Tuesday 29 September 2015

PERU: Culinary Tourism In Peru

Culinary tourism in Peru continues to expand as the country's cuisine garners increasing international attention. According to an article by Andrei Khalip of Reuters news service, Peru's overall tourism industry has seen steady annual growth over the past decade, thanks in part to the emerging culinary scene. Peruvian cuisine features diverse ingredients and a wide variety of cultural influences developed over the centuries by the Incas as well as the Spanish colonizers and Asian and African immigrants. Peru's three distinct regions of coast, highlands and jungle also make for a complex array of national delicacies for visitors to enjoy.

Ceviche in Lima and Along the Pacific Coast
Ceviche is one of the most recognizable dishes in Peru. It consists of raw seafood cooked in lime juice, onion, tomato and hot peppers served with sweet potato and corn on the cob. Ceviche has a refreshing and spicy taste, making it an incredibly popular choice for tourists and Peruvians alike. The best ceviche can be found in the capital city of Lima and along the coast of the Pacific Ocean to the north.

Frommer's recommends Lima's Astrid y Gaston restaurant as one of the best places to try ceviche and other coastal cuisine. Celebrity chef Gaston and his wife run this hip establishment in the upscale neighborhood of Miraflores. In addition to excellent ceviche, the restaurant offers an extensive wine and liquor menu.

Astrid y Gaston
Cantuarias 175, Miraflores
Lima, Peru

Alpaca and Cuy in Cusco and the Andes
Cusco and the Andes highlands of Peru feature more traditional cuisine dating back to the time of the Inca Empire. The large indigenous population uses a broad variety of potatoes and other homegrown ingredients to prepare dishes like pachamanca, a combination of meat and vegetables wrapped and cooked over coals or hot stones in a pit. Andean chefs also prepare roasted cuy and alpaca, meat dishes from guinea pig and alpaca-llamas, respectively. These exotic meats may seem strange to foreigners, but they are local delicacies reserved for special occasions in the highlands of Peru.

Fodor's recommends the Pacha Papa restaurant in Cusco for typical Andean cuisine. The restaurant has an open-air design with a patio where guests can watch pachamanca being prepared in an underground oven or try other items off the lengthy menu.

Pacha Papa
Plazoleta San Blas 120
Cusco, Peru

Tacacho and Juanes in Iquitos and the Amazon
The Peruvian Amazon boasts diversity in its flora and fauna as well as in its cuisine. Unique fruits and vegetables grow here, and it shows in the food. Tacacho con cecina is one of the classic dishes of the jungle. It's made from fried bananas mashed with butter and served alongside a spicy beef jerky. Juanes is the other primary entree of the Peruvian Amazon. It's basically a rice tamale wrapped in plantain leaves and filled with minced meat, black olives and eggs.

Frommer's recommends the Gran Maloca restaurant in the city of Iquitos. This traditional restaurant is located in a tile-covered 19th-century house. Gran Maloca serves all the top Amazonian specialties as well as a tasty combination of locally produced fruit liqueurs.

Gran Maloca
Sargento Lores 170
Iquitos, Peru

Pisco Wherever You Go
Pisco sours are the cocktail of choice wherever you go in Peru. Pisco is a Peruvian liquor distilled from grapes. This liquor is combined with lime juice, egg whites, syrup, bitters, ice and cinnamon to make a delicious alcoholic beverage. Peru established a National Pisco Sour Day in 2003 which is celebrated annually during the first week of February. Even if you can't visit Peru for this holiday, you'll still find pisco sours served in almost every bar and restaurant around the country.

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