Peruvian Food

Peruvian food is flavorful yet not hot or overbearing.  As you are dining in Peru, you begin to notice regional and cultural influences in the food you are eating. Quinoa is a staple in most all meals. Not only because Quinoa is higher in protein than most grains, but it also has a grainy texture, and a mild nutty flavor. These characteristics make it a flexible ingredient in salads or served as a nutritious alternative to white rice.

peruvian food

Alpaca Sliders

Regions for Native Ingredients

There are three distinct geographical regions for native ingredients that influence Peruvian food: the Andes, the Coast, and the Amazon. Peruvian food today is a combination of the flavors of each area along with the influences of Asian and African immigrants.  Today's Peruvian food is a blend of these ingredients along with native and immigrant cooking styles.

food of peru

Smoked Trout Open Face Sandwich

Amazonian staples in foods include bananas, plantains, yucca, and fish.  Soy sauce is used in Peruvian food and was brought to Peru by the Chinese and Japanese immigrants during the 19th century. Because of its location, coastal foods include fish, shrimp, and limes.  Popular in the Andes is quinoa, alpaca, and guinea pig.  In addition, there is a favorite Peruvian spice, Aji Amarillo. It is a medium spiced, fruity chili pepper which adds a complex flavor as well as a distinctive yellow/orange color to many dishes.

food of peru

Alpaca Tenderloin w/ Mashed Yucca

Mother Earth

Pachamanca, a Quechua word for Mother Earth, is a cooking technique still practiced in the Andes. Popular with the Inca’s, Pachamanca is a type of barbecue.  For example, to BBQ like the Inca’s; dig a pit, build a fire, and form a layer of rocks over the fire. Then place meat on the rocks and cover with more rocks.  Often, yams are cooked like this too.

food of peru

Lots of Daily Fresh Bake Breads

Blending Tastes

Lastly, as in many countries across the globe, Peruvian chefs have traveled the world and thus developed their recipes blending new tastes with traditional Peruvian food.  If you are adventuresome in your eating, you will find foods that will interest your pallet.  If you are not so adventuresome and like to stick with things you know you will like, you'll find the food of Peru accommodating.  Enjoy our photo journey of some of the Peruvian foods we ate.  Sorry, but the one thing you won’t see is Cuy or Guinea Pig.  We couldn’t bring ourselves to eating a former pet in the US.

Be sure to check out our article on things to do in Cusco.

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food of peru

About Tina

Tina has been a public school teacher, a book dealer and most recently a Traditional Naturopathic Doctor. She combines her passions for learning, adventure and people in this blog. She was the author of two newspaper columns on health in CA. Now she is an young retiree living in Cuenca Ecuador fulfilling one her dreams which was to live in another country.

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2017-08-07T16:56:26+00:00 By |

One Comment

  1. Diann Schindler July 31, 2017 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Nice blog…I loved the food in Cusco. And, I did eat…actually, I shared guinea pig…with a new friend I met on the train coming back from Machu Picchu. He and his partner were from Costa Rica and had traveled many times to eat at the O Lima restaurant in Cusco. I liked it. Reminded me of chicken…a tiny, crispy chicken. Thanks for the post! Diann from…retired, solo nomad.

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