Friday, 16 March 2018

My top five foods you have to try while visiting Peru:

Peruvian food and food culture
Photo credit Dtarazona
Hello, ladies and gentlemen of the internet, today it is Friday and as the weekend is just around the corner I felt like it was about time to do a blog post about the Peruvian food culture. If there is one thing about the everyday life here in Peru that I want to highlight, then it has to be the “kitchen”. It is for a reason why I included this as part of my list in the post “Top five things you can do while visiting Lima, Peru” because the food here is amazing and they have a rich collection of tasty dishes they can serve up. Everything from local dishes to their own versions of foreign foods. Actually when it comes to restaurant food, Chinese is for some reason hug here, it might originate from the fact that there is a huge population of Chinese people living here and has been for a very long time.

What I want to focus on in this post is dishes and meals that I have tried while living here and share this experience with you, but it will not include “fast food” like Mc Donalds and the typical Chinese takeout because I want to focus on typical Peruvian dishes and not Peruvian influenced dishes. It will include both typical takeout and homemade, this is because some of these “meals” are best served at a restaurant or as street food. Yes, street food is very popular here, one of the reasons for this is because it is cheap and very available. I am not even joking, but you can find these places literally everywhere. Some even offer it out of their own home and you can not avoid getting hungry when you are out walking at night.

1. Pollo a la Brasa or grilled chicken: This dish is by far among my absolute favorites. It is a simple and inexpensive meal that usually includes a chicken or a part of it, fried potato and salad. With the meal, you always get a big “collection” of dipping sauces like mayo, spicy or aji, ketchup, mustard and the restaurants special sauce. You can also order this one as a Monstrito as it is called, this version of it comes with a big portion of fried rice and chicken pieces. A hole Pollo a la Brasa usually costs between 45 to 50 soles, depends on the place you decide to go to. No matter the size of the order, you will always get a good sized serving. When I go out to have something to eat, most of the times I choose to go to one of these chicken places. This is kind of funny because back in Norway I did my very best to avoid eating chicken, but here it is close to the only meat that I eat.

2. Ceviche: This is another favorite of mine and it is basically a Peruvian fish dish that is treated with citrus juice (it usually contains fish, onion, corn and sweet potato). This is an amazing dish that I have been very skeptical to try for a very long time. I avoided to eat it because I thought it contained raw fish, something it does not. The fish is “boiled” by using the effect of the citrus juice. I had my first taste of it back in 2013, got tricked into trying it and it was love at first taste for me. It is also something you can buy as street food here. If you are a fish lover like me that this is a dish you have to try out for your self. If you are not in Peru and want to try it, well I guess you can make it with fish caught in your own area. Here is the Ceviche recipe ( Happy tasting
3. Aji de Gallina: This is a good dish in a weird way. Let's say that I have a very mixed experience with it and usually this is a meal that I rarely can have more than one servings of. Anyway, it is basically shredded chicken in a thick spicy sauce (contains cream, walnut, cheese and Aji Amarillo, plus bread), served with potato, salad leaf, eggs and olives (plus rice of course). To describe how it tastes, it has a mild spicy thick sauce where the chicken and potato has the spotlight. To be honest, this is a dish that I am unable to overeat on. Usually, it is enough with one serving and I am full, but this does not change the importance it has for me as a representative of the Peruvian kitchen. If you want to make it for your self, here is the aji de gallina recipe ( Hope you enjoy the dish.

4. Papas a la Huancaina: This just an amazing Peruvian dish and I am able to eat my self close to silly on it every single time. The main actor in this dish is by far the huancaina sauce. To describe this dish, it is basically made up of sliced potato covered with yellow cheese sauce laid on a bed of salad leaves and topped with olives and eggs. My experience with this one is mainly from when we have been eating out eating, usually, they serve it before the meal you have ordered. When dining out you usually get the choice between a type of soup or the papa a la huancaina, every time I go for the huancaina. This is also a dish I will miss greatly when I return back to Norway. If you are not in Peru but want to try it for your self, well here is the recipe (

5. Carapulcra: Well my friends, here is another one of the weird, but tasty Peruvian dishes. My nickname for it is crunchy chicken stew. It's not that it is a bad dish, but I am split about it. To describe this dish, well its a thick stew made of either beef, pork or chicken and freeze-dried potato. In old days they actually used llama instead of the meat they use today. I do like this dish, but as mentioned I am kinda split on it. Most of my experience with it is at larger parties or gatherings. So you can say that my experience with it is lazed with alcohol in a way, so I have to try it while being sober. Anyway if you want to try this dish on your own, I have included the recipe for it (

Well, guys and girls, this is my personal top five list of Peruvian food culture. I am pretty sure that I could have done a top 10 or even a top 15 list, but sometimes it is best to keep your self as short and sweet as possible. Get to the point and if you need to include more information, follow up with another post later. Anyway, I have included links to recipes to most of the dishes in this blog post. The only dish I have not done this with is the Pollo a la Brasa, a dish that really deserves a post of its own. That is how good it is. I hope you guys will try them out and when you have done so, I also hope you will share the experience with me. Either by sending me an e-mail or in the comment section. I am looking forward to hearing from you. Feedback is almost always exciting and productive.