Bon appétit
Peru, © 20.Aug.2004 gM
Photos of Peru
Introduction to Peru
El menú peruano
Bon appétit
Thieves & Scams: 1   kN/gM: 3
From Thailand, I expected it. From India, I knew it. From Japan, I was anticipating it. I, however, did not have the slightest idea that the food in Peru was going to be so excellent. This may not be true for vegetarians, but certainly is true for meat lovers. Here are some of the dishes one should try while in Peru:

  • chicha morada (purple corn drink with fruits)
  • maté de coca (coca leaf tea)
  • pisco sour (white-grape brandy with lemon juice, ice, egg white, and sugar)
  •   Appetizers  
    Aside from toasted corn which is often served on the house, try:
  • conchitas a la Parmesana (scallops served in the shell with Parmesan au gratin);
  • palta rellena (avocado filled with chicken salad);
  • papa a la Huancaina (boiled potato with creamy sauce of fresh cheese, oil, hot pepper, lemon, and egg yolk);
  • yuquitas (savory yucca (cassava) balls stuffed with chumbivilcano cheese).
  •   Soups  
  • dieta de pollo (clear chicken soup with noodles or rice)
  • sopa a la criolla (beef soup with noodles, topped with a fried egg)
  • Looks like roadkill, tastes like chicken, and consists of countless small bonesCuy chactado
    Cuy chactado (fried guinea pig) is a traditional dish of Peru (left, right) / © gM
    Llamas like alpacas are domesticated animals
    Llamas like alpacas are domesticated animals / © gM
      Main Dishes  
    Pollo Broaster (roasted chicken) is ubiquitous, closely followed by pollo a la plancha (chicken au naturel), and pollo a la Milanesa (breaded chicken), but do not miss out on:
  • aji de gallina (chicken in a sauce of milk, onion, chili, garlic, and cheese);
  • juane (chicken and rice wrapped in bijao leaves, similar in taste to biryani);
  • tropical chicken curry with pineapple, peach, banana, and strawberry.
  • Getting tired of lomo saltado (an excellent mix of strips of grilled beef, tomatoes, fried onions, French fries, and chili) or fillet Stroganoff or beef medaillons in a sauce of port and cumin? There is always alpaca or llama fillet in its many incarnations:
  • in whisky sauce, red wine sauce, mushroom sauce, or spicy peach sauce;
  • with sweet aguaymanto (jungle fruit) glaze;
  • with sweet potato mash, sautéed spinach, dehydrated and shredded carrots, and blueberry sauce.
  • For friends of seafood, there are:
  • ceviche mariscos (raw seafood marinated in lemon or lime juice, served with sweet potato, and garnished with seaweed and onions);
  • chicharrones de calamares (fried squid with spicy dipping sauce);
  • Lake Titicaca pejerrey (kingfish) breaded with quinua (grain from the altiplano) and served with apples and blackberry sauce;
  • Sacred Valley trout with penne rigati in pisco Parmesan cream sauce;
  • spinach and cheese ravioli in vodka trout cream sauce.
  • Enjoy delicious fusion cuisine such as pizza topped with alpaca fillet and smoked trout, or choose from other typical Peruvian dishes I have not mentioned so far:
  • adobo (spicy pork stew made with chicha (fermented corn beer));
  • camote rebozado (sweet potato in a flour batter);
  • caucho de queso (stringy melted cheese sauce on top of potatoes, onions, and tomatoes);
  • chicharrones (deep-fried pieces of pork or pork skin);
  • cuy chactado (guinea pig fried as a whole including organs, head, claws, teeth, ...);
  • plátanos quillabandidos (fried bananas stuffed with raisins, in a batter, and topped with meat salsa);
  • rocoto relleno (spicy red pepper filled with meat, onions, raisins, and peanuts).
  •   Desserts  
    At a restaurant, one will very likely find pancakes with a variety of fillings from dulce de leche (milk caramel sauce) to bananas and chocolate, but one may also be offered:
  • papaya in red wine.
  • If this is not to one's liking, head to a panadería (bakery) for:
  • a myriad of great fresh breads, buns, and pastries;
  • borrachito (dense but moist chocolate cake covered with chocolate glaze);
  • empanada de pollo (pastry filled with chicken, onion, and olice);
  • empanada de queso (pastry filled with cheese);
  • enrrollado de plátano (pastry filled with whole banana).
  • Introduction to Peru  /  El menú peruano  /  Bon appétit  /  Thieves & Scams: 1   kN/gM: 3