Peruvian food is considered one of the most diverse foods in the world, due in part to the varied geography of the region, the blending of different cultures into iconic dishes and the way in which ancient recipes are still being interpreted and adapted in modern cooking. In this post, we bring you some online videos which may inspire you to try your hand at some of the most representative dishes of Peruvian cuisine.
On the Seven culinary wonders of Peru site, they have listed the top 7 dishes that represent Peruvian food: cebiche, lomo saltado, aji de gallina, anticuchos, chupe de camarones, papa a la Huancaina and causa. However, as with any contest, there are dozens of dishes which weren't included in the winning list which may have been favorites in other regions. Thus, they have expanded their search and are looking for the top seven dishes in each of the provinces of Peru.
First well start with Cebiche, the widely popular Peruvian dish made of fresh fish cooked in lime juice. There are dozens of videos around ceviche (or seviche or sebiche, all correct ways to write it) on the web, some of them showing ways in which to make it, others just showing the pleased expressions when they eat a bite of it. In this next video, you can see the steps required for making a quick and easy cebiche at home. In the video, Chef Cucho La Rosa explains that the best cebiche has only 5 ingredients: absolutely fresh fish, onions, lime juice, Peruvian chili pepper and salt. Once the cebiche is done, you can eat it with a lettuce leaf as garnish, a round of corn on the cob and a slice of sweet potato:
Another recipe is the Aji de Gallina, which can be roughly translated into Hen Chili. This simple spicy dish includes peanuts, chicken and rice, and packs a lot of flavor. This recipe is in English, brought to us by Chef Guillermo:
Not all landmark recipes made it into the list: such is the case with the millenary Andean Pachamanca. The process is quite a step from the 5 ingredient ceviche since it requires more than a day's worth of prep work, and helping hands. In fact, it is reserved for feasts and special occasions, since the lengthy process that starts with marinating the meats, digging a hole and heating up clean river rocks which will become the oven to cook a mixture of beef, pork, chicken, mutton and vegetables such as potatoes, fava beans, sweet potatoes and corn. That's the story RarezaXXX tells in his video, in his case, the process started by not only digging the hole, but actually harvesting the produce which they will eat. Check out the colorful collection of potatoes, at least 5 different varieties:
The Pachamanca has made it all the way to Mexico in this next video, where Chucheman explains and illustrates the process:
Another regional dish that didn't make it into the national list is the Juane, a rice based tamale-like concoction eaten throughout the year but of mandatory consumption during the San Juan (Saint John the Baptist) festivities in the Peruvian Amazon. There are many types of Juane, but the basic shape is respected: it is round, in the shape of St. John's decapitated head which was handed to Salome on a platter in the biblical story. In spite of the not so cheerful story behind the dish, even after diaspora, Peruvians from the amazon make this dish when Saint John's day rolls around, like elmaxin who prepared them in Spain:
What is the local cuisine like where you're from? If you would recommend one local dish that everyone should try, which one would it be? Please share your answers with us through the comments, and maybe even leave some links to videos so we can try our hand in making them!