Peru it is a pleasure
With a mixture of cultures, our identity is enriched by a great diversity of flavors. Peruvian cuisine is the result of experience, fusion and our genuine hospitality, of the satisfaction of witnessing how visitors enjoy good cooking. The marine riches of our seashore, the harmony of the Andes and the mystery of the jungle become textures, colors and delicious aromas that turn Peru into a feast of flavors.
Proposed and are under evaluation by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural World Heritage (2011).
Here, people of all races do not hesitate to call themselves “Peruvians” and make their accents and flavors part of what is ours. The land has taught us generosity by placing endless delicacies in our hands for centuries now. Children learn the colors by seeing all types of chili peppers and fruits, and our mothers at home make the kitchen a laboratory of flavors and love. For of all this, I dare not venture to give one reason why our country is so rich or where this inexhaustible source of flavors starts.
I simply introduce myself. Peru, mucho gusto.
Good cooking and an understanding of a finely spread table is maybe the most widespread habit among Peruvians. We eat all things and for every occasion: when babies are born, when the old die, when children turn into adults, when we want to tell the truth or a little, white lie in order to seduce, convince or love. A well spread table witnesses every occasion without exception.
Whenever hearing from a Peruvian that ours is the best cuisine, always remember that this not one hundred percent naïve bravado;this is due to the belief that, if there is such a thing as a sixth sense, then we, the Peruvians, have received ours to double the sense of taste.
Our identity is shaped in the kitchen. As dinner guests, we are not easily satisfied and a lot of us are magical cooks. Our tables are a shining example of pluralistic democracy; there will always be room for a cebiche of fresh flounder, a Pisco Sour, or rice with duck Chiclayo style.
Our capacity of integrating ourselves is expressed by eating Chifa, the proper name of Chinese cuisine in Peru. Endless and colorful banquets that demand silence and discipline after each and every bite allow us to appreciate what diversity really means.
How about geography? Eating in Peru, ladies and gentlemen, is a journey in itself. Starting from the bountiful Peruvian Sea, where our cebiches come swimming out, and passing through the Andes with the hundreds of varieties of potato, and moving on to the Amazon, loaded with the exotic for a natural and mysterious cuisine, we have just one great route that makes Peru a unique territory; it is the road that outlines our flavors.
It happens, then, that Peru was gifted with lands and seas of divine abundance and we, the Peruvians, for centuries now, have given thanks for this gift by cooking, eating, and creating just as the gods do.
Mucho gusto, ladies and gentlemen. This is Peru, and it is the flavors themselves that are inviting you to get to know it.
GASTRONOMY OF PERU
If you happen to like fish and seafood, while you're in Peru, you're in for a treat. The coast of Peru has some of the best species of fish anywhere.
Try "escabeche", a fish appetizer with onions and peppers. Scallops "conchitas", and mussels "choros" which are prepared in an infinite variety of ways all of which are delicious. The "cebiche" is the Peruvian sea food specialty, fish pieces cooked in lemon juice, served with sweet potato and corn.
Any dish served "a lo macho" come with a shellfish sauce.
"Corvina", sea bass, is always an excellent choice, as is shrimp, "camarones". Good trout can be found in Lima and in the mountain areas, cooked in many different ways.
For a typical chicken entree, order "Aji de Gallina", served in a lightly piquant cream sauce. "Lomo Saltado" is another popular main dish consisting of morsels of beef sautéed with onions and peppers, served with fried potatoes and rice, a real delight.
If you're feeling adventurous, try "cuy" (guinea pig), eaten in may places throughout the highlands, "cuy" is a mountain specialty particularly delicious when served accompanied by a peanut sauce.
"Pachamanca", another highland specialty is a feast of various meats and vegetables cooked together over heated stones in pits dug in the ground.
Favorite national sweets are "manjar blanco" and "suspiro de limeña", both made from sweetened condensed milk. "Alfajores" filled with honey or manjar blanco are also quite a treat "mazamorra morada", is also a tradition in the country, a rich purple, fruity pudding-type dessert dates from colonial days. Also, the delicious "picarones" with honey.
Peruvian beers are excellent try Cristal, Pilsen and Cuzqueña.
Peruvian wine is also recommendable, Ocucaje, Tabernero, Tacama and Vista Alegre are four great wines to look for.
And of course, no trip to Peru is complete without a "Pisco Sour", a true Peruvian specialty that you must treat with respect unless you want to end up with a huge hangover.
Juice and lemonade will be made with tap water unless you ask for bottled water.
"Menus", fixed price, daily specials, usually feature typical Peruvian food and are cheaper than ordering a la carte.
Peru Guide, Lima Editora.