Top 6 Peruvian Foods to Try
1 Chiri Uchu
Chiri Uchu, the signature dish of Cusco, is deeply rooted in Andean tradition and dates back to the time of the Incas. The ingredients of Chiri Uchu come from the Peruvian highlands and Jungle, making it the star of Cusco cuisine. This festive meal gets its name from ají frío or picante frio, which means cold pepper/spice in Quechua. Usually served cold with chicken, fried bread, sausage, dried corn, cheese, and seaweed, the star ingredient is cuy. Also known as guinea pig, cuy has a pleasant, gamy taste similar to a rabbit or wild fowl. To show how significant this dish is to the Peruvian diet: a cathedral in Cusco hangs a replica of Da Vinci’s last supper, where the twelve disciples are seated around a platter of cuy.
Chicharron is a popular dish of fried pork has different variations depending on where you enjoy it in Peru, but in Cusco it is commonly served with fried potatoes slices, boiled Peruvian corn, and a salad of raw onions and peppermint leaves.
3 Lomo Saltado
Lomo saltado is a deliciously simple traditional Peruvian dish. Usually served with rice and french fries, lomo saltado is comprised of stir fried beef with onions and tomatoes. Easily found throughout Cusco, variations of Lomo Saltado can be enjoyed in most restaurants and sometimes on a Menu (includes a beverage and soup served around lunch time). Traditionally served hot, this popular dish is a delicious go to meal!
Alpaca is traditionally served with rice and french fries. Don’t hesitate to try this delicious meal! Alpaca is a very tender and lean meat that tastes similar to buffalo or other grass-fed meats. This makes for excellent jerky, which coincidentally is another ancient Peruvian culinary innovation. (The word jerky comes from the Quechua word “charqui”, meaning “to burn.”)
5 Aji de Gallina
Aji de Gallina — a rich and velvety stew that is a true comfort food in Peruvian cuisine. Originally believed to have adapted from Medieval Spain and to Roman and Arab cuisines, this recipe has now been adapted by Peruvians cooks. Local ingredients, such as yellow pepper, are used to create this delicious, creamy mixture of chicken, rice, potatoes, hard-boiled egg, and local spices.
Picarrones! The Peruvian donut is warm and crispy. This fried dough is a delicious snack or simple desert usually topped with honey. Yum!
By Katherine Franks