Connect to Peru

Where Americans and Peruvians Living Abroad Connect to Peru

Posts Tagged ‘ceviche

So Now That I’m in Peru, What Food Should I Eat?

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pachamancaHeard some friend’s friends are going to Peru in the next month. And I realize if you go to a whole new continent and with SO much food to try, wonder if a non-Peruvian visitor would know where to even start?!?

But here is a list of the top five “basic” dishes you might want to make sure you eat before catching that flight back to the US or elsewhere. And when you order, ask what varieties they have: maybe chicken, pork, fish, etc. so you can have what you like.

Top 5 Appetizers

  1. Ceviche (fresh fish marinated in lemon juice with onions, sweet potato and corn)
  2. Papa a la Huancaina (boiled potatoes with a creamy sauce of yellow chili sauce, milk, crackers, and cheese served with boiled egg and black olive on top)
  3. Tiradito (this is similar to the ceviche but just the plain fresh fish marinated in lemon juice – it’s a delicatessen and not too many places have it outside of Peru, so here is your chance!)
  4. Cocktail de Camarones (fresh shrimp with avocado and golf sauce)
  5. Anticucho (grilled steak skewer, many types to try, served often with grilled potatoes and corn)

Top 5 Entrees

  1. Lomo Saltado (stew made of steak, french fries, onions, tomatoes and white rice)
  2. Aji de Gallina (shredded chicken with a yellow chili sauce served with slices of boiled potatoes and white rice)
  3. Seco (this can be made of lamb or steak, it is a stew with cilantro, and served with white rice and beans)
  4. Arroz Chaufa (this is similar to a Chinese fried rice, but make sure you go to a “Chifa”, the name of the cuisine that mixes Peruvian and Chinese flavors. If hungry, this is a perfect place to go as you can get many other types of dishes that you can enjoy with this Arroz Chaufa)
  5. Chupe de Camarones (this is perfect for shrimp lovers, similar to a chowder)
  6. Extra! You might also want to try “cuy”, the famous Andean rabbit. Some people like it, some others don’t. It is a novelty to have tried it.

Top 5 Desserts

  1. Suspiro de Limena (made with an egg yolks base, milk and meringue on top)
  2. Alfajor (cookie sandwich with condensed milk-based sauce in the middle)
  3. Mazamorra Morada (Peruvian pudding made of purple corn with pieces of fruit, such as pineapple, raisins, etc.)
  4. Picarones (Peruvian doughnuts served with a caramel sauce)
  5. Arroz con Leche (Peruvian style rice pudding)

Top 5 Drinks

  1. Pisco Sour (the Peruvian flagship drink made of the authentic Peruvian pisco (alcoholic) , the same all APEC leaders tried weeks ago)
  2. Inca Kola (this is the national soda, and Peru is the only country where a local soda beats Pepsi and Coke on market share)
  3. Chicha Morada (purple corn-based non-alcoholic drink)
  4. Chicha de Jora (traditional drink that goes back to the Inca empire times, made of yellow maize and is prepared with different degrees of alcohol, similar to an apple cider)
  5. Beers: depending on your preference, you can try Pilsen, Cuzquena (my favorite), or Cristal.

Tip: The safest bet if it’s your first time in Peru is to go for a buffet restaurant. Ask your hotel to recommend places where they serve buffets. That way you get a better chance to get a little bit of everything, and go for what you like.

And if you go to a more camp-like restaurant, you might also want to try “Pachamanca” (see picture above). It is food cooked underground with hot stones the same way the Incas did. It can be chicken, pork, steak, etc. and you can also have it with sweet potatoes, corn, potatoes, etc. This is a very unique way of cooking the food, a tradition that has gone through many generations.

And here are the top 5 places to eat in Lima, Peru according to Food & Wine magazine from my earlier post.

Hope this list helps you try some of the best traditional Peruvian dishes during your stay. There are many more options, so if you got plenty of time over there, go for it! The sky is the limit!

Bon appetit!

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Written by Catherine Castro

December 18, 2008 at 5:16 pm

It’s Official: Peru Wins Guinness Record for Largest Ceviche in the World

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ceviche2Following up from my earlier post, Peru today won the Guinness World Record for preparing the world’s largest ceviche weighing 4.5 tons, as Peru’s newspaper El Comercio reports.

You can watch two pictures of this historic event by clicking here.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 8, 2008 at 1:19 am

It’s Been Named the “Acurio Mania”: La Mar Photo, Reviews and Acurio’s Profile in Food & Wine Magazine

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lamar-pic2Following up from my post on Gaston Acurio’s new La Mar restaurant in San Francisco, CA, Acurio has been profiled in the November 2008 issue of Food & Wine magazine under the title “Peru’s World-Class Cuisine.”

Reviews

“Once in a blue moon, an ambitious new restaurant lives up to its buzz. The principles behind La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, an outpost of a sleek, modern cebiche place in Lima, Peru (where the dish was invented), chose a dream location by the water next to the Ferry Building to open a breezy, resonant and amazingly self-assured operation. Everything about it feels right. “

— By The San Francisco Examiner, and “San Francisco Food Lovers’ Pocket Guide”

“The first U.S. branch of a Lima-based seafooder from Peruvian celebrity chef Gastón Acurio, La Mar Cebicheria Peruana is the latest arrival on the Embarcadero’s up-and-coming Restaurant Row, where it’s serving ceviche and other midpriced Peruvian fare in a setting that includes a large patio overlooking the Bay; the separate Pisco Bar and Lounge, specializing in cocktails made with the titular alcohol, faces the Downtown skyline.”

— By ZAGAT Buzz

“I was pleasantly surprised {…] All my dishes were flavorful and satisfying and yet seemed very light […] I loved the food and the atmosphere. Freshest catch in town. It’s not cheap (I would say our tab was Bar Tartine-like, maybe because of all the small courses adding up), but all in all I think I will go back. Soon.”

— By Chowhound

Written by Catherine Castro

December 4, 2008 at 1:02 am

Peru In Search of Another Guinness Record: The Largest Ceviche in the World

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ceviche2This Sunday December 7, more than 450 chefs in Lima, Peru will convene to prepare the world’s largest ceviche in the world and look to gain its leadership back from 2004 as Peru’s largest newspaper El Comercio reports.

Ingredients will include 5 tons of fish, 3 tons of lemon, 2 1/2 tons of onion, 440 lbs. of salt and 440 lbs. of Peruvian chilli.

In 2004, Peru won the Guinness world record after preparing 9,127 lbs. of ceviche.

Ceviche is one of Peru’s cuisine flagship dishes largely known around the world — and please make sure restaurants serve you on a plate like this, not a glass (!) and with large-sized corn, and sweet potato on the side. That’s a good tip to keep in mind to make sure you are eating a real ceviche! Bon apetit.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Student Opens a Homestyle Peruvian Restaurant at MSU Named the “New Thing” in Town

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Mississippi State University’s local student newspaper The Reflector reported they finally got a Peruvian restaurant in their neighborhood and it’s considered the “new thing” in Starkville, Mississippi. With a peculiar name, “Gordo’s” (which means “Fatty’s” in Spanish but it is often used as an endearment term in Peru) just opened its door primarily to students who will be able to enjoy the typical Peruvian dishes including the Ceviche.

With a homestyle type of food, the founder is Eduardo Reyes, a young MSU graduate student pursuing a masters in accounting and has been a member of the Starkville community for two and a half years.

It doesn’t need to be a huge empire as Gaston Acurio’s as I mentioned in my earlier post, but it is great to see how young Peruvians (and their families) are getting on board of this new Peruvian cuisine boom even in a small town as Starkville. Congrats!

Written by Catherine Castro

November 29, 2008 at 8:50 pm