Best Things To Eat In Peru
Situated on the South Pacific Ocean side of South America, Peru is a land of contrasts, from Machu Picchu and the Inca trail and Amazon rainforest to a sprawling, bustling capital. If you’re planning a trip to Peru, make sure you visit the vibrant city of Lima, we have 10 best things to eat in Peru for your reference.
7 Best Things To Eat In Peru
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 cuy.) 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 wild fowl.
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 hard-boiled egg.
4. AJI DE GALLINA (CREAMY CHICKEN)
Imagine a shredded chicken prepared curry-style in a thick sauce made with cream, ground walnuts, cheese, and aji amarillo. This mild but flavorful sauce, with just a hint of aji heat is tempered by the cream and cheese. The chicken, vegetables, and sauce are often served on a bed of rice, boiled potatoes, and black olives, giving it a rich, chowder-like consistency when everything is plated.
5. CALDO DE GALLINA (HEN SOUP)
Caldo de Gallina, or Hen Soup, is one of the oldest traditional foods in Peru. The traditional soup consists of hen (not chicken), noodles, eggs, different types of potatoes (Peru has over 3,000 types of potatoes), and Chinese onions. The hen is usually cooked in the soup for hours so the flavors of the hen can come out.
Keep in mind that you can also get Caldo de Pollo, which is chicken soup. You might think they are the same thing but it is not. Hens are kept in the wild and eat everything organic, chickens are not. As a result, the meat of the hens will be much tougher and tastier.
6. PAPAS A LA HUANCAÍNA (POTATOES IN SPICY CHEESE SAUCE)
Another example of Peruvian staple foods smothered in creamy sauce. Papas a la Huancaína ingredients include sliced golden potatoes drowning in a puree of queso fresco, aji amarillo, garlic, evaporated milk, lime juice, and the piece de resistance: saltine crackers. It may look a bit like like a yellow soupy mass topped with chopped soft-boiled egg, but don’t let that fool you.
7. LECHE DE TIGRE (TIGER’S MILK)
Leche de Tigre, or tiger’s milk, is commonly confused as the leftover juice to Peruvian ceviche. However, that is not entirely accurate. Leche de Tigre is prepared beforehand using a fish stock made with actual fish, a lot of lemon juice, salt, and pepper to give it some spice. The resulting juice itself is sometimes consumed straight or sometimes used as a sauce for ceviche or other kinds of seafoods.
Many Peruvians believe that the Leche de Tigre is a restorative drink, a drink that will give strength back to the user. Some also believe that it is an aphrodisiac.
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