Getting your morning off to a great start is easy with the delicious breakfast foods of Peru.
Breakfast in Peru is usually pretty simple: fresh bread with butter, jam, cheese, ham or avocado. In Lima, during the work week, Peruvians often eat on the go – grabbing a quick ham and cheese sandwich and a glass of sweet quinoa from an emolientero cart. However, Sundays are a different story, and in many Peruvian households, the family may sit down to a larger and heartier breakfast. The style of breakfast will likely depend on the geographical region of Peru. In each region the people lead drastically different lives and the commonly available ingredients also vary, making breakfast a unique experience wherever you go.
Along Peru’s coast, a classic Sunday breakfast may include chicharrón de chancho: fried pork usually served with bread, onion, chopped ají and sweet potato or fried yuca. This can be eaten as a sandwich or separately. Another common breakfast dish on the coasta is the tamal which can be either sweet or savory. Tamales are common in several Latin American countries, but in Peru they are served with a fresh onion salad that often a bit spicy.
In Peru’s highlands, or sierra, it is more common to eat a large breakfast every day. This is because many of the people living in the mountains are farmers who head out to work early and who will labor for hours without a break. For that reason, a big breakfast is important to give them energy to make it through the day. A common breakfast in the highlands might include a type of meat (lamb, chicken, pork, etc.) served with local vegetables, potatoes and perhaps a hearty soup. Oftentimes whatever is left over from the day before will be made into soup that can be eaten for breakfast. In that way, each household soup recipe is never the same.
The Peruvian Amazon is one of the most biodiverse places on earth, so breakfasts in this region can get very creative. A typical breakfast in the selva may include fried plantains or yuca with meat and cocona – a spicy vegetable. You may also try a local fish for breakfast in the Amazon, including popular options like fried catfish or fried piranha with a light salad of tomato and avocado. Also popular in the jungle are fresh fruit juices, such as camu camu and guayaba. With so many enticing options, you can try a different fruit juice every day of the week.
When in Peru, forget about scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, pancakes and other foods that you may enjoy in the morning back home. Food is an important part of the local cultures in Peru and a delicious way for you to learn about the lifestyles that exist in this incredible country. So when you’re traveling through Peru, don’t forget to sample the traditional dishes that are typical of the regions you visit. With some of the best gastronomy in the world, it’s easy to start your day off like a Peruvian.