“In recent years, Peru’s eclectic cuisine has earned acknowledgement as one of the world’s finest.”
– Mark Adams, Turn Right at Machu Picchu
5 best Peruvian foods
Food was one of the big factors when I was choosing a place to live. Things like hot girls and old churches are important factors to consider too, but they aren’t a deal-breaker. You’re going to need to eat every single day. And there’s only so many times you can chow down on boiled cane rat.
Initially Peru’s food sounded a little sketchy. Raw fish, beverages made of corn juice, and calf hearts didn’t sound that appetizing. But I was dead wrong. Aside from octopus, everything I’ve eaten here has blown my mind. Here are the 5 best Peruvian foods I’ve tried:
At the beginning of the year I would never have imagined that raw fish in lime juice would become my all-time favorite food. Made with fresh fish Peruvian ceviche is unmatched.
In addition to straight cerviche, you can get a beverage called leche de tigre. This is literally a tall glass of the juices that they prepare cerviche in. It tastes way better than you’d imagine and gave me a massive energy boost.
2. Lomo Saltado
Lomo saltado is like a cross between stir-fry and something you’d get at an American diner. Its strips of marinated steak mixed into a platter of french fries, tomatoes, and onions. This coupled with an Inca Kola makes for the perfect post-workout meal.
There are a few different types of tacu-tacu. The good one consists of fires rice, beans, and a big old slab of beef. There’s usually some salsa too. I haven’t eaten this dish as much as some of the others on my list, but it is good. If you just want meat and rice this is for you.
4. Inca Kola
This isn’t an actual food, but it is a darn good drink. Its the only soda that I’ve ever enjoyed and it tastes kind of like bubble gum. I like to drink this after working out and never get tired of the flavor. Here it costs about $0.30 a bottle, but you can order it through Amazon for the ridiculous price of $12.88.
Another awesome drink is chicha morado. This is a beverage made of purple corn, pineapple, and cinnamon. It tastes just like Kool-Aid
Beef heart on a stick. Sounds gross, but you’ll probably end up loving it. This is kind of like a shish-kebab and you can order it all over the country. This was actually one of the first authentic Peruvian dishes I ever ordered and it helped to show me that the cuisine wasn’t as bad as its descriptions lead me to believe it would be.
Bonus: weird jungle fruits
There’s all kinds of strange jungle fruit for sale in Peru. You can get uchuva, which are the orange berries pictured above, and cherimoya, which is that green fruit, as well as dozens of other odd eats. I like going to a lot of the markets and stores to try all the exotic fruits. So far none of them have killed me. Also, you can get a ton of nuts and herbs that are outrageously expensive in the states for pennies here. At one market they have Brazil nuts for less than $5 a pound.
I’m definitely going to miss all the great food here, but I bought a cook book called Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen for when I get back to the U.S.
If you like good food, I’d highly suggest visiting Peru sometime.