seafood is a huge part of Peruvian cuisine and this deep fried seafood is a good lunch starter. You can often find deep fried yucca as well with those dishes.
Ceviche is the national dish of Peru. Seafood (fish, shrimp, octopus, scallops among others) are cooked in lime juice, onion and aji chillies. It is served with sweet potatoes and roasted corn kernels.
Rice with seafood
Peru has a long coastline and of course, seafood is an important part of Peruvian cuisine. Rice with different kinds of seafood can be found everywhere, especially in cities on the coast.
Ceviche de champinoñes
If you are vegetarian or don’t like seafood you can still get a taste of the sauce of Ceviche. Try a ceviche with fresh mushrooms, corn and sweet potatoes in the famous sauce of lime juice, onion and aji chillies.
The most popular fish, especially in places around Lake Titicaca, is trout. This one was grilled and served with fries, rice and a small salad.
Rocoto Relleno is a typical dish in Arequipa. A red aji rocoto chilli is stuffed with beef, garlic, olives, herbs & spices and covered with fresh cheese. An egg and milk sauce covers the rocoto and the potatoes on the side. Please note that the rocoto is a type of chilli and not a bell pepper and thus a bit hot.
Lomo Saltado is a dish that mixes Chinese and Peruvian cuisine. It is a soy-marinated beef with tomatoes, chilies, cilantro and onions. As most dishes, Lomo Saltado is served with fries and rice.
Aji de Gallina
This chicken dish is another one of the hotter dishes you can find in Peru. The shredded chicken is served in a sauce made of cream, walnuts, aji amarillo chilies, garlic, bread and cheese with eggs, rice or potatoes as a side.
Guinea pig is an animal, people from Europe consider rather a pet than an animal we can eat. In Peru this is different. Cuy is especially important in the Andean regions. It is stuffed with herbs and roasted over an open fire. Then served with potatoes and other vegetables.
Pollo a la brasa
Chicken is marinated in herbs, spices and garlic and then roasted. It is often served with a Peruvian black mint sauce (Huayatay Sauce) and fries.
You probably know churros from Spain or other Latin American countries. In Peru, it’s very popular as well. You can get it with our without fillings in small stands or with street vendors.
Café con leche
Peru is one of the top producers of coffee on earth. And who can resist a good cup of coffee after lunch? I can’t.
Another sweet pleasure are picarones: a fried donut with sweet syrup on it.
Are you visiting the high altitudes of Peru? Then, you are going to either try pure coca tea or Inca tea. Inca Tea is not only a tea with coca but also includes muña and other herbs to help you acclimatize to altitude.
Inka Cola is a popular yellow soft drink in Peru. And I assure you it tastes like it looks: children bubblegum.
Did you know you can make a drink out of corn? Chicha Morada is exactly that. A drink made of purple corn.
Fresh Fruit Juices
As you could find out in my article about the Peruvian Food & Market Tour, Peru offers a huge variety of fruits and thus fruit juices. I personally cannot get enough of maracuja juice.
The most popular beers in Peru include Cusqueña, Cristal and Pilsen Callao. The popularity varies a lot with the region you are traveling to.
And last but not least Pisco Sour: The national drink of Peru. This popular cocktail consists of pisco, sugar, lime juice and egg white. There are also Piscos with Maracuja and sweet tastes available. Try them all!
Which of those dishes and drinks would you like to try?
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