Five destinations in Peru for food lovers
There are many good reasons to visit Peru, but one of the chief ones is to eat very, very well. As a diverse country, however, Peru has a number of regional cuisines, which means that a trip beyond Lima can reveal a number of unique dishes. Here are five destinations in Peru for foodies.
Ayacucho is also a great place to sample cuy- guinea pig- and pachamanca, in which meats, potatoes, lima beans and sweet potatoes are mixed with Andean herbs and cooked in an earthen oven. If you need a sweet bite, try the muyuchi, the local ice cream. The name means “stirring” in Quechua, and when you see the old women stirring it in copper pots in Ayacucho’s plaza, you’ll understand why.
Rocoto relleno (Enrique Castro-Mendívil/PromPerú)
One local favorite is solterito, a refreshing salad made from potatoes, corn, cheese, tomato, onion, rocoto, lima beans, oil, vinegar and herbs. Another winning appetizer is ocopa, in which boiled potatoes are covered by a sauce seasoned heavily with the local black mint, called huacatay. The most famous of all Arequipeño appetizers is the rocoto relleno, in which a rocoto pepper is stuffed with ground beef and other ingredients, and served alongside potato and cheese.
Arequipa is a great place to get river shrimp, which are served in a number of ways, most famously in a chowder called chupe de camarones. On Sunday, don’t miss the famed adobo, a spicy pork stew which serves as an excellent hangover cure.
Tacacho with cecina (Carlos Ibarra/PromPerú)
One special dish is patarashca, in which a river fish is seasoned with jungle fruits, wrapped in a bijao leaf, and cooked over a flame. Many of the dishes in Pucallpa are served with a delicious salsa made from the cocona fruit, and are washed down with a refreshing glass of camu camu juice.
Tortilla de raya (Manchamanteles/PromPerú)
Lovers of seafood will not be disappointed, either. Chiringuito takes a traditional ceviche and gives it a unique spin, replacing the normal raw fish with dried and salted guitar fish. You should also try the tortilla de raya, an omelette made with dried ray meat. As a dessert, you can eat the famed King Kong, which earn their name from their immense size.
Trout ceviche (Juan Puelles/PromPerú)
This list is hardly exhaustive; a true foodie exploration of Peru would have to include the black conch ceviche of Tumbes, the rich stews of Trujillo, the duck ceviche in the Norte Chico and a hundred other delicious plates. For food lovers, it’s time to hit the road and discover all that Peru has to offer.