Kitchen Connection - Kitchen Connection Goes to: Peru!
Peru is in the northwest region of South America. With a total area of 1,285,216 square kilometers, it stands as the 20th largest country in the world. Home of Machu Picchu, Peru is on the list of places-to-see. Macchu Picchu dates back to 1438, a relic of ancient Incan history. With strong ties to its past, Peru is home to a cuisine that is spicy and fresh. Dishes like ceviche—a mix of seafood cured in lime juice and seasoned with the aji pepper, a staple in Peruvian cuisine—and Aji De Gallina—a heavier dish of shredded chicken doused in sauce made of condensed milk, cheese, walnuts and aji peppers—are two popular dishes that highlight Peruvian culture.
Ancient Inca lost city Machu Picchu, Peru.
Official Name: Republic of Peru
Official Language(s): Spanish, Quechua, Aymara
National Dish(es): Ceviche
Fresh lobster ceviche seviche Caribbean sea background Big Corn
Peru is the 3rd largest country in South America.
There are 90 different microclimates in Peru.
Peru is home to the 2nd largest portion of the Amazon forest.
The national drink of Peru is the Pisco Sour.
Caldo de gallina, the classic Peruvian chicken noodle soup
*Continent: South America
*Largest City (ies): Lima
*Culinary travel destination(s): Lima
*Primary Language(s): Spanish
*%Urban to Rural: 79.2% Urban, 20.8 Rural
*Primary Agricultural Exports: Asparagus, Artichokes, Paprika peppers, onions, grapes, mangoes, avocados, bananas, citrus fruit, coffee
*Food expenditure for one week: $37.52
*Caloric intake available daily per person: 2700 kcal
*Alcohol consumption per person: 8.1 liters
*Obese population: 32,165,485
*Big Mac Price: $4.68
*Meat consumption per person per year: 20.8kg
*Prevalence of Hunger: 5-14.9%
*Culture: Peruvian culture is a beautiful mix of Hispanic and native traditions. The Quechua and the Aymara are the two main native cultures of Peru, both of whom speak their native languages. These Inca descendants have successfully preserved and developed their proud cultures despite the creeping in of globalization.
*National Dish (es): 1. CEVICHE
The icy Humboldt Current that flows through the Pacific Ocean just off Peru’s coast supports one of the world’s most bountiful sources of seafood. If Peru had an official national dish, it would probably be this preparation of raw fish marinated in citrus juice. The acid in the fruit “cooks” the fish, giving it a delicate flavor and slightly chewy consistency. The dish is usually spiced with red onion and aji pepper and served (typically at lunch) with sweet potato or choclo, a white Andean corn with dime-size kernels. Bold gastronomes can drink the leftover citrus marinade, which is known as Leche de Tigre, tiger’s milk.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it. This staple meat raised in many households of the Andes goes by a different name in the United States: guinea pig. (One indication of how important the dish is to the rural Peruvian diet: In a cathedral in Cusco hangs a replica of Da Vinci’s Last Supper, in which Christ and the 12 disciples are seated around a platter of guy.) The meat, which is quite bony, is usually baked or barbecued on a spit and served whole—often with the head on. It has a pleasant, gamy taste like that of rabbit or wildfowl.
A visitor to any market in Peru is certain to find two things—hundreds of varieties of potatoes, which may have originated here (Peru’s longtime rival Chile also claims tuber originality), and piles of avocados large enough to toboggan down. A traditional causa layers these two ingredients into a sort of casserole, which is sliced and served cold. Other layers might contain tuna, meat, or the hard-boiled egg.
4. LOMO SALTADO
A hundred years before anyone had heard of Asian fusion cuisine, boatloads of Chinese immigrants arrived in Peru looking for work. The ingredients and techniques they added to Peru’s food vocabulary are probably best exemplified by this hearty hybrid stir-fry, in which beef, tomatoes, peppers, and onions are blended in a pan with soy sauce and fried potatoes. Not a dish for the carb-phobic; it’s usually served over white rice.
5. AJI DE GALLINA
The yellow aji pepper lends its color—a hue similar to Tweety Bird’s—as well as its mild kick to several Peruvian dishes. Among them is this rich, velvety stew made with chicken and condensed milk and thickened with de-crusted white bread. A vegetarian alternative with a similar flavor is the ubiquitous papa a la huancaina, boiled potato with creamy yellow sauce.
1. Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour is considered the national drink of Peru and it even has its own national holiday. National Pisco Sour Day is celebrated on the first Saturday in February. Pisco Sour is made with Peruvian Pisco as the base liquor and the addition of lime juice, syrup, ice, egg white, and Angostura bitters.The fine balance between the intense citrus lime juice and sweetness of the sugar syrup makes it very easy to drink.
Like the Pisco Sour, the Chilcano also uses Pisco as the base liquor. The classic Chilcano is made of Pisco with lime juice, ginger ale, ice and Angostura bitters. Variations can be made with exotic fruit juices like maracuya (passion fruit) or lucuma. While the Chilcano may not be as popular as the Pisco Sour, it is a refreshing and lighter alternative. The Chilcano also has its own week-long festival that takes place in mid-January.
3. Chicha Morada
Chicha Morada is a unique drink that is made with purple corn (Maiz Morado in Spanish). Purple corn is native to Peru and has a long history that dates back prior to the Inca Empire. Purple corn has many health benefits including reduced risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure. This nonalcoholic drink is made by boiling the purple corn with pineapple skin, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar. Deliciously sweet and with an intriguing deep purple color, you must indulge in the goodness contained in this unique drink.
4. Chicha de Jora
Chicha de Jora is a traditional drink from the Andes that comes from the Inca times. It is the beer made of Jora corn, a type of yellow corn from the Andes. You will find this beer in small Andean villages in the Sacred Valley. One unique characteristic of this beer is its thick foam. It is tradition to spill the first portion of the beer on the ground saying “Pachamama, Santa Tierra” as an offering to Earth Mother (Pachamama in Quechua). A very intriguing beverage, Chicha de Jora starts with slightly sweet taste and finishes with a sour taste similar to a bitter apple cider.
5. Chicha de Frutilla
Chicha de Frutilla, also known as Frutillada, is a sweeter version of Chicha de Jora. It is made with strawberries (frutilla) and sugar blended with the Chicha de Jora. It has a strange pink color and the strawberries cover up the sour taste of Chicha de Jora. You can find Frutillada in traditional or local restaurants in the Andes. Served in enormous glasses, you will need both hands to hold the glass.
6. Inca Kola
Inca Kola is the most popular soft drink in Peru. It is a yellow fluorescent colored soda that is super sweet and tastes like bubble gum.
7. Peruvian Beers
Although Pisco Sour is Peru’s national drink, beer is the most popularly consumed alcoholic beverage. Peru has three major beer brands Pilsen Callao, Cristal and Cusqueña. Pilsen Callao and Cristal are both lagers with mild flavor. Cusqueña makes several variations: golden lager, red lager, wheat beer, and dark lager.
8. Mate de Coca
Famous in the Andes region, this unique drink is an herbal tea made from the leaves of a coca plant. Mate de Coca is used to treat altitude sickness.
Emoliente is one of the most unique drinks you will find. Sold at street corners by vendors, it is popular in the cold season. Emoliente is believed to have healing and medicinal properties.The base is a mix of herbs that usually includes barley, dried horsetail, flax seed, plantain leaf and alfalfa sprouts. Bottles on the cart contain liquids made from natural plants from the Andes mountains. The taste is a little bizarre. Imagine drinking a hot, fruity, slimy and semi-sparkly beverage. However, if you are not feeling well and looking for a natural remedy, give this drink a try.
10. Peruvian Juices and “Jugo Especial”
Peru is a fruit lover’s paradise. One of the best ways to enjoy the fruits is in fresh juices. You will find juice stands everywhere and most restaurants and cafes offer fresh juices on their menus. The fruit choices are endless and include bananas, papayas, pineapples, guavas, maracuya (passion fruit) and more. The secret Peruvian juice speciality is the “Jugo Especial”. It is a mix of several fruits, one egg and Cusqueña beer (optional). This deliciously thick juice is like a meal and big enough to share.
*Major Holidays/Special Holiday Foods:
New Year's Day
Labor Day / May Day
St Peter and St Paul
Independence Day (day 2)
Santa Rosa De Lima
Battle of Angamos
All Saints' Day
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
*Fun foodie facts: The origin of the potato in Peru, and have more than 3,000 varieties of the potato within the region. Many proud Peruvian keeps on using the phrase” soy mas Peruvian Que la papa.” which mean I am a more proud Peruvian than the potato.
*Local produce: Fresh meat, fish, poultry, fish
*Main religions: Roman Catholic
*Banquet (party) dishes: Ceviche de Pescado is a popular traditional food, often spelled “ceviche” in Peru, is the flagship dish of coastal cuisine, and one of the most popular dishes among Peruvians. It consists of Andean chili peppers, onions, and acidic aromatic lime. A spicy dish, it consists generally of bite-size pieces of white
Raw in lime juice mixed with chilis served with raw onions with toasted corn (cancha).
The popular anticuchos de corazón or beef heart traditionally marinated in vinegar, spices, garlic and cumin with papas a la huancaína (Huancayo-style potatoes) or boiled potatoes in a spicy cheese sauce with olives.
The anticuchos is served with a side of maize (“Indian” corn). This type of corn found in Peru is not sweet and comes in very large grains and is not as popular beyond Latin America. Tamale, made from boiled maize corn and chicken and traditionally wrapped in a banana leaf.
*Indigenous communities and their dishes:, Afro-Peruvians, Aymara and highland Quechua, Ashaninka
*Native species: Mammals
Peru's largest native mammal, jaguars, grow to six feet long and weigh up to 350 lb. These rain forest dwelling cats hunt deer, sloth, peccaries and caimans and have only one natural predator, the anaconda. Hunting and encroaching human development endanger the Peruvian jaguar population. The howler monkey is famous for its enormous roaring call. These primates howl in the morning and at twilight, eat tree foliage and spend most of their time lounging, sleeping or eating in the rain forest canopy. Three types of anteaters are native to Peru, the silky, southern and giant. The giant has a two-foot-long tongue that it uses to devour ants straight from the nest.
*SDGs that are especially prevalent in the respective country: 1,2,8,13
Tags : Kitchen Connection Peru Featured Country Peruvian Food Travel
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