Peru’s vibrant and diverse culinary scene has gained global recognition, with National Geographic recently selecting the country as one of the top 10 gastronomic destinations in the world.
Renowned for its unique fusion of indigenous traditions, Spanish influences, and a touch of international flair, Peruvian cuisine offers a tantalizing array of flavors, textures, and aromas.
This article explores the reasons behind Peru’s culinary excellence, highlights some iconic Peruvian dishes, uncovers interesting curiosities, and provides insights on the best ways to savor Peruvian food like a local.
While traveling and discovering new culinary flavors of the world you may need to use one of our mobile phone plans for tourists to have a tourist SIM card. In order to understand and find new adventures, here in PeruSIM.
National Geographic magazine highlighted Peru’s gastronomy and decided to include it in the top 10 of the world’s best culinary destinations. The publication highlights the country’s ecosystems and altitudes that help cultivate the large number of products that are then used in the thousands of national restaurants.
“As one of the great gastronomic meccas of the world, Peru – and specifically Lima – currently receives a large number of tourists who, in addition to discovering one of the seven wonders of the world (Machu Picchu), visiting the Andes, the Amazon or its beautiful White City (Arequipa), travel there to eat in some of the best restaurants in Latin America and the world,” said Lucía Díaz Madurga, a journalist specializing in gastronomy and travel, in her article for National Geographic.
What other countries make up the list of the best gastronomic destinations in the world?
The prestigious list is completed by other countries also known for their exquisite dishes, such as Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Morocco, Italy, France, Thailand, Japan and Spain.
As far as Peru is concerned, the publication says that ceviche and causa limeña, chifa, the result of the fusion of Chinese migration to Peru, and Nikkei cuisine, the result of Japanese influence, are the most significant elements of our food.
Not only that, but National Geographic highlights the attributes of famous restaurants such as Central by Virgilio Martínez, Maido by Misha Tsumura, Mérito by Juan Luis Martínez, Mayta by Jaime Pesaque and Bodegón by Gastón Acurio.
Peru is among the best! It was nominated as best gastronomic destination in the ‘Oscars of Tourism’.
National pride! Peru was nominated as the best gastronomic destination in South America 2023 at the World Travel Awards (WTA). This prestigious award is known as the ‘Oscars of Tourism’ and has been held since 1993. The great quality of Peruvian food was included in several nominations and awards.
This year, Peru managed to achieve several nominations such as leading tourist attraction in South America 2023, leading adventure tourism destination in South America 2023, leading beach destination in South America 2023, leading urban getaway destination in South America 2023, among others.
A Melting Pot of Culinary Traditions
Peru’s gastronomy is a true melting pot of culinary traditions, shaped by the country’s diverse history and geography. Indigenous ingredients and cooking techniques blend harmoniously with Spanish, African, Asian, and even Middle Eastern influences, resulting in a vibrant and unique culinary landscape.
Iconic Peruvian Dishes
- Ceviche: Peru’s emblematic dish, ceviche, showcases the country’s abundant seafood. Fresh fish or seafood is marinated in citrus juices, typically lime or lemon, and seasoned with onions, chili peppers, and cilantro.
- Lomo Saltado: This beloved stir-fry dish combines tender strips of beef, onions, tomatoes, and soy sauce, served with French fries and rice. It reflects the Chinese influence on Peruvian cuisine through the use of stir-frying techniques and soy sauce.
- Causa: Causa is a potato-based dish layered with a filling of chicken, tuna, or vegetables. It is seasoned with lime, chili peppers, and mayonnaise, creating a delightful blend of flavors and textures.
- Anticuchos: These flavorful skewers consist of marinated meat, usually beef heart, grilled to perfection. Anticuchos are commonly served with potatoes and a zesty peanut sauce called salsa de ají.
Curiosities of Peruvian Cuisine
Peru is home to an abundance of superfoods, including quinoa, maca, and kiwicha. These nutrient-dense ingredients have gained international recognition for their health benefits and are integral to Peruvian cuisine.
Peru’s national spirit, pisco, is a grape-based brandy. It is the key ingredient in the iconic cocktail, Pisco Sour, which combines pisco, lime juice, sugar syrup, egg whites, and Angostura bitters.
Guinea Pig (Cuy)
Guinea pig has been a traditional source of protein in the Andean region for centuries. It is often roasted whole and served with potatoes and ají sauce, offering a unique and culturally significant dining experience.
Savoring Peruvian Food Like a Local
Explore Local Markets
Visit bustling markets like Lima’s Mercado de Surquillo or Cusco’s San Pedro Market to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and aromas of fresh produce, spices, and street food stalls.
Dine at Traditional Picanterías
Picanterías are traditional Peruvian eateries known for serving regional specialties. These casual establishments provide an authentic culinary experience, allowing you to taste traditional dishes prepared with love and expertise.
Participate in Cooking Classes
Engage in a hands-on cooking class to learn the secrets of preparing Peruvian dishes from local chefs. From ceviche-making workshops to traditional cooking techniques, these classes offer a deeper understanding of Peruvian cuisine.
Food Festivals and Events
Attend food festivals, such as Mistura in Lima or Pachamanca festivals in the Sacred Valley, to indulge in an array of Peruvian delicacies, witness culinary
Finally, we know that you have to keep communication with your relatives and friends, that you need to be able to orient yourself in new cities, that you might need help with translation and that you might need to search for restaurants or hotels. That’s why with PeruSIM you can buy a SIM card including the data plan of your need without having to worry about high roaming costs.