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Peru is a culinary heaven for everyone, thanks to it’s varied regions and the ocean, there is an abundance of fresh ingredients on offer.
Whether it’s trying some delicious street food, checking out the smaller eateries frequented by the locals and, or being brave and ordering something with a bit of spice, we’ll help you narrow down the choice.
Read on to discover our top selection of mouth-watering Peruvian delicacies.
Our favourite Peruvian food
Ceviche is a fish recipe, best found on the coast of Peru for that fresh taste! This is fish or mixed shrimp cut into small pieces then mixed with lemon juice and left to ‘cure’ for 1 hour. It is then mixed with onions, celery, cilantro, salt and black pepper and served cold. Give it a go and wow your taste buds with this delicious, authentic Peruvian meal.
We have a tried and tested ceviche recipe we’d love to share with you.
What you’ll need:
• 1 lb cooked prawns • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice • 4 whole plum tomatoes • 2 tbl spoons of chilli flakes • 1 cup diced peeled apple • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion • 1 avocado – pitted and diced • Some salt and fresh ground pepper
- Chop the prawns into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside in a large bowl.
- Separately, whisk together the lemon and lime juice. Pour 1/2 cup of this over the shrimp and toss to mix.
- Leave the shrimp to marinade for 15 minutes.
- Add the tomato, chilli flakes, apple, cilantro and red onion to the shrimp. Toss the ingredients to combine and allow to marinade for an additional 10 minutes. Stir in the avocado and remaining juices.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately – Easy!
- Don’t forget to share your Peru pics using the hashtag #RickshawInPeru
Fruit and vegetables
While there are many unusual and wonderful dishes to try in Peru, we also encourage you to get yourself to the local markets to taste the incredible fruits and vegetables! You’ll most likely discover an endless list of exotic fruit and vegetables that you haven’t tried before!
Some of our personal favourites are:
- Aquaje – This is a type of palm tree which grows throughout swamp areas of the South American tropics. It looks like a brown kiwi and can be eaten raw; it has a similar flavour to a carrot. It’s very nutritious!
- Chirimoya – A favourite in Peru for thousands of years, this fruit can be found across the region and has a smooth and creamy texture with a mouth-watering, sweet taste.
- Choclo – This is Peruvian corn but the kernels are 3 times the size of our corn! It is usually found as a street snack throughout Peru.
- Tumbo – This fruit is a close relative to the passionfruit. It’s called the banana passionfruit in English due to its shape which is reminiscent of a small banana. It can be eaten raw but is more commonly enjoyed as a thirst-quenching sour sweet juice.
- Aguaymanto – These “little golden spheres” are bittersweet and come wrapped in a light brown inedible peel. They contain many vitamins to help enhance your immune system.
For dessert, try a typical Peruvian sponge cake – ‘Tres Leches’. It is soaked in a milk syrup made of three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, whole milk and sweetened condensed milk. This is an extremely sweet and heavy dessert and more of a pudding than a cake – yum!
No Peruvian food and drink guide worth its salt would be complete without mentioning the Peruvian Pisco Sour. Considered the national beverage of Peru (it even has its own national holiday), it contains Pisco (a clear grape brandy), lime juice, syrup, ice, egg white and Angostura bitters. If you’re a brandy drinker, then it’s definitely one worth trying while you’re in the country!
Vegetarian food in Peru offers virtually endless opportunities. There are more than 4,000 types of potatoes in Peru, so be prepared for many amazing potato dishes! This includes Papa a la Huancaina (boiled yellow potatoes in a creamy and spicy sauce), Papas a la Ocopa (boiled potatoes covered in a smooth cheese sauce) and Causa (a delicious potato salad most commonly found in the coastal region).
Useful Spanish phrases for eating in Peru
Peru’s official languages are Spanish, Quechua and Aymar. On your travels, some conversational Spanish might come in handy! There are also some great translation apps you can download before you go to make things easier (iTranslate, Google Translate, etc)
- Hello! / Goodbye! – Hola / Adios
- Thank you! – Gracias
- Ok – De acuerdo
- Yes – Ci
- No – No
- Excuse me – Con permiso
- Sorry – Lo siento
- How are you? – Como va/mas? (pol/inf)
- My name is … – Mi nombre es
- How much is this? – Cuanto cuesta este
- I don’t understand – No entiendo
- Vegetarian – Vegetariano
- Water – Agua
- Food – Comida
- Toilet – Bano
- Restaurant – Restaurante
For even more Peru travel tips, head to our travel guide below.
View travel guide