The Peruvian Gastronomy



We live in a time when we can buy the ingredients for the cuisine of almost every corner of the world. Our children are used to eating with chopsticks and we pepper our conversation with words like mesclun and dim sum. Yet our next culinary adventure is right in the Western Hemisphere: the discovery of the rich diversity of dishes and ingredients that make up Peruvian cuisine.

When you sit down to a meal in Peru today, you may not know that you are experiencing the result of a fascinating evolution of foods and cultures. Many Peruvians themselves are only vaguely aware of the unique story of development and adaptation behind the bases of their favorite dishes.

The closest parallel we can draw is the dramatic way that Asian cooking has influenced North America cuisine in the past 30 years. The reinvention of a nation's eating habits has occurred because new ideas and new ingredients have been introduced into the United States. Imagine a similar and continuous revolution, one that stretches back hundreds of years, and you'll begin to get a picture of the evolution of Peruvian cooking.

In fact, the thread begins long before Francisco Pizarro landed in northern Peru with 13 men-at-arms and claimed an empire of 12 million people for the crown of Spain. the basic foods that are represented on the Inca and pre-Inca ceramics in Lima's museums still appear in dishes served at family tables and in restaurants in Peru today.

(From The Art of Peruvian Cuisine by Tony Custer)

What The Washington Post says about the Peruvian food

On May 10, 2006, The Washington Post, one of the most prestigious US newspapers, published an extensive article about the rising popularity of the Peruvian food in the United States. Written by famous food columnist Walter Nicholls, it recounted how Peruvian food has evolved throughout the centuries, from the ancient Inca Empire and its melange with the Spanish "conquistadores" through successive immigration waves of Chinese, Japanese, European and black people. On top of that, Peru boasts 84 ecosystems out of a 104 that exist in the world making our ingredients and dishes as varied as the imagination can be.

Although, Peruvian food it is not yet well known in the United States, one of the goals of the Embassy of Peru is to make it as popular as other world cuisines.This article, along with previous ones and other activities that are being promoted by the Embassy, is helping in this campaign.

To read the complete article, please click on this icon: High on Peru: The Washington Post (May 10, 2006)

One of the finest cuisines in the Americas

Peru boasts one of the finest cuisines in the Americas. Recipes such as cebiche (raw fish marinated in lemon juice), pachamanca (meat and vegetables cooked underground), chupe de camarones (shrimp soup), ají de gallina (spicy chicken) and juanes (cornmash pastries) are just a few of the mouth-watering dishes served up in Peru. The quality and variety of dishes in Peru are due to several reasons.

First, Peru's ecological and climactic diversity has given rise to a major supply of fresh produce, which any chef would be ecstatic about. The rich Peruvian fishing grounds abound in fish and shellfish species, the heart of the succulent coastal gastronomy; rice, fowl and goat, meanwhile, are the key ingredients of Peru's north coastal cooking. In the Andes, meanwhile, delicious ingredients such as the potato and sweetcorn in all its varieties, plus cuy (guinea pig) and ají chili pepper are the basis of highland cooking and are to be found across the country. The jungle adds its own touch, wild game with a side serving of fried banana and manioc root. Local fruit varieties such as chirimoya (custard apple) and lucuma produce incomparable deserts.

The second reason is the rich mix of Western and Eastern cultural traditions. Over the course of centuries, Peru has felt the influence of Spain in stews and soups, Arab sweets and desserts, African contributions to Creole cooking, Italian pastas, Japanese preparations of fish and shellfish and Chinese culinary methods which have given birth to one of the most popular gastronomic traditions in Peru: chifa. But the originality of Peru's cuisine does not stem just from its traditional cooking -rather, it continues to incorporate new influences, preparing exquisite and impeccable dishes that have been dubbed the New Peruvian Cuisine. It is a veritable privilege to experience Peru's cooking. Bon appetit.

(From Promperu)

Should you want to have more information about Peruvian gastronomy in the United States, please contact: Mr. Alejandro Riveros, Minister in the Peruvian Foreign Service at: or the Embassy of Peru in Washington, DC.

What the international media says about Peruvian cuisine



A selection of Peruvian specialties is displayed at the “Señorío de Sulco” restaurant in Lima. Clockwise from top are an assortment of sauces and condiments, a traditional Andean beef dish called Huatia, a seafood entree, Arroz con Mariscos, a potato, lime and seafood dish called Causa Limeña, and fish strips marinated in lime juice and herbs, Tiradito


Ceviche, Peru's most famous dish, is displayed at a Lima restaurant. Made from sea bass, shrimp, octopus and other seafood marinated in lime juice, it is served with sweet potatoes, onions, lettuce and corn.


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