Tuesday, 7 January 2020

5 street foods you have to try while visiting Peru

This one is for all you travelling food junkies out there because today I am going to focus on food or in this case the more typical Peruvian streetfood. Yes, I know this isn't a blog that has its focus on food, but if you are just a little bit like me the culinary experience plays a huge part of the travel experience. My philosophy is that the local food makes or breaks how you look back on your stay. Anyway, today I am going to share with you guys my top five list when it comes to Peruvian streetfood. One thing has to be said, many of the dishes on this list aren't isolated to Peru, but they seem to have a very special place in the hearts of the Peruvian people. As a bonus, these dishes are usually extremely cheap as well.

Papa rellena: I have to say that this dish deserves the “first” place for so many reasons, but the most important ones among them are the fact that it's such a simple and tasty on the go type of meal. At first, I kinda avoided it at any cost and went for something completely different, like something with fried chicken, but lately, I have gotten a taste for it. The best part is that its so easy to make yourself. All you need is a potato (in this case potato paste) and fill it with meat, onions, olives and one hard-boiled egg. When you have done this and shaped it more or less like a potato you “throw” it on the frying pan. On the side you can either have rice or a salad, I prefer a light salad. I usually max out after two servings of these potatoes.

Churros de manjar: I am not sure how I would categorize this one, but my foodie's heart wants to say its a light snack and my brain would say its a Spanish breakfast. Because this dish has its origin from Spain and back in the “old-country” this is a typical breakfast item. To explain this dish a bit better, its a deep-fried dough filled with some type of caramel chocolate and sprinkled with sugar. Yes, it's very sweet and that is also the main reason why I would categorize it as a snack on the go and not as a typical breakfast item. To be completely honest, I don't think I would ever be able to eat as much as it's needed to satisfie my early morning hunger. I am not saying it's not tasty, but it is not what I would call a complete meal.

Anticuchos: If I am going to be completely honest, this is one dish that so far has given me the biggest problem getting used to. It's not because of how it tastes, but this time around it's about the type of “meat” they use to make the dish. You can say it has some similarities with the better-known dish shish kebab, but the anticuchos has its origin from the Andes mountains. The dish itself is pretty simple, meat marinated in vinegar and spices (usually cumin, aji pepper and garlic). The meat that is used for this dish is beef heart, but you can without any issues replace it with the more desired type of meat. It's not my go-to street food, but I will eat it if someone offers it to me or if I get the sudden hunger for it, yes that happens.

Arroz con leche: This is a “dish” that most of you might be familiar with, the English word for it is rice pudding and you find a version of it more or less all over the world. For me, it becomes a Peruvian experience when you combine Arroz con leche and mazamorra morada. If you are curious about the dish, I will be linking to an external website that can explain this a lot better than I can. When you combine these two dishes it becomes something that locally is called the Peruvian flag and you just have to take my word on it, its deliciously sweet. Its the perfect combination of rice, milk and corn. Just to mention it, Peruvians use corn in more or less everything, from food to wine.

Marciano's de Lucuma: Okay, I have to be completely honest with this one. My girlfriend threw this one at me and I spent ages on google trying to find out what in heavens name this dish was for something. I wasn't able to wrap my head around it. I just couldn't remember ever having tried anything with such a name, but one simple photo served me a eureka moment. It's as simple as a popsicle in a plastic bag and its amazingly refreshing, not to forget tasty. If I am not mistaken you can more or less use whatever fruit juice you want with this one, even chocolate or pure milk and put it in your fridge for a few hours. Yes, you can make this one yourself as well, my girlfriend used to make it all the time while we lived in Lima.

I guess that this wraps up my top 5 about Peruvian street food or snacks. I am fully aware of the fact that I have been throwing around a lot of weird sounding names in this post, but if you wish to learn more about the many dishes I have “talked” about in this post, I have included links to external websites. That way you can read more in details around the dishes that I have mentioned in this blog post. Maybe you even find yourself making one or more of these yourself or chase down a street vendor so you could have a taste of it, my best tip would be gone for the churros first. Its the one that would have the best first-time experience. Anyway, for me its all about sharing my love for food, travel and the experience I gather by living as I do.

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post because I have had loads of fun writing it. Must say at times it has been a minor struggle to complete it. Not a difficult topic to write about, but the hard part is to narrow the list down to just five simple street dishes. When you live in a country like Peru with a rich culinary culture, it becomes a big problem. I have heard that Lima is the new Paris or Paris of the South Americas when it comes to food. At the same time, if you did enjoy my post, why not check me out on social media? I have linked to my many profiles beside my page bar and I do hope to see you there as part of the Beyond the Horizon family.
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