Before I got married, I traveled to the North of Peru with my friends. I will never forget all the tasty and different mix of food that I tried. As I mentioned in my first blog, each city of Peru has their own cuisine. The principal source of ingredients in this area is the Pacific Ocean; therefore the most popular dishes are based on fish and seafood. However, we also can find traditional food not related to seafood. The coast of Peru goes from Tumbes to Tacna borders with Ecuador and Chile respectively.
The most popular typical food in this area is Ceviche made with local raw fish, marinated in citrus juice like lime or lemon (see the recipe). Ceviche has become the flagship dish of Peruvian cuisine. We have been eating ceviche for almost 2000 years. The first ancient culture that introduces ceviche was the Moche’s. They were located on the northern coast of Peru. The Moche macerated the fish with banana passion a recipe this was a technique that this culture used to preserved the fish. Centuries later, the Incas used Chicha, a fermented corn beverage, to marinate the fish. They called ceviche “Siwichi” that means “fresh fish” in Quechua. After the Spanish people arrived in Peru, the recipe changed because they introduced the lemon juice and onions. It is important to mention that due to the Japanese immigration in 1898, the masters of Sushi’s tried different styles and add more ingredients like the octopus, ginger, cilantro (coriander), celery. As Gaston Acurio said “the Japanese revolutionized our ceviche.” Today, we mostly accompanied the ceviche with canchita (toasted corn) and sweet potatoes, but it can change depending on the region. It is also common to find ceviche not only with fish but also with different types of seafood or as a mix between fish and seafood all in one dish, knowing us ceviche mixto.
You can also try:
- Seco de cabrito: goat stew, but instead you can use chicken, lamb or meat. A delicious dish from the north coast, marinated with chicha de jora (beer made with corn) and some spices like fresh coriander leaves and garlic.
- Causa: one of my favorite’s dishes. Causa is made with mashed yellow potatoes, assonated with aji pepper, salt, and lemon juice. One of the main ingredients of this dish is avocado, and you can choose for example chicken, fish, and octopus to fill the causa. This dish is part of the creole cuisine that I will talk about in another blog.
- Carapulcra: stewed dish with chicken and pork, with dried potatoes, red peppers, peanuts, and cumin. We can also use fresh potatoes like the Afro-Peruvian version served in Ica.
This is the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure that you never imagine that this beautiful country in South America has this tremendous diversity. It is my passion to talk about my country. Food is one the things that I miss the most from my country, what about you?