Essential Peruvian foods: the must-eat dishes to try when you travel in Peru
Peru is justly famous throughout the world for its fine cuisine, and since the country experienced a gastronomic boom in the early 2000s, Peruvian restaurants can be found in many countries throughout the world. When traveling in Peru, the best dishes on the Peruvian coast are seafood-based. Of these, the most famous is ceviche, a dish made from white fish marinated in lemon juice, red onion and chili peppers.
Traditional ceviche is served with sweetcorn, sweet potatoes and toasted corn. Other delicious fish dishes including grilled, fried or oven-cooked recipes can also be enjoyed in the towns and cities on Peru’s coast. When you travel through Peru, be sure to try white sea bass (“corvina”), the shrimp chowder known as “chupe de camarones”, or the delicious hot and spicy fish stew Peruvians call “pescado a lo macho”.
In the Peruvian Andes there are also many delicious dishes to choose from. Corn and potatoes are found in most highland dishes, and meat dishes are popular in the Andes, including in the city of Cusco. One of Peru’s most popular dishes is the stir-fried beef tenderloin, onion and vegetable recipe known as “lomo saltado”. This hearty traditional Peruvian meal is flavored with ginger and chili peppers, and served with rice and fried potatoes.
Other popular dishes in the Peruvian highlands include fried pork, suckling pig and also guinea pig, which has been eaten in the Andes since the Pre-Hispanic period. In Arequipa and Cusco, another favorite Peruvian meal is “rocoto relleno”, made from spicy bell peppers stuffed with beef and vegetables. Also worth checking out when traveling in highland Peru are the many different traditional soups.
In the jungle region of Peru, local people tend to eat a lot of fish, including the giant paiche, the world’s second largest fresh water fish after the beluga. Fish dishes are often served with cassava, fried plantains and the rice and chicken jungle tamales known as “juanes”.