When it comes to food in Peru, our suggestion is to try all of the things. Even if you think you’ve had something similar before, the Peruvians have a way of taking even the most basic and generic ingredients to the next level (case in point, corn).
Taste your way around Peru with #NOREGRETS, and check out these 12 things that are especially guaranteed to rock your taste buds:
There’s a heated battle in Latin America surrounding who has the best ceviche, but Peru is definitely up there. Ceviche is raw seafood that has been ‘cooked’ or cured using nothing more than citrus juices, and it’s so simple and delicious that it’s essentially sorcery. If you’re into seafood it’s a must, and anywhere along the coast is the best place to get it super-fresh.
It may have never crossed your mind as a potential protein source, but cuy (guinea pig) is a big deal in Peru. Some Peruvians eat it regularly, and for others it’s only eaten on special occasions – sort of like when we have turkey. Either way, it’s a local specialty and has a unique chicken/rabbit flavour that you need to try at least once.
This is how you do portable food the right way (sorry Hot Stuffs)… Chicken, cheese, veggie, beef – regardless of what you get, if it’s in empanada form it’s gonna be delicious. Whether it’s just one as a snack or a couple of each flavour to make it a meal – baked or fried – variety is ideal.
Inca Cola is THE cola in Peru, and once you have one, you’ll probably find yourself ordering one whenever you can during your trip. It’s super sweet like cream soda, but has a unique Peruvian twist that’s super addictive.
Quinoa may be super trendy right now worldwide, but the Peruvians have been eating this protein-packed grain for thousands of years. One thing’s for sure, you’ve gotta experience it the way it’s meant to be eaten and prepared in Peru; on its own, in soups, cold salads, in drinks, desserts and in a bunch of beautiful colours and varieties.
Beer nuts and peanuts have absolutely nothing on corn nuts when it comes to snack food. They’re deliciously roasted and seasoned, and made of real Peruvian corn, which is of course THE original corn. Our personal favourite is the large kernel variety. The best snack food ever, hands down.
Alpacas are used for more than their fleece in Peru – turns out they’re super tasty as well. An alpaca steak is like the perfect combination of pork and beef, and it’s a definite must-try for meatatarians.
Peru’s signature cocktail is so good that we guarantee you’ll be trying to figure out how to make one when you get home. Combine some lime/ lemon juice, bitters, simple syrup and egg whites with Pisco brandy and you’ve got a uniquely Peruvian and refreshing cocktail that you’ll be craving with every meal.
Chowder has absolutely nothing on parihuela. If you’ve ever wondered what you would get if you made chowder on steroids – with HUGE chunks of seafood in a spicy soup base – here’s your answer. The flavours are out of this world, and everything in that broth becomes next-level slurpy and rich.
Peruvians are serious about their cacao, and they’re responsible for producing cacao that is utilized in chocolate production around the world. Although the trees have since been exported to other countries as well, some of the best and rarest cacao is still grown in Peru. Peru is actually where the crop originated, so it’s a no-brainer to want to taste alllll of the chocolate and cacao that you can right from the source.
Nom x 1000. Italy has gelato, and Peru has queso helado; it’s equally as legendary and just as delicious in our opinion. Take some sweet and milky shaved ice, top it with a dash of cinnamon and you’ve got a super simple, super refreshing and addictive dessert that’s guaranteed to turn you into a daily customer with the street vendors in Peru.
Fusion FTW! This isn’t one particular dish per-se, but the whole food category of Chifa is a unique and delicious experience that definitely needs to be tasted. Combining Chinese and Peruvian cuisine has created a whole new culinary category that provides an awesome new twist on the Chinese food you’re used to at home. Try anything, try it all – Chifa is a Peruvian must.