The culinary history of the Peruvian food dates back to the Incas and pre-Incas with its maize, potatoes and spices that later was influenced by the arrival of the Spanish colonies, and throughout the years it incorporated the demands of the different groups of migrants including Chinese, European, African and Japanese.
Today Peru is home to a variety of many delicious dishes making this country one of the top and unique tourist destinations in the world. In each dish, you can taste the rich history and culture of the Peruvian people.
We’ve compiled a list of the best Peruvian dishes to help you dive into flavors of authentic Peruvian food.
Indisputably Peru’s flagship dish, visitors can try this versatile cured raw fish classic pretty much anywhere in the country, from humble street carts to fancy restaurants.
The Peruvian ceviche is a cold soup made of fish, red onion, garlic, and lemon. It’s a dish that will definitively amaze you. If you’ve tried another country’s ceviche like the Ecuadorian ceviche, you’ll notice a unique preparation. Once you try the ceviche there’s no question why ceviche is such a popular Peruvian food.
This is a traditional croquette eaten in Peru along with several other Latin American countries. This dish has a unique history, and has its roots in the 1879 War of the Pacific where soldiers needed something portable to carry with them on long journeys and is made by stir frying a spicy ground beef mix composed of ground beef, onions, tomatoes, cumin, garlic and paprika. The dish didn’t quite resemble what it is today due to limited ingredients, however, upon returning home, many wives began to spruce up this new dish. Coupled with influence by French and Italian cuisine, Papa Rellena quickly became one of Latin America’s favorite dishes and particularly in the Peruvian gastronomy.
Chupe de Camarones
Chupe de Camarones is a unique Shrimp soup that combines a spicy broth with chunky vegetables, poached eggs, and lots of tasty shrimp.
Shrimp chupe was a soup that the indigenous Incas in Peru had been making for ages, but it was when the Spanish settlers introduced eggs and milk into their diet in the early 1800s; the chupe de camarones began to evolve into the shrimp soup that all know today. Each region of Peru has their own version of this soup, and they vary slightly from each other, but the most widely known version of shrimp chupe is originally from Arequipa, in the southern, coastal region of Peru. This soup is typically served during the winter as a first or main course. Which makes sense, because it is hearty and chock full of fun and tasty ingredients.
Adobo de cerdo Arequipeño
This dish is also known as “Adobo de Chanco”, is a traditional dish cooked overnight, very popular for hangover cure and Sunday brunch.
Though typical of Peruvian cuisine, Arequipa’s adobo is quite different from the other adobos in the world. The dish is a soupy pork stew, slow-simmered with chicha de jora, spicy rocoto pepper, aji panca, garlic, onions, oregano, cumin, and other herbs and spices. The origin of the adobo was in the eighteenth century according to data that have been collected in the archaeological sites of Arequipa.
Chicharrón de Cerdo
The Chicharron de Cerdo is the fact of pieces of pork with the skin that are cooked in the same fat and water flavored only with salt. The history of Peruvian chicharron is a little uncertain, but it is very likely that the dish was brought and influenced by the Spanish because they had the tradition of raising pigs. Historical data show that Chicarron became more common in Peru around the 1930s.
The Peruvians causa limeña is like a potato salad made of potato, lemon, garlic, salad, cooked egg and black olives as most important ingredients of this dish. Is consider a perfect picnic recipe.
Causa it’s the 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.” A popular alternative way to eat the Causa is rolled up like a jellyroll, spreading the potatoes into a smooth rectangle over a layer of plastic wrap, lift the plastic wrap from one end of the potatoes and roll the potatoes up over the filling.
Aji de Gallina
Aji de Gallina (Creamy Chicken) is a classic Peruvian dish composed of a shredded chicken stew in a flavorful cheesy sauce made of ground walnuts and aji amarillo peppers. This is a dish that was born from the mixture of flavors and has as ancestor the white delicacy (manjar blanco). Therefore, it could be said that it originated in Spanish, French and Arabic cuisine. Ají de gallina should be served over potato rounds, accompanied by the olives and eggs cut into quarters.
Its name is referred to thein the Quechuan language and means “earth oven” or “earth pot”. Pachamanca is actually cooked in an earthen oven made of hot stones. Cooked over the course of several hours, the Andean dish of pachamanca involves a mixture of heavily spiced meat and vegetables buried amidst hot stones. The dish is made in a pot.
Today, Pachamanca is the centerpiece of many Peruvian gatherings, whether it be a local holiday in the Andes or a party in the highlands just outside of Lima. it’s a great way to feed a crowd, and reiterates the important tie between food, ritual, and people in Peruvian culture.