south america | Food & Wine

Peru Foods to Try from South America

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Harvesting quinoa in the highlands in Puno region, southeastern Peru

Speak Spanish, kiss French, dress Italian, shop Arabia, party Caribbean and eat Peruvian foods!

If Peruvian foods not your number one reason to visit Peru, maybe it should be! Peru’s rich cultural heritage created an innovative jumble of flavors from Europe, Africa and Asia that, when blended with traditional Peruvian cuisine, form a unique, world-class epicurean experience.

When planning your trip to Peru, make sure these 6 dishes are on your Peruvian foods must-eat list!

1.) Ceviche

English name: Ceviche (also seviche)

Ceviche in Peru

Peru’s national dish can be found almost every restaurant and even if you’ve tried it, you simply can’t miss tasting an authentic ceviche in the country that started the craze! 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.

2.) Causa Rellena

English name: Peruvian layered potato dish

Causa Rellena in Peru

Potato’s originated in Peru. It’s estimated that there’s over 4,000 varieties and this dish is a testament to that. Causa takes its name from the old Incan Quechua word kausaq, which means "giver of life," another name for the potato. Rellena is the Spanish word for "stuffed" or "filled." In its most basic form causa is served cold and consists of mashed potatoes, layered like a lasagne with avocado, hardboiled eggs and olives.

3.) Anticuchos de Corazon

English name: Beef Heart Skewers

Anticuchos de Corazon

Street food at its best, beef heart is marinated in cumin, aji and garlic, skewered and charcoal grilled to perfection. If you’ve never tried heart, it’s extremely lean and nutritious but you’ll also be able to find other varieties.

4.) Lomo Saltado

English name: Peruvian Sirloin Stir Fry

Lomo Saltado

This Peruvian, Asian fusion of stir fried beef, onions, tomatoes and aji, topped with soy sauce and potato, served over rice is almost as popular as ceviche. Try it with alpaca meat to knock another Peruvian classic off you’re ‘to eat’ list!

5.) Peruvian Cuy

English name: Fried or Roasted Guinea Pig

Peruvian Cuy

Adventurous foodies must try Cuy, (pronounced "kwee") which is…guinea pig. While it might seem unconventional to tuck into furry critters better known as domesticated pets in the West, this indigenous mammal has been a staple in Peru's 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.

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6.) Picarones (or Picaron singular)

English name: Sweet Potato - Squash Fritters

Picarones

Picarones are a Peruvian dessert that originated in the colonial period. Picarones were created during the colonial period to replace buñuelos as buñuelos were too expensive to make. People started replacing traditional ingredients with squash and sweet potato. Accidentally, they created a new dessert that rapidly increased in popularity. This Peruvian doughnut is now made from sweet potato, squash, or pumpkin and is served topped with syrup. They’re light, airy and oh so good!



Paul Schicke
Manager E-Commerce & Direct Sales at Quasar Expeditions

Hello! My name is Paul. I am a photographer, traveler, teacher and writer. I have extensive experience in travel to Galapagos, Peru, Patagonia and the western seaboard of South America specializing in ways travelers can experience these once-in-a-life destinations like locals on the road. Lover of wine, chocolate, travel, coffee, and helping others plan vacations of a lifetime!

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