Food and Trips - Peru
Visiting Peru from a different angle
Many people had asked me what are the best places to visit in Peru, the best tours, the best food, the best hotels, etc.
After having recommended many options to different friends, everyone came back thrilled about the experience they just had. However, one thing that was always missing in their trips, was a sense of a personal touch. They would have loved to experience the trip from a different angle, not as a tourist but as a local, mingling with the people in the streets, eating in the best places where they would enjoy exquisite local flavors at decent prices, avoiding tourist traps, etc.
I want to capture some tips for you, future traveler to Peru, so when you get to Lima and with a little help from friends and contacts, you will get to experience Peru from a whole new perspective.
Attention Food Lovers
Lima is among the top 5 gastronomical cities in the world
Many people go to Peru to visit Macchu Picchu, do the Inka Trail, see the Andes, the jungle, etc. However they spend very little time in Lima and use it only as their main hub to travel to other cities. Beware if you are a food lover and travel to Peru without planning to spend a couple of days in Lima. You might be missing an experience of a lifetime!!
Lima is one of the best places in the world to enjoy outstanding food...period.
Peruvian cuisine is rich in flavors and variety. We have distinctive food in each of our regions (Coast, Mountains, and Jungle), each being a fusion from different cultures from around the world. This results in a unique blend of flavors, taste and originality that altogether explode in your mouth making you want to come for more.
In the following sections I'll explore the basics, and will later add links to other blogs where I'll go in details for each experience and food.
Come back often to this blog as I will be constantly adding new things.
Not trying it, is like not coming to Peru
You can't come to Peru and not enjoy a Pisco Sour. This amazing drink is based on Pisco, a colorless grape brandy, which combined with lemons (not limes), sugar and ice, make the perfect drink for any occasion. You will find it intriguing, delicious, sweet and dangerous. One will make you happy, two will make you dance, and more than two will make you want to stay in Peru. I have a friend from the US who signed a contract to work in Peru after having 6 Pisco Sours during a party.
You will find Pisco Sours in almost every place in Peru. Even while waiting in-line for your table at restaurants, you might sometimes get a free Pisco sour to make your wait more enjoyable.
If you want to give it a try, I'll give you my recipe to enjoy a good Pisco Sour.
-2-3 cups of Pisco (based on how happy you want to be). You can find Pisco at most major liquor stores that carry international products.
-1 cup of "lemon" juice. In Peru, we call lemon what in the US is called lime. The green one, not the yellow one.
-1 cup of sugar
- 2-3 cups of ice
-Cinnamon powder to decorate
Blend the Pisco, sugar, lemon juice and 1 cup of ice until it becomes foamy. Then add the egg-white and more ice and keep blending. Serve in a glass and sprinkle the cinnamon on top to decorate. Let me know how was it.
200 Miles of Unlikely Treasures
The Pacific Ocean - A Gift From The Gods
The Peruvian sea, called the Sea of Grau, in honor of Miguel Grau Seminario, the hero in the Pacific War, with a coast some 2,300 kilometers long, going about 200 miles out to sea, is the third fishing producer in the world and the one with the greatest biological diversity on the planet. It is host to more than thirty species of mammals, 700 species of fish and a 17 million mettons of biomass.
The Pacific holds a bounty of of sea bass, flounder, anchovies, tuna, crustacean and shellfish. It has also sharks, sperm whales and whales.
We are privileged to have these unique gifts from the ocean, which come to our tables to offer the best seafood in the world. For many years we claimed the best seafood buffet in all the Pacific Coast in America, from Alaska to the southern tip of Chile. Now, there is not just one best buffet, there are hundreds of similar one that will leave you amazed. Are you ready to try? Next, I'll list my top spots for the best seafood in Lima.
Seafood Restaurants in Lima - To help future travelers go to the right places
This is my list of favorite places in Lima for Seafood. I invite you to vote for your favorite place, which will help other people decide where to go when traveling to Peru.
Which of the following seafood restaurants is a must visit for anyone traveling to Peru?
Chifas and Inca Kola
Chinese food is not just General Tsao's chicken, plus a golden Kola that will quench your thirst while making you want to go for more
Ever wondered whether Chinese food is the same around the world? Well, if you probably went you China you might have found that the dishes in most Chinese restaurants are not that appealing to the western palate. In the US you have General Tsao's Chicken (Who is this general by the way?), Kung Pao Chicken, etc. etc.
In Peru we have Chifas. A Chifa is a Chinese-Peruvian restaurant where you get the best of both worlds, much better than what you can find in the US.
It is said that there are about 4000 Chifas just in Lima, although the number might have increases in the past years. If you are up for an adventure come and try some traditional dishes, like the "Arroz Chaufa con camarones" (Shrimp fried rice), Chicken Chihaukay (or something like this), Sweet and Sour Chicken, Peking Duck, Kam Lu Wantan, and my favorites: UÃ±a de Cangrejo, which are crab claws breaded and dipped in a delicious Chinese cinnamon/lemon sauce.
While in Peru you will also notice that we prefer one soda more than Coca Cola. And this is probably one of the very few countries in the world where Coke was never able to beat a local soda, to the point that they had to buy them. I'm taking about Inca Kola. You will notice it's golden transparent color in pretty much every restaurant, bar, stand, pub, cafe, kiosk, in Peru. Like Pisco Sour, Inca Kola is our national pride and will continue to be the number one soda in Peru forever. (Sorry Coke, not a chance here).
It is said that this is the only soda that goes along with every dish in Peru, regardless of the cuisine. Chifa's are not an exception.
Since I haven't been back in Peru for the past years, I would let the people comment on the best chifas as they might have changed a lot.
Share your preferences so our friends could enjoy the best Chifas in Peru.
With Spinach and Pesto, simply amazing
I think I'll do something different this time. Rather than writing a full article about Tallarines Verdes, I'll let you guys read another lens where this amazing dish is explained perfectly. Thanks KellydeBorda
Papa a la Huancaina
Potatoes in a creamy spicy sauce
I found another cool lens where this delicious recipe is featured, and the history behind Papa a la Huancaina is explained in details.
Check it out and make sure to like her blog.
Great Guides for Peru
These are the best guides I recommend for your trip. You will get to learn a lot about Peru, compare some of my recommendations with those from the guide, and decide the places you want to visit based on your budget and schedule
Important Links about Peru
Some links that will help you learn more about Peru, or find personalized experiences to help you enjoy your trip in a unique way.
- History of the Pisco Sour
For your reading pleasure. Learn more about the Pisco Sour from wikipedia.