With the help of our culinary expert, we’d love to share with you the latest trends and tastiest dishes in the exciting world of Peruvian gastronomy.
For foodies, Peru’s culinary scene is something that is definitely worth a trip across the world. For everyone else, you won’t want to miss a chance to dine in one of Lima’s widely-acclaimed eateries. Between lomo saltado, ceviche, anticuchos, Nikkei cuisine, causa rellena and much more, there is something to suit everyone’s palate. And after a visit to Peru, there will be no doubt left in your mind why this country has been called the culinary capital of South America.
At Enigma, we love Peruvian food and the history and culture it reflects. We believe that trying new things and tasting new dishes are very important aspects of travel and something that no one should miss out on while visiting Peru. For that reason, we sat down with our culinary expert, Marisol Chocano, to discuss the latest trends in Peruvian gastronomy, what makes Peruvian food so special and what dish every visitor should try.
1. How has Lima’s food scene been changing? Are there any significant trends right now?
Peruvian food is going back to basics with a focus on traditional recipes, traditional ingredients and traditional methods of cooking. This “back to basics” trend has seen a lot of influence from popular Peruvian chefs, such as Virgilio Martinez, and isn’t strictly about tradition but also the use of ingredients of Peruvian origin.
”We are going back to basics! Traditional recipes, traditional ways of cooking and natural ingredients. Small restaurants with family-style cooking are trendy right now!”
2. What are the most important Peruvian staple ingredients?
When it comes to traditional Peruvian ingredients, some of the most important staples include aji amarillo, limes, choclo, yellow potatoes and quinoa. However, in light of the new focus on ingredients of Peruvian origins, some of the best restaurants are now incorporating new ingredients from the Andes Mountains, Amazon jungle and coast that don’t have a long history of use in Peruvian dishes, but are 100% home-grown Peruvian.
”Every day we are discovering new fruits and vegetables to cook with… I think we are going to see a lot of new chefs trying new ingredients and making the most of them for flavor, presentation, new cooking techniques and nutritional benefits.”
3. What Peruvian dishes are favored among travelers?
Tourists and travelers alike are always amazed by the size and intense flavors of Peruvian fruits and vegetables, as well as the freshness of dishes that are prepared using fish and seafood. For that reason, ceviche is favored and enjoyed the most by newcomers to Peru due to its fascinating mix of Peruvian staple ingredients that make for the perfect combination of flavors and textures.
“Ceviche and anything made with fresh fish or seafood. They can’t believe how fresh it is! Anticuchos are always a nice surprise!”
4. What is your favorite dish that every traveler should try while in Peru?
According to Marisol, every traveler to Peru should definitely try ceviche. Ceviche is an iconic Peruvian dish made from raw fish and/or seafood that has been marinated in lime juice. The freshness of the fish combined with the spiciness of the aji peppers, the sweetness of the onions and the colors and texture of the sweet potato and choclo, make ceviche truly spectacular and something everyone should try on a visit to Peru.
“Ceviche – it’s so fresh, light and full of flavors… For me it’s the perfect dish!”
5. What restaurant should no traveler miss in Lima?
One restaurant that every traveler and foodie in Lima should try is Maido. As the vision of Lima-born chef Mitsuharu Tsumura, this restaurant serves a Nikkei menu that combines Japanese and Peruvian cooking techniques and ingredients that reflect the history of Japanese immigration to Peru.
At Enigma, we always like to encourage travelers to try many new things when visiting Peru. In Lima, the culinary scene is vibrant and exciting, featuring many superb restaurants where you can sample some of the best dishes the country has to offer. But beyond Lima, other regions of Peru, such as the Amazon and Arequipa, have much to offer in the way of diverse regional specialties that have been growing in popularity.
If you have any questions about other recommended dishes or restaurants while traveling in Peru, feel free to contact us; we are always happy to help!