Sep 15, 2015

The Delicious Tastes of Peru

Peru is full of so many mysteries, but perhaps the biggest surprise you will discover on your journey with Scenic is the incredible cuisine!

For starters, don’t be alarmed by the size of the corn. It happens to be the largest naturally grown corn in the world and is a vital export for Peru.

As you can imagine, it is a popular ingredient in many of the traditional dishes you will try.

Perhaps you have recently heard of the incredible benefits of a “superfood” called Quinoa. And unlike me, perhaps you’ve also learned how to pronounce it?! Well guess what? It’s one of Peru’s staple ingredients, along with potatoes and legumes.

There’s a reason why the produce in Peru is so rich in nutrients, much of it is grown in and around the Sacred Valley of the Inca’s, meaning it is bursting with fertile soil and the best climate.

Forgotten about the Amazon? Faced with a menu boasting tropical fruits, I almost laughed out loud when my guide proudly informed me the Mango in the Mango chicken was indeed hand picked from the forest near Machu Picchu. Of course it was! 

And the seafood? Well, the trout farms of The Sacred Valley have boosted the flavours, but the abundance of fresh seafood widely available from the entire west coast of the country means your selection will never be limited either. 

My favourite dishes and ones you should not leave Peru before trying?

For a start, Peruvians ALWAYS include a “crème” soup of the day in their meal, utilizing the freshest local ingredients like squash, asparagus and corn. It is believed the warmth of the meal assists with digestion and metabolism, which in turn helps manage altitude. 

But then there are the empanadas, the ceviche, the alpaca steaks and the one that you need to know about before you see it up close and personal… the oven roasted Guinea Pig. Yes, Guinea Pig! It’s a local delicacy that is popular more for the tradition than perhaps for the flavor.

Either way, you will notice it on almost every menu, roadside or fine dining.

And the one thing you’ll take with you for years to come from dining in Peru? The incredible smiles, generosity, pride and warmth that every dish is served with by the people you will meet in this delicious, diverse and traditional country.

Written by Rose Jacobs