Peruvian cuisine: a trend of taste and health

At the World Travel Awards 2017, the equivalent of the Oscars for the tourism sector, Peru was awarded for the sixth consecutive year, Best culinary destination in the world. A prestigious achievement, which is not only the result of the great commitment to promoting tourism and gastronomy but also the part that comes from centuries of history. Keyword: mestizaje (the general process of mixing ancestries). So we can’t speak of just one Peruvian cuisine, but of many cuisines in one: this is due to the natural and incredible biodiversity that this territory offers and also because of the countless concoctions that have occurred as a result of centuries of immigration and conquests.

Peruvian cuisine, a meltin pot of different identities

Perù is one of the countries in the world with the highest number of ecosystems and this means that it has almost unlimited raw materials: 3000 varieties of potatoes grow and 800 types of corn are cultivated, just to name two examples. The geography of the Peruvian territory, which ranges between the regions of the coast, the sierra and the forest, has given this country the highest number of typical dishes: 491, a result that goes beyond traditional cuisines such as French, Italian, Chinese and Indian.
On the other hand, its history has contributed to forming a melting pot of identity: over the millennial different cultures have alternated, each of which has also influenced and enriched the culinary tradition. From pre-inca civilization to Spanish domination, with its Muslim influences, from the deportation of African slaves to the French and Italian waves of migration and also the huge presence of Chinese-Cantonese and Japanese.

As a result there are examples of fusion which are ahead of time, for example: the criolla cuisine, born from a Spanish influence, and the chifa, which is intertwined with the history of Chinese immigrants, the Nikkei cuisine, Japanese-inspired, and the Amazonian cuisine, which offers meat and fish of all kinds, the new-Andean where corn, potatoes and tubers are the main ingredients.

Typical dishes of Peruvian cuisine

Among the typical dishes of Peruvian cuisine we must mention ceviche, made with fresh fish, diced and marinated with lime juice, coriander, red onion, hot pepper, salt and pepper, which in 2004 was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation with a supreme decree of the National Institute of Culture. As far as meat is concerned, pollo asado, or spit-roasted chicken, is the most widespread and cheapest dish of all, and there are poultry shops and asadores scattered throughout each city.

A cuisine that resembles its inhabitants: genuine, authentic, tasty, colourful.

Quinoa and amaranth, pseudo-cereals now commonly used in Peru, are just two of the many superfoods that Peruvian cuisine can boast of: some of the best known, such as mango, blueberries, avocado, pomegranate and cocoa, and for many others that are yet to be fully discovered, such as maca, yacón, camu camu, lucuma, cañihua, sacha inchi and chirimoya.
In light of all this, it is clear why Peruvian restaurants of the highest level are opening everywhere in the world (London, the capital of international haute cuisine, is full of them, and it is not surprising that in the ranking The world's 50 best restaurants 2018 there are 3 Peruvian restaurants, of which 2 are even in the top 10: the Central and the Maido, both in Lima. After all, the Spanish chef Ferran Adrià had announced beforehand that, in the following years, the South American country would dictate the law in the world gastronomic revolution. Peru's cuisine suggests that strong traditions, regional differences and the search for constant rebirth can coexist without opposition.

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