When the Spaniards decided to go and explore other continents, never thought the implications this would bring. Other than overpowering and invading others, during this painful process didn’t realize that they were creating a new beast many let themselves to be consumed by. Fusion cuisine. The necessity of finding ingredients and new ways to incorporate this new cuisine to theirs, gave birth; without knowing, to a wonderful array of dishes. The abundance of local vegetables, spices, meat and fruits, open up the imagination of many cooks, that in time; although they were not aware of the mistakes they ‘accomplished’; created the signature staple dishes we know now and enjoy.
Another staple in the Peruvian culinary cuisine was brought by the Chinese. Many Chinese people migrated, many smuggled in their big ships took participation on this process as well.
The result; the best cruise in the world.
Dishes from the Coast of Peru- the capital city - Lima, received all these travellers and with them their knowledge. By trial and error - healthy and interesting dishes started to get prepared. As the Spaniards and Chinese cultures mingled, these new traditions demanded more compelling interpretations and more improvements were compiled to satisfy the ‘home sick’ feeling from being away from their mother land.
The Coastal part of the country; where the port was the main entrance port for all ships to bring new ventures and new traditions; became the only point from everyone spread to start their new life.
The Indian natives that were born and lived here welcomed this new wave of acknowledgment sharing their acknowledgment with the newcomers. The abundance of sea species made this newcomers easily forget their own cuisine. In time. Without noticing, and forced to improvise ingredients that somehow emulated their own; made the Peruvian cooking an art to learn, experience and enjoy.
Stewed fish recipes became the ‘chupe de pescado’
Seafood soup became the
‘chupe de camarones’
Fish Kebabs became the
‘Anticuchos de pescado’
Note: this later became the dish world wide known as ‘Anticuchos’ any type of firm meat will work, Marinated the day before and cooked in the bbq.
The Chinese combined their culinary knowledge to create fried rice using leftovers. That became the fried rice known as ‘Arroz Chaufa’. Infinite varieties of meat and/or vegetables.
And with the new flavourful dishes came the drinks, alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks for all ages and taste.
Following are the desserts. Made with crops like corn and flour.
Although the ingredients change according to the region you go, the only thing that changes is the taste. The higher altitudes changes somehow the taste of the dishes.
Mainly dominated by the marine diversity of species and the health benefits they provide, introducing red meat was not a big deal. Seafood cover for that. No one seemed to care about it.
Until after 70s that Peruvian food started to be considered as ‘staple food’. Due to the characteristics of its land and climate and the nutritional quality of its products, some Peruvian plants may play a vital role in future nutrition.
For many of Peru's inhabitants, these food stocks allow for adequate nutrition, even though living standards are poor. Abandoning many of these staples during the Spanish domination and republican eras lowered nutritional levels.
Another Peruvian staple dish ‘Cebiche’ for example, marinated sea food with herbs and garnished with herbs, provides a fresh tasting dish for all ages. Served with potatoes and sweet potatoes and cooked corn on the cob, is a must for all restaurants in Peru from the Coast to the Amazonia (jungle)
Of course another staple is a cup of coffee enjoyed by a satisfying sandwich- ‘Butifarra’ made of stewed pork with spices, served with pickled onion and sweet potatoes. A must for any time of the day.
If you want to enjoy the experience of street food, you can order ‘Tamales’ from the street vendor cart on the curb side, accompanied with a hot ‘emoliente’ made of boiled wheat apples and dried grass. Perfect for on the go people.
There’s also an abundance of restaurants for the eat out people. Chinese restaurants are the all time favourites competing against the well known American chain food restaurants. This have also readjusted to the Peruvian market. For example, last time I was there, a saw a street billboard for KFC and McDonalds offering ‘Inca Cola’ as an alternative for Coke! Amazing to see how easily drinks adapt to any menu!
Or maybe McDonald’s now is Peruvian and Coronel Saunders has a chicken farm here…..
Everyone knows bbq chicken. Different to KFC , our chicken is Mari ates in a mix of herbs snd cooked in the bbq.
Talking about this dish , makes my mouth water……
This inventive way of cooking chicken was invented by a couple of Swiss citizens. For the machine to cook the chicken on the grill, a mechanical system of planetary rotation in that the chickens rotating on its axis and over a central axis, simultaneously. The dish comes with French fried potatoes, salad and various creams (Peruvian mayonnaise, ketchup, olive sauce, chimichurri and aji (chili) sauces of all kinds). Yummy.
Chinese influence, known as ‘Chifa’(Peruvian-Chinese cooking) brought up a other delicious dishes)
Because many Chinese ingredients are hard to find in Peru, the Chinese modified their cuisine and incorporated many Peruvian elements (mainly Spanish) into their cuisine, and the popularity of chifa has made it hard to find authentic Chinese cuisine in Peru.
Going back to the alcoholic drinks, included with beer and wine is ‘Pisco’. Pisco uses grapes as main base ingredient as wine, to make a type of brandy liquor, ‘Pisco’ is considered the national drink of Peru, was created as a cheaper version of s Spanish liquor called ‘Orujo’. Pisco is the main ingredient used to prepare ‘Pisco Sour’. There are also homemade beer, that has nothing to compare to the other famous brands.
The diversity of weather temperatures provides a variety of crops throughout the year. The Humboldt Current of cold oceanic waters that run through the Pacific Ocean off the Peruvian coast allows the existence of a great variety of fish and shellfish (Peru is one of the main fishing countries in the world)
Climate change is forcing these wonderful weather that allows the production of these wonderful ingredients to prepare exquisite dishes and delicious drinks.
Merci pour la lecture!
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