Everyone knows that Peruvian food is one of a kind. When one goes to Peru, it is more likely than not that by the end of their trip they will be talking about the food. Maybe it’s because the country has such a variety of dishes and there are so many favorites. To understand the variety of Peruvian food, it is important to first understand that Peru is divided into three regions: one is the coast, the other the jungle and finally the highlands. The three of them are completely different as they are home to very distinctive cultures.
Most of the typical dishes of the coast are well-known around the world. One example is ceviche, an amazing dish made of fresh fish, onions, sweet potato and “cancha”. It is delicious and it has won the Chowzter – World´s Tastiest Fast Feasts – in London in 2014 as the best dish in the world. Another typical dish is Lomo Saltado, made with fries, potatoes, sirloin steak, onions and tomatoes. However, most Peruvian dishes are made of fish, as the fishing industry is well developed in the north coast of the country. Some dishes that you should look out for are: Choritos a la Chalaca, Chilcano and Chupe a la Limeña.
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If you go to the jungle, you will find a completely different set of available dishes. There you can find typical dishes of the area such as the Juane (a mixture of rixe, meat, hard-boiled egg, and spices warpped in macaw-flower leaves and boiled), an acquired taste which some find wonderful and others deem extremely peculiar. This dish is very famous in the jungle and is widely consumed in the Christian feast of San Juan, on June 24th of each year. Another dish known in the jungle is Tacacho con Cecina, made of green bananas that are either fried or broiled and then crushed and mixed with lard and accompanied by cured meat (smoked beef and dried pork) and chorizo. It is unique and different from the coast and the highlands.
Thirdly, in the highlands, people eat different dishes, some of which are very rare, such as the Cuy. It is an animal that experts say contains more protein than any other meat. But there are other tasteful dishes such as Pachamanca tres sabores.
The preparation of this dish is a ritual, where the steak, potatoes, corn, and other ingredients are placed inside a hole in the ground with pre-heated stones that are used to cover the dish. Finally, a glass of pisco is poured over as an offering to La Pachamama, a goddess revered by the people of the Andes. After this, the meal takes about an hour before it is ready – prepare yourself to try something truly unique!
There are plenty of dishes in Peru, but the best restaurants are in the capital, as the best chefs locate their restaurants there. However, if you are looking to try the traditional dishes of the jungle and the highlands, you should make the trip to the area as only the people there know how to make them. Peru has such an enormous range of dishes that even local Peruvians have not tried them all. At least you now know which three regions you need to check out if you are looking to taste the range of cuisines, so it is up to you which you want to try first. All of them are good and will not disappoint you.
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