Peruvian cuisine, considered among the best in the world, inherited its innovation, mix and flavors from Peru’s history. Its culinary fusion developed over a long process of cultural exchange between the Spanish, Africans, Chinese, Japanese and Italians, among others. The dishes became more and more varied as races mixed and migrants landed at the port of Callao.
This fusion gives rise to dishes like the unique anticucho de corazón (skewered cow heart), tacu-tacu stew and carapulcra, dishes which have African heritage. Nutritious pastas arrived along with Italian migrants, whose adaptations have resulted in traditional dishes like green or red pasta. Ceviche, Peruvian’s emblematic dish, emerged from a fusion with Japanese cuisine. Lastly, the trend of Novo-Andean cuisine boasts indigenous foods worthy of the most elegant settings, reclaiming the national flavor that is such an important part of our identity.
How does the world perceive Peruvian cuisine?
Ferrán Adriá, owner and chef of the Spanish restaurant “El Bulli” and recognized as one of the best chef in the world, says: “I know the Peruvian cuisine has a lot of tradition and a great variety of products that would surprise me. What is traditional for Peruvians may be modern for us; the combination of sweet, salty and sour tastes is also something different. This makes it a very personal cuisine, with lots of tradition but which is also open to change. I believe that Peruvian cuisine will offer a lot to talk about.”
Juan Mari Arzak, chef and owner of the three Michelin-starred Arzak restaurant, says: “Peru is one of the places I would like to go. I have heard about ceviche and Peruvian potatoes, which are like jewels. I’ve read a lot about their gastronomy, and I believe it is considered one of the great cuisines. It’s a cuisine with heritage, with roots in the past, and a nutritional balance. Usually cuisines evolve over time, and some lose their richness because the ingredients change, but in Peruvian cuisine this doesn’t seem to have happened because the quality of their products doesn’t have anything to do with price. They have great markets and great ingredients, an immense variety. There you will find everything, including a history that not many people know comes from there.”