Fresh fish, lemon juice, and chili are blended together to create Peru’s favorite national dish. Peruvians believe that it has aphrodisiac properties and is a great hangover cure. It’s so popular, it has even had a holiday declared in its honor. Each area of Peru seems to give it their own twist – the Andean version is said to include seaweed and the Lima version features sole. However, each dish is guaranteed to be a taste sensation and one that you’re sure to see at the famed Mistura food festival.
Guinea pigs are a food staple in Peru. While Westerners might balk at the thought of chowing down on their favorite pet, Peruvians view it the same as rabbit and it’s a large part of the Peruvian diet. It is said to taste like smoky poultry and is served with potatoes, rice or pepper sauce.
Chifa dishes have their roots in China. When Chinese immigrants arrived in Peru they created fusion dishes using the ingredients that they brought with them (ginger and soy sauce) and what they could find locally. Chifa favorites include twists on stir-fry dishes, soup, and wonton. Look out for Tallarin Saltado (Peruvian chow mein); Chicharron de Gallina (chicken cubes in spiced lemon juice) and Wantan Frito (fried wonton).
This low-cal, low-fat meat has been eaten in Peru for centuries. It’s said to be gamier than beef and is one of the main sources of meat in the mountains.
Street food stalls will serve up this meat that’s been marinated in red wine vinegar, cumin, and garlic. It was created by African slaves, who when given offal to eat, chose to make the meat more interesting by livening it up with spices and hot peppers. They then threaded these tiny pieces of meat onto pieces of sugar cane so that they could cook them over the grill. The result is now Anticuchos that’s loved all over the country.