I’ve been eating well in Peru. Peruvian cuisine is one of the most diverse on the planet. There are over 2,000 varieties of potatoes alone. Skeptical in this world worth living thanks to the inventive Italians and those fish-crazy Japanese who gave us sushi? Check out the dizzying partial list of Peruvian dishes below.
A more readable, less proving-my-point list of Peruvian plates can also be found on Wikipedia along with an interesting history of the country’s gastronomy.
ceviche: raw fish filet cut into pieces and marinated in lemon juice, onions, and aji limo * Cau-cau: cow stomach stew with potatoes, turmeric, and parsley. Sometimes served with peas * Anticuchos: grilled brochettes of beef heart, macerated in vinegar and aji panca (hot pepper) * Lomo saltado: beef tenderloin slices, sautéed with onions, tomatoes, aji (hot peppers), and other spices. It is served with French fries and rice * Ají de gallina: a chicken stew made with cream, cheese, aji (hot pepper), and peanuts * Causa rellena: mashed yellow potatoes seasoned with lime and aji (hot pepper), and filled with tuna or chicken * Choros a la chalaca: mussels covered with diced onions and aji (hot pepper) and seasoned with lemon juice * Leche de Tigre: Concentrated lemon juice, fish, and blended aji limo (hot pepper). It is the by-product of the ceviche preparation * Tacu-tacu: Mixture of beans and rice, fried, and topped with breaded and pan-fried steak and an onion salsa * Parihuela: concentrated soup of fish and shellfish * Purtumute: Boiled beans with mote sancochado (individual grains of corn boiled with cilantro) * Cuy con papas: Seasoned, cooked, and fried Guinea pig served with a potato stew, toasted peanuts, chopped onions and hot peppers * Juanes de yuca: Grated and boiled yucca mixed with rice and either chicken or beef jerky; this mixture is wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed * Tamales: Mashed corn filled with beef, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed * Humitas: Mashed corn filled with seasoned beef or cheese, wrapped in corn shucks and steamed * Enrollado: Roast beef, rolled and stuffed with ground pork and chicken meat, raisins, and hard boiled egg * Picante de cuy: barbecued guinea pig stew, seasoned with aji colorado or amarillo (hot peppers). There is an old variation called jaka cashqui or guinea pig broth * Cuchicanca: Succulent pork meat marinated in vinegar and then roasted; it is served with boiled yellow potatoes and hominy (dried boiled corn) * Tamales Ancashinos: Mashed corn filled with beef wrapped in banana leaves * Charqui: Dry salty pork meat * Llunca kashki con gallina: Chicken broth with wheat * Pecan caldo: ram head soup, cooked with mint and the feet and stomach or innards of the ram; it is served with boiled potato and/or hominy * Tallarín Casero: homemade noodles served with a stew (chicken, beef, or lamb) and kapchi of chuño (dehydrated potatoes) * Kapchi: Lima bean or mushroom stew with potatoes, milk, eggs, and cheese * Papas con Uchullachua: boiled potatoes with aji (hot pepper) and huacatay (aromatic herb) * Rocoto Relleno: rocoto (hot pepper) without veins stuffed with chopped beef, eggs, peas, carrots, cheese, milk, and potatoes * Huatia: beef and potatoes cooked on hot stones with huacatay (black mint) * Cuy relleno: Guinea pig stuffed with parsley, black mint, mint, oregano, green onions, cleaned and boiled innards, and crushed toasted peanuts * Pepian de Cuy: stew made with Guinea pig meat, peanuts, and spices * Chupe de camarones: chowder made with shrimp, milk, eggs, and oregano * Soltero: a salad of fresh cheese, lima beans, onions, olives, tomatoes, and rocoto * Adobo: pork marinated with concho de chichi (corn beer sediment) and spices, cooked in a pot * Ocopa: boiled potatoes covered with a fresh cheese sauce, lima beans, onions, olives, and rocoto * Escribano: potato salad, with rocoto, vinegar, oil, tomatoes, and parsley * Pebre: soup with lamb, beef, and ram jerky * Qapchi: an appetizer made with cachipa or fresh cheese, crumbled and mixed with aji (a hot pepper), rocoto (a hot pepper), milk, oil and diced onions. It is served on a bed of potatoes * Mondongo ayacuchano: a soup with a base of hulled corn cooked all night long with beef, cow stomach, and bacon (cuchiqara). It is seasoned with aji colorado, (hot pepper), blended and toasted and diced mint * Patachi: whole wheat soup made with bacon, beef and vegetables * Puca picante: potato stew with peanuts, blended and toasted, seasoned with aji panca (hot pepper) and fried pork rinds. It is served with rice and salad * Uman caldo: ram head soup, rice, potatoes and dehydrated potatoes. It is garnished with mint * Cuy chactado: Guinea pig, breaded with corn flour and fried and served with golden potatoes and salad * Pachamanca: different meats, potatoes, tender corn, lima beans and humitas (sweet tamales) cooked in a pit lined with heated stones in a pre-Hispanic style * Teqtes: stew with a base of peas, pumpkin, quinua, lima beans, and dehydrated potato, seasoned with aji (hot pepper), garlic, fresh cheese, milk and eggs * Pusra: toasted and blended barley soup with aromatic herbs, potatoes, peas, eggs, and milk * Puchero: made with cabbage, fruit, chickpeas, sweet potatoes and yucca. It is usually prepared at Carnival * Picante de papa con cuy frito: cooked Guinea pig stew in a peanut and aji panca (hot pepper) sauce accompanied with potatoes * Chicharron con mote: pork rinds fried in their own fat and accompanied with hominy or corn * Caldo verde: soup made with potatoes and aromatic herbs from the region * Kapchi: lima bean or mushroom soup with potatoes, milk, eggs, and cheese * Chicharrón con mote: pork rinds fried in their own fat, served with hominy or individual kernels of sweet corn * Saralawa: soup of fresh corn, lima beans, dry aji Amarillo (yellow hot pepper), and huacatay (native herb) * Chuño cola: beef soup with rice, garbanzo beans, and dehydrated potatoes * Olluco con carne: Olluco stew with jerky or llama meat * Ropa vieja: Beef stew with beans, potatoes, rice, and cabbage * Apanado de alpaca: Breaded alpaca meat, served with rice, potatoes, and salad * Pachamanca: Different types of meat, potatoes, corn cooked in a pre-Hispanic style underground among super hot stones and seasoned with aromatic herbs * Panes Huancaveliqueños: pumpkin buns, cheese pastries, wheat and achita breads * Locro de gallina: a stew made of chicken, onions, potatoes, and aji peppers * Picante de cuy Huanuqueño: Guinea pig stew cooked in a peanut and an aji panca (hot pepper) sauce * Pachamanca Huanuqueña: pork, potatoes, yucca cassava, and sweet potatoes cooked in a pre-Hispanic style (on hot stones buried into the ground) and seasoned with aromatic herbs like wild sage * Tacacho con cecina: roasted or fried banana mashed with butter and served with beef jerky * Juane: rice with paprika and pieces of chicken wrapped in banana leaves * Asado de picuro: roasted meat of tasty Amazonian rodent * Inchicapi: chicken soup with peanuts, cilantro, and yucca cassava * Pallares: A stew of savory butter beans seasoned with aji (hot pepper) * Morusa: Mashed butter beans with roast beef or pork * Picante de Pallares: Spicy butter beans with milk, eggs and fresh cheese * Carapulcra Iqueña: Dehydrated potatoes, boiled and cooked with pork and chicken, aji panca and mirasol (chili peppers), garlic, and other spices * Uman caldo: sheep head soup with mint and aji (hot pepper) * Yaku chupe or sopa verde: soup made with potatoes, cheese, eggs, and aromatic herbs * Huallpa chupe: chicken soup with potato and rice * Mondongo: beef soup with cow innards, pork rinds, corn, and parsley * Patachi: wheat soup with beans, bacon, beef, and mint * Pachamanca : variety of meats, potatoes, lima beans and humitas cooked in the pre-Hispanic style (on hot stones buried into the ground) and seasoned with aromatic herbs * Chicharron Colorado: pork rinds fried in their own lard with an aji Colorado sauce (hot pepper) * Cordero al palo: a whole sheep on a spit grilled over glowing embers * Asado de zamaño, cutpe and sakino: roasted pork, Guinea pig, and peccary * Chicharrón de pescado de río: fried pieces of river fish * Cabrito con frijoles: Stew of tender baby goat meat marinated in chicha de jora (fermented corn liquor whose origins date back to a time before the Incas) and vinegar accompanied with beans served with fried onions and garlic * Shambar: Soup made with wheat, pork rinds, smoked ham, assorted beans, and green onions. It is served with toasted corn (cancha) and is made only on Mondays * Sopa teóloga: turkey and/or chicken soup with moistened bread, potato, milk, and cheese * Frejoles a la trujillana: Black beans with sesame seed and mirasol chili peppers * Pepián de pava: Turkey stew with rice, tender blended corn, cilantro, and chili pepper * Pescado a la trujillana: Steamed fish with an egg and onion sauce * Tortilla de raya: egg tortilla made with dehydrated and re-hydrated ray meat * Chinguirito: cebiche using the dry meat of the banded guitar fish * Seco de cabrito con frijoles: stew made of tender baby goat meat marinated in chicha de jora (a fermented corn liquor whose origin dates back to the time before the Incas) and served with beans seasoned with fried onions and garlic * Arroz con pato a la Chiclayana: tender duck meat cooked in black beer and cilantro * Chirimpico: stew made from the innards of the baby goat, covered with onions, garlic, hot peppers, cilantro and squash, mixed with grains of tender corn * Escabeche: pieces of fish or chicken marinated in vinegar and steamed with plenty of onions * Carapulcra: boiled dehydrated potatoes made into a stew with pork and chicken, aji panca and mirasol (hot peppers), garlic, and other spices * Sancochado: boiled beef with corn, sweet potato, carrots, cabbage, yucca, and potatoes * Pescado a la chorrillana: fried fish in a tomato, onion, and white wine salsa * Pescado a lo macho: fried fish in a shellfish sauce with aji (hot pepper) and garlic * Ensalada de chonta o salad palmito (the palm stem is also called pona) * Timbuche: concentrated broth made from fish and cilantro * Cecina: dried and salted beef or pork * Patarashca: fire roasted fish wrapped in banana leaves * Juane Loretano: Rice seasoned with turmeric, and chicken wrapped in banana leaves * Tacacho: a dish of mashed and kneaded green, roasted bananas with fried pork rinds. Generally, it is combined with cecina * Inchicucho: prepared with corn, peanuts, and aji (hot pepper) * Asado de venado: Roast deer meat with rice and green banana * Tacacho con cecina: Crushed bananas mixed with lard then baked or fried. It is served with dry meat * Asado de picuro: The exquisite meat of an Amazonian rodent roasted over charcoal * Caldo de carachama: Thick soup made of carachama fish, with bananas and cilantro * Patasca moqueguana o caldo de mondongo: soup made with cow innards, corn, and mint * Picante de cuy: Guinea pig stew cooked in a peanut and aji panca (hot pepper) sauce * Chupe de camarones: Shrimp soup make with milk, eggs, and oregano * Cebiche de jurel or mixto: raw fish and/or shellfish marinated in lemon juice. It is served with onions, potato, sweet potato, corn, and lettuce * Chupín de pejesapo: soup with a base of onion, tomato, aji (hot pepper), and bumblebee catfish * Sudado de machas: stew made with onions, tomato, aji (hot pepper), surf clam, white wine and vinegar. It is served with boiled potatoes * Aguadito de mariscos: rice stew with vegetables with shellfish added * Chicharrón de pulpo: pieces of octopus, fried. It is served with onion salad, tomato, potatoes, and cooked sweet potatoes * Picante de mariscos: a stew made with mashed potatoes and aji colorado (hot pepper), pieces of shellfish (limpets, surf clams) and sea weed (cochayuyo) * Cuy frito: Guinea pig breaded with corn meal and fried * Picante de cuy: Guinea pig stew cooked in a peanut and aji panca pepper sauce * Caldo de cabeza: ram head soup prepared with mint and aji peppers * Seco de chabelo: beef jerky or dried beef stew with sweetened bananas * Majado de yucca con chicharron: Cooked and crushed yucca with aji (hot pepper) and accompanied with chicharron (fried pork rinds) * Natilla: a typical dessert made from goats milk, chancaca (sugar syrup), and very fine rice flour * Cancacho: roasted pork or lamb macerated in aji (hot pepper) and oil * Pesque de quinoa: mashed quinoa seasoned with milk and cheese * Chairo: Beef and lamb soup with potatoes, lima beans, squash, cabbage, chuño or dehydrated potatoes, wheat, and chalona or dried lamb * Juanes de arroz: Chicken mixed with rice seasoned with spices and, wrapped in banana leaves * Inchicapi: Chicken soup with peanuts, cilantro, and yucca * Avispa juane: Chopped pork, mixed with garlic and spices, bound with egg and flour; this is boiled and wrapped in achira leaves like a tamale * Tacacho con cecina: Crushed bananas mixed with lard then baked or fried. It is served with dry meat * Chunchulijuane: Mashed yucca, cilantro, and chicken innards, wrapped in banana leaves * Chontajuane: Mashed chonta, palm, and paiche (fish), wrapped in banana leaves * Sarajuane: Mashed corn and peanut filled with pork, wrapped in banana leaves * Choclo con queso: Boiled tender corn accompanies by fresh cheese * Chicharron de chancho con maiz tostado: Fried pork rinds with toasted corn * Patasca tacneña: A soup made with beef, pigs feet, wheat, yellow potato, squash, starch, and garlic * Picante a la tacneña: A stew made with cow stomach, cows feet, beef jerky, onions, and oregano * Cuy Chactado: Guinea pig, pan fried under a flat, heavy stone * Pastel de choclo: Made with fresh corn, it can be either salty or sweet with raisins * Adobo de Chancho: Pork, turmeric, ground garlic, vinegar, and salt * Cebiches de conchas: scallops with lime, onion, and aji limo (hot pepper) * Aji de langostinos: prawns in a bread crumb and aji amarillo (hot pepper) sauce * Chupe de cangrejo: crab chowder * Majarisco: mashed green bananas with a shellfish sauce * Sango de plátano verde: made from black scallops and green bananas * Caldo de bolas: stuffed banana balls * Patarashca: fish wrapped in banana leaves and charbroiled * Picadillo de paiche: strips of dried and salted paiche fish meat served with onions, tomatoes, and aji (hot pepper) * Tacacho con cecina: roasted green banana with fried pork rinds. Served with smoked pork * Pan con Chimbombo: Fish sandwich, mainly silverside fish * Locro de Zapallo: mashed squash with corn, cheese, yellow potatoes and huacatay