Peruvian gastronomy, one of the most diverse in the world


Latin America’s culinary has an increasing weight in the world’s culinary order. Especially the Peruvian, Mexican and Argentinean gastronomy. These three countries, with their most outstanding restaurants, the patrons of their own haute cuisine, took over half of the places on the list of the 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America in its most recent edition. Or what is the same: these three territories concentrate in their cities more than half of the best establishments of the subcontinent, being the Peruvians the most abundant during several years. This is not by chance.

That’s why a cuisine like Peru’s, so important and so fashionable in recent times in Europe, especially in countries like Spain, serves as an example. Beyond the great names of the restoration of the country of the Andes, with Gaston Acurio as the main exponent, there are many professionals of the kitchens, unknown and not, those who are in charge of taking everywhere the most traditional and representative dishes of a gastronomy with a lot of history and crossbreeding. A diverse culinary tradition that is heir to that practiced by the ancient inhabitants of the pre-colonial empire, influenced over time by the arrival of Spaniards and other Europeans in the first place, and of Asians, especially Japanese, in the second.

Origins of Peruvian cuisine

The diversity of the gastronomy of Peru finds its reason to be, above all, in another diversity: that of its geography. Throughout its territory, especially around the Andes, there are a good number of altitudes where fruits, vegetables and a variety of vegetables are grown. These differences in height above sea level mean that there are several types of microclimates in the country and, with them, lands that can cultivate a wide range of raw materials.

In addition to the particularity of its altitudinal floors, its proximity to the geographical equator, its coast on the Pacific Ocean. Its cold waters and the currents of this great body of water are the ideal habitat for a good number of varieties of seafood and fish that make Peru one of the main fishing countries in the world. Both of these factors, the main and essential ones, are responsible for the fact that from the beginning this vast territory has been remarkably rich in gastronomy.

In the ancient world, the central Peruvian Andes were one of the epicenters of plant domestication. From them came some species that are universal today, such as tomatoes, pumpkins, custard apples, potatoes and their many varieties, corn… and others that are not so universal, but cannot be absent from kitchens influenced by Latin American flavors, such as peanuts, yucca, avocado, beans, sweet potatoes, cassava or quinoa, which are currently enjoying great popularity. All of them are still present in its gastronomy.

The Peruvian gastronomy at the moment

Today Peruvian cuisine preserves much of the legacy left by those who inhabited the empire before the conquest and the set of dishes that emerged after it. If not completely, it is partly thanks to this assimilation of new techniques and new ingredients that ancient preparations survive today, especially in the most rural areas of the country. This is the wealth that we have not stopped talking about, the heritage that gives luster to Peru and made Lima, in the framework of the 2006 Madrid Fusion Summit, the gastronomic capital of America. Food is another flag of Peruvians, from the most traditional recipes to the cuisine practiced in the best restaurants, promoters of innovation and vanguard through haute cuisine.

One of the most popular dishes at present, surely the most consumed in the country, is the grilled chicken. Basically we are talking about a roasted chicken, similar to the one consumed in other parts of the planet, using as fuel coal, wood or gas and some kind of tool that makes it turn in front of the heat source. In this case, in Peru, the gutted chicken is macerated with different herbs and spices and is served with French fries, salads, sauces such as chili or even fried plantains. Presenting this accompaniment is usual in the jungle of the country, renouncing then to the potatoes. The recipe is also considered a “Peruvian Culinary Specialty” by the National Institute of Culture.


Our diversity of dishes