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A Foodie’s Bucket List: Exploring Peruvian Food

How big of a foodie are you? Does your Netflix queue contain Salt Fat Acid Heat, The Great British Bake Off, Chef’s Table, and Samurai Gourmet? Do you have a separate Instagram account dedicated to your entrees? Then it would only make sense for you to visit the gastronomical pearl of the world, Peru. Winning “Best Culinary Destination in the World,” Peru’s cultural diversity leads to a mix of flavors sure to win you over.

”Peruvian is the single most important cuisine in Latin America, with a repertoire of dishes maybe bigger than France,” said Douglas Rodriguez, the chef and owner of Patria, the pioneering nuevo Latino restaurant in New York. ”But it’s an undiscovered cuisine, there’s no doubt about it.”

In between Machu Picchu, Incan trails, and discovering the Amazon rainforest, those anxiously awaiting to indulge will fall in love with Lima, Peru’s capital. Sitting on the Pacific coastal plain, Lima is most known for its Ceviche dish, a marinated raw seafood dish. The dishes origins are from all over Peru. The fish is from West Peru in the Pacific Ocean, and the sweet potatoes and yuca are from the Andes, two completely different environments coming together. The limes used to season the dish is from Spain, and the raw fish technique is said to originate from Japan. With Class Adventure Travel’s Culinary Tour of Peru, you’ll visit the local markets in Lima and Cusco, with a touch of adventure and time to explore in between.

On the Lima leg of the trip, you will fully embrace the Peruvian culinary culture with a home-cooked culinary experience. Starting off at the local markets of Lima, you will pick out fresh fish, limes, chirimoya, and lucuma fruits but in no way are you limited. The street markets of Lima are lined with fresh fruits, vegetables, and spices waiting to ignite your senses. After a trip to the market, you will learn to prepare a classic ceviche in the home of a local Peruvian family.

Although ceviche is recognized as the most famous Peruvian dish, in no way is the country’s food options limited. Peru also enjoys notable culinary styles such as Nikkei, a combination of Japanese and Peruvian, Chifa, a local favorite that is a mix of Chinese and Peruvian, and Criollo, a fusion of indigenous, African, and European cuisines that make up some of Peru’s favorite comfort food.

For those still not convinced, Peru hosts the most significant annual food festival in Latin America. Mistura is a 10-day event held in Lima every year at the beginning of September. Peruvian classic dishes are featured such as cuy (guinea pig), lomo saltado, ají de gallina, and papa a la huancaína. Each plate presents a wide range of tastes each from a different geographical region of Peru.

“Mistura is the culinary stronghold for one of the greatest cuisines of the world,” says Victor Albisu, chef and owner of Del Campo, a South American grill in Washington, D.C. “It’s the place to be in September.”

Over a decade-long, the festival not only showcases Peru’s love and passion for food but also put them on the map as the No.1 food destination that they are today. Foodie’s looking to book their next trip to Peru won’t be disappointed in the country’s same passion for culinary arts.

“Peru is the only country in the whole world where food is the most important thing,” Gastón Acurio, one of Peru’s top chefs, says in a 2012 Facebook post. “You go to Brazil, it’s soccer. If you go to Colombia, it’s music. But in Peru, the most important source of pride is food.”

Source: Peruvian Cuisine Takes On the World – The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/1999/05/26/dining/peruvian-cuisine-takes-on-the-world.html

Mistura Food Fest Gives Peruvian Cuisine A Chance To Shine. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/09/17/349038162/mistura-food-fest-gives-peruvian-cuisine-a-chance-to-shine

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