When talking about traditional Peruvian food, I can’t help but to go back to my childhood and teenager years. Every afternoon my mother prepared the most delicious plates to satisfy her family’s requirements. In general, one was used to eating what is known as “home food”. The typical Peruvian food that get rarely ordered in restaurants but are the stars of the Peruvian food that glow, even if they’re not promoted, like ceviche or sautéed loin.
Among those tasty dishes that my mother used to prepare, I can recall some that I would like to share with you. If you haven’t had the chance to taste them, you should do it as soon as possible.
Without further ado, here I introduce you my list of the seven best traditional Peruvian dishes, from my humble opinion:
There is nothing that can be compared with the penetrating smell at the moment of preparing a tasteful Cau Cau. Pieces of tripe and potatoes cut in small squares that mix perfectly with the distinct flavor of the Peruvian yellow chili pepper, parsley, garlic and onion. This is without a doubt one of my favorite Peruvian dishes. Adding a good piece of ground rocoto will make this dish a delight everybody should taste.
This tasteful Peruvian dish is the favorite of a lot of people I know. And it’s not for less, since this delight can find its origins in the colonial times, thanks to the African slaves. The flavor is based in the dehydrated potato, also known as papa seca, the panca chili pepper and vinegar. Nowadays, the carapulcra can be found with other ingredients, like pork, chicken, roasted peanut, garlic and onion. This is a dish with great history and flavor in the Peruvian cuisine.
This is, without a doubt, one of the most popular dishes in the streets of Peru. Who hasn’t stopped at some point to taste a delightful anticucho from a peddler? Peruvian choclo and toasted potatoes can accompany it, aside from the unique flavors of rocoto and huacatay chili pepper. This is another Peruvian delight that has its origins in colonial times, when African slaves used cow remainders that Spaniards rejected (in this case, the cow’s heart).
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This is one of the Peruvian dishes that is loved by some and hated by others. There are some people that can’t stand the idea of eating guinea pig (cuy), because it’s easily associated with the common rodent. The guinea pig in Peru is a farmyard animal fed and taken care of the best possible way. Its meat is delicious and has a very distinct taste. This dish is original of the south part of Peru (Arequipa), but eaten a lot in the Peruvian Andes.
This Peruvian dish is without a doubt a real flavor fest. Pachamanca is prepared since Inca times. Its peculiar cooking and ingredients diversity have made of this dish a true symbol of Peru. Pork, chicken, lamb and guinea pig are wrapped in banana leafs, sided by potatoes, sweet potatoes and beans cooked with hot stones in the ground, giving it its unique and distinct taste. You definitely have to find the way to savor this dish, if you haven’t already done so.
This is another delight that comes from the south of Peru (Arequipa). This dish is a fusion of chupe, a traditional Inca dish, with Spanish ingredients, like milk and eggs. This is both a traditional and elite dish of Peruvian cuisine. It was usually prepared in special occasions, weekends or celebrations with friends and family. It is a very tasteful and beautiful dish in the eyes of any person.
This is another delicacy from Arequipean lands. Its exquisite flavor is the perfect combination of mirasol chili pepper, yellow chili pepper, huacatay chili pepper and toasted peanuts, among other ingredients, which give it a unique and hard to overcome taste. The sauce prepared is green colored, like dark mustard, and it’s served with cooked potato, olive and boiled egg. This dish rivals with the famous huancaina potato.
Just remembering these traditional Peruvian food has whetted my appetite. Our Peruvian food is varied and extent. It’s great to appreciate the exquisite taste of the sautéed loin, the chicken chili pepper or the ceviche. But, let’s not forget that there are many other dishes equally tasteful apart from the ones I just mentioned.
I recommend you giving yourself some time to taste these delicacies. If you’re Peruvian and you know what I’m talking about, please tell us which dishes are the ones you remember from your childhood or the ones that remind you of your home and that now you miss very much.