Whether you’re searching for a holiday destination with amazing landscapes, fun activities or incredible food, Peru ticks all those boxes and more. Home to Machu Picchu, acres of mountains and full of ancient traditions which still influence its culinary culture to this day, it is a popular choice for Latin American holidays.
With a unique combination of traditional Peruvian foods and European, Asian and African culinary influences over the last several hundred years, Peruvian food is widely recognised as one of the most diverse and flavoursome gastronomies in the world and is a true reflection of the country’s long, multicultural history. Widely celebrated across the country with numerous culinary festivals held throughout the year, it’s been the winner of the World’s Leading Culinary Destination awarded by the World Travel Awards for seven consecutive years.
We believe there’s nothing that evokes the essence of a country more than its cuisine, so let us get your tastebuds watering with a deeper culinary guide through Peru to inspire your luxury culinary holidays.
With over 2,500 varieties of potato growing around the country, Peru is the home of the potato. The Incas grew thousands of varieties of colourful potatoes due to the energy and nutrition they provided, with many traditional Peruvian dishes making use of it. There’s no doubt you’ll indulge in a variety of potato-based foods on our tailor-made holiday to Peru.
One of the tastiest of these culinary wonders is Causa Rellena, a comforting appetiser that never fails to get your taste buds tingling.
Whilst many variants of this dish exist, they all centre around layers upon layers of fresh ingredients sandwiched between beautifully mashed potatoes – including creamy avocado, hardboiled eggs, succulent olives, and colourful vegetables.
Traditionally, it’s made with the top-quality papa amarilla potato, which is extremely difficult to find outside of Peru. This provides a mouth-watering experience for travellers to enjoy that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.
Aji de gallina is a deliciously creamy chicken stew with the added kick of spice typically found in Peruvian food. With an abundance of flavour coming from the aji amarillo (a Peruvian yellow chilli pepper), onions and garlic, paired with the milky parmesan cheese and ground walnuts, this dish is both comforting and enjoyable.
It’s a recipe that has evolved many times since the sixteenth century, and perfectly intertwines hints of Spanish and Arab cuisine; but it’s the aji amarillo pepper which transformed it into the Peruvian delicacy it is today. You’ll find this served with white rice and scattered with fresh black olives and a hard-boiled egg.
A great example of international influences on Peruvian dishes, Tiraditos are essentially the South American form of sashimi from Japan. Bursting with flavour, this Nikkei dish is prepared by using sashimi-style seafood bathed in a fiery Peruvian sauce made of lime, ginger and aji amarillo.
This spicy little pepper is typically over four times hotter than your humble jalapeno, so prepare for a tongue-tingling experience with this Peruvian recipe.
The sauce of tiraditos is poured on top right before it is served rather than being used as a marinade, allowing the delicate flavours and freshness of the fish to stand out.
Native to the Andean valleys, lúcuma is a golden-yellow fruit unique to South America that, because of its powerful health benefits, has been used as a traditional remedy for centuries. Locals refer to it as the “Gold of the Incas” and, with a flavour that is said to mimic a caramel-infused sweet potato, it tastes like it too.
It’s a staple on Peruvian dessert menus and comes in many tantalising forms – from velvety lucuma crème brulée to delightfully sweet baked treats.
You’ll usually find it blended with milk and sugar to make gorgeously smooth milkshakes and ice cream – perfect for cooling you down after a day of exploring the magical landscapes on offer.
It’s extremely versatile and is a truly unique and delectable addition to your foodie holiday that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else.