A brief History of peruvian cuisine
Peruvian cuisine is primarily a combination of Inca cuisine and that of the Spanish conquistadors that arrived in Peru around the 16th century. The staple of ingredients of the indigenous Peruvians (maize, potatoes, and beans) combined with core food of Spanish cuisine (rice, wheat and meat) create the most fundamental part of Peruvian food and a basis for other culinary influences later on.
The large immigrant population waves that hit Peru throughout the 16th and 19th centuries contributed largely to the diversity of ingredients and cooking styles within Peruvian cuisine.
After the Spanish conquer of Peru, slaves from Africa were brought over as a resource of labor. The African slaves were given leftovers or unwanted parts of the cow or chicken yet they were able to convert them into delicious dishes, most notably Anticuchos and Tacu Tacu.
Many European immigrants - most notably Italians, Germans, and French - arrived to Peru in the 1800s. Tallerin Verde is an excellent example of a Peruvian-Italian fusion, incorporating ingredients such as pasta and pesto.
Chinese immigrants, coming in the 1800s to build railroads, contributed through the Chifa cuisine, incorporating Peruvian ingredients with those of China, like ginger, soy sauce, and scallions. Arroz Chaufa is a stir fry incorporating these ingredients and cooked in a Chinese Wok pan.
Finally, Japanese immigrants arrived in Peru in the late 19th century, after diplomatic relations were established with Japan. Through the expertise of Japanese sushi chefs, widely famous dishes like Ceviche were introduced and have become a large of the Peruvian culture.
***Each dish name that is bolded and italicized is available on either our Lunch or Dinner Menu.
key peruvian ingredients
Ajies are hot peppers that have been used in Peruvian cuisine for several thousand years. They are a key element in the flavoring and color of both traditional and modern Peruvian dishes.
Multi-colored miniature Peruvian peppers that are extremely hot and commonly come in a variety of reds, yellows and oranges. They are used to give dishes like ceviche a kick and for color and decoration.
A medium-sized, round pepper that is very hot. These peppers come in a variety of oranges, greens, and reds. They are usually chopped raw to make a fiery salsa and can also be grounded into a paste to spice up dishes
The most commonly used hot pepper in Peru. It has an aromatic fruity flavor and has mild heat. It is added to dished during cooking or used raw as an edible garnish. Aji amarillo is also commonly used in it's paste form, adding a hot fruity flavor and a pleasant yellow color to the food. The paste can also be mixed with other ingredients to create a condiment or dipping sauce.
Aji panca, also know in the US as the Colorado or New Mexico chili, is a variety of dried hot pepper. It gives a deeper, more "woodsy" flavor to dishes. Dry sautéed or soaked, aji panca is then grounded down to make a paste or powder to season and color dishes.
Yuca is a starchy vegetable used extensively in Peruvian cooking. It has a bark-like covering with densely textured flesh and a slight sweet taste. It is prepared in a similar way to potatoes and is commonly fried, boiled, or pureed.
A variety of fresh corn with large, white kernels. For centuries it has been one of the staple foods of the Peruvian diet. The raw kernels are ground to produce the corn masa for Peruvian tamales and humitas. Choclo is traditionally boiled and then eaten as an accompaniment to meat and fish dishes (i.e. ceviches) and is used in the preparation of a variety of stews, soups, and purees.
This dark purple corn has an intense, dark berrylike flavor and turns a rich black-currant color when cooked. It is the main ingredient in the traditional Peruvian beverage Chicha Morada and is used in other desserts and piscos.
A very hardy and extremely nutritious grain, Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor is is very versatile. It is used to add flavor and texture to soups, stews and desserts. Quinoa is widely known as a healthy alternative to those who have dietary restrictions or simply trying to eat healthier.
Kiwicha is another highly nutritious grain similar to quinoa, although it is much finer. It gives texture to soups and stews or is puffed and eaten as a snack or cereal.
The national drink of Peru. It is a clear spirit, distilled from very specific varieties of grape and is the base of most Peruvian cocktails. Pisco Sour blends sour with a bit of sweet, an alternative to Whiskey Sour: it consists of a blend of pisco, lime juice, egg white and sugar.